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If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (Grace Series, #1)
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If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (Grace Series #1)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  973 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Why Everyone Will Be in Heaven

Two pastors present their controversial belief in eternal salvation for all through God′s perfect grace. Long disturbed by the Church′s struggle between offering both love and rejection, they discover what God wants from us and for us: grace for everyone.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 23rd 2004 by HarperOne (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,632)
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Kimberly
Nov 13, 2007 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to be a Christian, but feels God won't let them into the club
Life-changing book for me. This is the book that allowed me to once again call myself a Christian. For years, I wanted to be a Christian, always felt like I almost could be a Christian, but the whole hell-and-damnation, fire-and-brimstone fundamentalism with which I was raised kept getting the way. My good friend Lamar loaned me this book, and I read it in 2 days, and it was a real conversion experience. I realized I was a Christian, and a Universalist at that. Beautiful, astounding book.
Elizabeth
Mar 22, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Truth seekers
Shelves: theology
There are certainly parts of this book that are incredibly difficult to swallow or stomach, especially the parts about the death of Jesus.

The authors do a good job of answering dissenting questions that popped into my head as I read, but I'm not completely convinced of every point in their theology. Salvation for all is a concept I've been wrestling with for awhile now, and while this helps me to concur with the authors on many points, I will have to be content to only hope this is true and not
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Travis
Apr 15, 2010 Travis rated it did not like it
This is a terribly confused and confusing book. Let me say plainly: I am interested in reading arguments for a specifically Christian universalism.

This, however, is a pick-and-choose theology that is illogical, poorly argued, and based on the simple belief that "God whispered to" the author and told him something, and now everything else needs to fit. By just over halfway through the book, he's completed jumped the shark by ditching Jesus as the means of salvation, his divinity, while continuin
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Katie
Apr 08, 2009 Katie rated it liked it
This book was kind of a rollercoaster ride. At first I thought it was going to be great, an interesting topic and thought-provoking examples. I was ready to be convinced by the authors. Then I had to get past the awkward and sometimes poor writing. There is a special challenge to editing a book that is co-authored by two equal contributors, and I have to say, in this case it didn't work out too well. This is unfortunate because it was bad enough to obscure the authors' points at times. It was di ...more
Elaine
Well, I'm only on page 11. This book is delicious! 5 stars so far.

I've struggled with "How can a loving God allow anyone to go to hell - an eternal place of torment? I wouldn't do that to my children. Even if they rejected me. Why would God make someone go to hell because they reject Him?" "I love you but if you don't choose Me, 'POOF' to you. You can go to hell!" Yah, that sounds like love - NOT!!

That would be conditional, wouldn't it?

I'm looking forward to what the authors have to say furthe
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Jennie
Aug 23, 2015 Jennie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who are wondering about what happens next
Recommended to Jennie by: lots of thoughtful Quakers
This book helped me realize that I wasn't a heretic, that other people have thought about the same things I've been thinking about for years, but I was too afraid to ask. This book has changed my whole concept of Heaven, of life after death, and of God's judgement. I like God a lot better now. The sad part of this book as that my pastor told me that Phil Gulley and Jim Muholland received death threats after this book was published. So crazy.
Joshua
Aug 09, 2010 Joshua rated it did not like it
Where did these guys go to seminary?

I read this book with an open mind. I'm convinced that the concept of God sending people to an eternity of torment; and the fact that the majority of earth's people don't made the standard (whether by choice, ignorance, or culture) to escape this torture is the single most flawed belief in Christianity. So I understand the Universalist's mindset, and was hoping to read an honest and biblical approach to their beliefs.

