A complete, 37-volume set of the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers (church writers before approximately 300 A.D.) can be purchased in an e-book edition on Amazon for only $2.99! The set is all in English, translated mostly from the original Greek and Latin languages. But…why bother plowing your way through all those volumes when modern authors (some of which I’ll list below) have already pored through all of them—in the original languages—and have culled out the pertinent and relevant writings about apokatastasis in their own current books?
I’ll define apokatastasis: It comes from the Bible, meaning “God will eventually redeem, restore, and reconcile all humanity to Himself.“
A female Italian theologian named Ilaria L. E. Ramelli recently spent 7 long years studying just about everything ever written by early church writers about apokatastasis for her doctoral thesis, and has recently published all her findings in English in a 900+ page book! I’ve only seen a few pages of it, but it’s way beyond amazing! I predict it will become THE AUTHORITATIVE BOOK about the subject of apokatastasis for decades to come. Her book is titled “The Christian Doctrine of Apokastasis,” and can be purchased from Amazon for the low, low price of only $353.00! I don’t think there’ll be a lot of us ordinary people rushing out to purchase a copy…
So…to begin, there you have 2 important resources about apokatastasis: the Ante-Nicene writings and the deep, theological book by the female Italian theologian.
Now, let’s get to some more current and up-to-date resources. First, there’s a church near downtown Denver, Colorado, known as The Sanctuary. They maintain the complete “Gary Amirault Library” which was donated to them when Gary died in 2018. It’s like a rare book section of a large city library where you can’t check out books, but you can go there to study them. As you might or might not know, Gary was the founder and maintainer of the tentmaker.org website, which for a number of years has been (and still is) the premiere website for those wishing to do research about apokatastasis. Even some teachings I wrote over 40 years ago are on tentmaker.org. There are numerous other websites about the subject of apokatastasis, but in my opinion tentmaker is the best!
Next, David Bentley Hart is one of the world’s leading theologians; he lives and writes mostly here in USAmerica, and is a member of the Orthodox Church; I think the Greek Orthodox Church, but I’m not certain. He has translated much material of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and has written extensively about their teachings about apokatastasis. Just a few months ago, David Bentley Hart published his newest book, “That All Shall Be Saved.” That book and his English translation of the New Testament can both be purchased from Amazon. They are both tremendously useful resources I highly recommend!
Another great resource (that was out-of-print for years, but has just recently been re-published) is titled “Is Hell Eternal Or Will God’s Plan Fail?” by Charles Pridgeon. It was first published in the 1920’s and is an amazing resource, although some of his points are argumentative and out-of-date. It, too, can be purchased from Amazon. It’s a little hard to read, but is solidly biblically based.
Next, we have Gerry Beauchemin’s 2 highly popular books, “Hope Beyond Hell” and “Hope For All.” They are both excellent primers (the definition of “primer” is “a book teaching the first principles of any subject.”). I’ve purchased and given away hundreds of Gerry’s books. Gerry is also the founder of the Hope For All Fellowship, a group of like-minded people who gather in various ways for fellowship and encouragement. You can “plug into” Hope For All Fellowship’s weekly meeting on the internet; contact Gerry about how and when to plug into this weekly “internet meeting.” When I first introduce anyone to the subject of apokatastasis, I begin by giving them copies of both Gerry’s books. Hope for All Fellowship’s website address is hopeforallfellowship.com.
After giving them copies of Gerry’s books, if the inquirer wants more information, then I give them a copy of Bob Evely’s book, “At The End of the Ages.” The fourth book I often give people is George Sarris’s book, “Heaven’s Doors: Wider Than You Ever Believed.” After that, I just listen to what Holy Spirit may be telling me to say, do, or give to the inquirer.
Another little paperback book is a good one to give to people: “All In All” by A. E. Knoch is published by Concordant Publishing Concern (PO Box 449, Almont, Michigan 48003) which has published much literature about apokatastasis since the early 1900’s. They have a quarterly pamphlet they’ve published all these years which is chock-full of information about apokatastasis; every pamphlet since the very beginning of the 1900’s is still available. They have also published a New Testament known as the “Concordant Literal New Testament.” Write to them or visit their website (www.corcordant.org) for a complete listing of all their literature; you’ll find more than you could ever read in your entire lifetime. They’re somewhat of an “old fashioned” group of Jesus believers, but all their writings are solid.
