An observation on Calvinism versus Universalism versus the Word of God:
although Luther’s theology used reason to discover Biblical truths, his resultant theology sometimes ended up being quite “unreasonable.” That is to say, it embraced logical absurdities. He would simply not allow reason to stand in judgment of Scripture.No only "can" be, but should be, since they are the Word of God!
Luther believed that if something was taught in Scripture it didn’t matter to him if he and others thought it to be absurd. He saw, as did few before or after him, that logical attempts to escape from something clearly taught in Scripture often just ended in another kind of contradiction - contradicting the words of Scripture itself. This, to him, was more absurd than accepting a Biblical paradox on pure faith.
So Luther had no difficulty teaching contradictory absurdities. The saved are predestined to salvation, but the lost are not predestined to damnation. The saved cannot lose their salvation and, oh, by the way, yes they can. No one can make a decision to accept Jesus, but we can make a decision to reject Jesus. The saved are saved entirely by God, but the condemned are condemned entirely by themselves.
These are, to most theologians and philosophers, logical absurdities.
So it would be quite in keeping with Luther’s way to accept and believe in the universal restoration of all, and - at the same time - accept and believe in the eternal punishment of some. Both are taught in Scripture, so both can be believed and taught.
Here's my comment:
The problem that Calvin's disciples have is that they make Reason more important than Scripture, and this causes them to attribute to God statements He does not make.
It's similar to the problem Israel found with the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah: Suffering Servant and Mighty King?
Our answer is "Two Messiahs."
God's answer is, "Yes."