In many respects, the debate between Farrar and Pusey only echoed the established arguments of earlier controversies: the appeal to a fixed, revealed doctrine on the one hand, and the protest against its morally intolerable nature on the other; a fear of giving a licence to sin on the one hand, and a fear of making it impossible for men to believe in a good God on the other; the pitting of text against text, and authority against authority. By 1880, the debate had quite clearly moved from whether eternal punishment was, or was not, the teaching of Scripture, to whether it could be shown to be morally defensible and consistent with contemporary ideas of progress and humanitarianism.
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