Saint Leo University
Salvation: Christian Tradition
Robert Rivers: Professor
COUNTERATTACKING VON BALTHASAR
According to the reading guide of Module eight, Hans Urs von Balthasar was a Catholic priest who belonged to the Society of Jesus in the recent 20th century. He left the Jesuit order to live a lay life with more solitude so that he could work for the sanctification of the world (slide 8). In his retirement, von Balthasar wrote a book called Dare we Hope “That All Men Be Saved” with a short Discourse on Hell, which is one of his controversial literatures. In this book, von Balthasar writes much about salvation for all regardless of faith. He believes that God loves all people for they are His creation and that God has no plans of punishing mankind for its lewd behavior. However, despite salvation being a complex issue to humans, teaching that everyone will receive it without working to attain it would be very misleading.
Honestly, the thoughts and opinions that Balthasar brings are very captivating. In this book, the author provides a point of view where he believes that in so many of the Catholic prayers, there are prayers for those who do not believe in God (Pg. 36). For instance, the Offertory Prayer for Weekday Mass I for Tuesdays says, “Lord, accept the offering of your Church; and may what each individual offers up to the honor of your name lead to the salvation of all. For this we pray to you through Christ our Lord.
Balthasar is quoting the prayer where it says, “Lead to the salvation of all”. As far as the prayer is concerned, there is nothing wrong in asking God to save all people. As Christians, we are taught to love one another and show compassion for one another. As Christians, we are taught to feel the pain that other people are feeling. We expect that our families shall remain intact when in heaven. In some other perspective, we pray in such a manner because we expect God to spiritually touch these people and make them see God as their model.
In truthfulness, Balthasar’s thinking is a welcome mode of thinking to those lost souls because, much as people sin, nobody wants to miss out on heaven. If it were possible that God is corruptible, many people would have paid with even their lives just to see heaven. It lets people be lazy and be free in their actions of being disobedient to God just because they know whether they work for it or not, they still will receive salvation. According to how selfish people are in