A man named Michael Phillips recently spent many years translating all of a Scottish Pastor’s writings into “readable” English. The Scottish Pastor was named George McDonald who lived near the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. He wrote scores of captivating novels about Scotland into which he weaved biblical teachings about apokatastasis. You’ve heard about J. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) and C. S. Lewis? Both of them regarded George McDonald as their favorite author and mentor. Anyhow, George McDonald’s novels and his sermons are all about apokatastasis. If you order any of his materials, make sure they’re translated by Michael Phillips; otherwise, McDonald’s written Scottish brogue is almost impossible to read.
Phillips himself has written some novels; the best one about apokatastasis is titled “Hell and Beyond,” part of a trilogy. Both Gerry Beauchemin and I highly recommend it.
On YouTube, there are some very interesting video presentations by Pastor Don Keathley, titled “The Myth of Hell.” Keathley has many other videos also, on the subject of apokatastasis, but the clearest and best teachings are The Myth of Hell he taught to his congregation during Easter season of 2019, so they’re very current as of this listing. I believe he’s a Pastor in the Dallas, Texas, area.
In case you’re interested, much of what western believers in Jesus believe today about eternal conscious torment in an ever-burning hell actually came from a famous poem, not from the Bible. An Italian poet named Dante Alighieri wrote a very lengthy poem entitled “The Inferno” in the late 1200’s. The poem sort of “caught on” and spread like wildfire throughout Europe. His poem still influences much of what people believe about hell to this very day. It’s hard reading, but you’ll see what I mean if you take the time to get a paperback copy and read it—in English, of course. Interestingly, most people never read his famous poem right to the end; if they did, they would learn that at the end Dante believed that hell would be emptied out!
I’ll mention some of my own material—and then we’re almost done. On this website (leservices.org) I have posted about 80+ of my most popular teachings; the teachings specifically related to apokatastasis are: “Beyond The Far Shores of Time,” “City of Mystery,” “Eternal LIFE,” “Fire!,” “4 Views: Who Has the Final Word?,” “Good” Good News vs “Bad” Good News,” “Restoration,” “Justice and Judgment,” and “Let There Be Light.” All my teachings can be downloaded and printed for free.
There are also ten other teachings of mine I posted on leservices.org in the summer and fall of 2020, all of which begin with the word “Hope…”
On March 6, 2018, God invited me to visit Heaven. I wrote the account of my visit in my most recent book, “Heaven: Our Home Sweet Homeland,” available from Amazon in softcover, e-book, and hardcover.
Here’s a reference I personally cherish very deeply; in fact, I’ve probably re-read it 10 times or more and I weep with joy almost every time! It’s by John Eldredge, titled “All Things New.” John Eldredge doesn’t believe fully in apokatastasis, but he really comes close to it in this book.
[NOTE: Eldredge, along with multitudes of others, believes in human “free will,” as he noted in a recent online daily devotional in either January or February 2020. He essentially states that if it weren’t for human free will, he would believe that God will ultimately redeem, restore and reconcile every human being to Himself.
I ask: Do humans really have free will? For example, can humans jump over the moon, can humans travel through time, can humans traverse the universe faster than the speed of light, can a human read an animal’s mind, does a finite human really have free will to resist God’s infinite, sovereign, all-powerful will? For example, the Bible teaches in 2 Peter 3: 9 that God’s will is that every human repents and turns to Him. Can a mere, finite human really resist God’s infinite sovereign, all-power-full will for all the ages of time and in eternity? I think not. The entire matter of so-called human free will stands in the way of many earnest people believing in the clear biblical teaching about apokatastasis.]
Another book about apokatastasis very recently published is titled “Confessions of a Tomboy Grandma” by Diane Castro. I highly recommend Diane’s book; it is chock-full of philosophical, biblical, logical, and rational reasons why apokatastasis is true. Her book can be purchased at amazon.com
Finally, last but not least, there’s popular, best-selling book “The Shack” by William Paul Young. As with John Eldredge, Young doesn’t quite believe fully in apokatastasis, but at a recent conference I heard him say: “I’m really close to believing it.” The movie made about “The Shack” is a powerful movie.
There are numerous other books in my home library I could recommend to you, but the ones I’ve mentioned in this article will give any open-minded reader a clear, concise, compelling view about the truth of apokatastasis.
Life Enrichment Services, Inc
Updated and Posted November 2020