But this book should even make Universalist
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Thomas Holbrook
Nov 05, 2011 Thomas Holbrook rated it it was amazing
I read this book in 2006, long before Bell's "Love Wins" was penned.
Reading two of Mr. Gulley’s other books did not prepare me for the reading of this one. The writer who, with a fellow pastor in this work, so eloquently speaks of the trials of a pastor in a small town has depth and the courage to call others to like places. When one reads this book one is confronted with God’s Grace as extravagant, unbiased, unearned and universal. Having become a disciple of God in an Evangelical tradition,
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Julie
Apr 01, 2009 Julie rated it it was ok
I have to admit the premise of this book was very attractive. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone went straight to heaven after death, regardless of what they believed or did during this life time? I do totally agree with the author that we are ALL God's children, that He loves ALL of us equaly and that He wants ALL to be saved. And I truly believe, that as a result, He will do everything in His power to save us, even by allowing us to see His glory at our moment of death so that we can make th ...more
Emma
Apr 26, 2011 Emma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality, quaker
I found this book disturbingly persuasive. The authors answer all the usual 'but what about' questions about universalism (the idea that there's no hell and everyone will eventually accept God's love, either in this life or the next) with logic, stories and bible quotations.

Regarding the 'Hitler argument' they state: "Ironically, Hitler's desire to purge humanity of those he thought impure and deficient is the extreme manifestation of what many religions affirm - that some people ultimately dese
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Liddy Barlow
Aug 01, 2008 Liddy Barlow rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, 2008, theology
This was our July book club selection; it had been on my to-read list for a long time, so I was glad to have the opportunity to read it. I definitely agree with Gulley & Mulholland's thesis -- yes, thankfully, God will save every person, and that is truly good news! But I'm not in complete agreement with all their points: I don't think, for example, that it's necessary to throw out the divinity of Christ to be a universalist, and I don't think that experience and reason are always to be priv ...more
Elaine
Jan 30, 2008 Elaine rated it it was amazing
This is a more accepting view of God. God is full of love and grace. He is not out to send us to hell because of our faults. This is a God that I am more inclined to believe in!
Try it, You'll like it!

Merged review:

This book is not your typical religious book. It is about the all loving God for all the people of the world. Love and grace are the key components to this view of God. It is a book to build you up not one to point out your flaws. I find this view both refreshing and spiritually fulfi
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Andrea
Jul 07, 2013 Andrea rated it liked it
This is the first book I read since coming to a different outlook in my faith. It was a beautiful read, and the authors echoed many of the thoughts and feelings I had when wrestling with the issues of hell and torment that were taught in my evangelical upbringing.
It's not a scholarly work, so it may not convince someone who is expecting
such a book. However, I think the authors do a good job of voicing the questions that many people deal with.
Overall, a good book, much needed in the Christian c
...more
Lacey Louwagie
This is a beautiful book about how two pastors came to believe that no one will be condemned to hell.

This book was recommended to me after I mentioned Rob Bell's Love Wins on my blog. The theology here is pretty similar, although I feel Rob Bell's book is more an appeal to the emotions, while this one makes a more intellectual argument. That doesn't make it dry or academic, though. The authors interweave their theological reasoning with stories from their own lives and their pastoring experienc
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Karina
May 29, 2009 Karina rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book written by people who have had a remarkable change of opinion. When I read that one of them told a woman who wanted to join his church to come back when her life was in better order, I almost choked. But they repent! they know now that we have to love everybody, etc,etc. I tried to recommend it to some LDS missionaries, but I don't think they appreciated my proselytizing on their time...
Alicia
Jan 24, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Wow! This book really made me think. So many of the ideas in this book where things that I felt as a child and had forgotten about. Some of the ideas in this book may be difficult for some Christians to buy into, but I really like the idea of seeing everyone as God's children. It takes so much of the judgmental aspects of church out of the picture.
Barbara
Jul 12, 2008 Barbara rated it really liked it
This one came into my life courtesy of the church whose services I watch on TV. They were going to have as a guest minister one of the co-authors of this tiny tome. It made a lot of sense to me... beware if you don't have universalist leanings... it might make you think.
Cindy Carpenter
Apr 22, 2008 Cindy Carpenter rated it it was amazing
Another Angie Kirkland recommendation.
It's stuff I've felt in my heart my whole life about God but the church isn't selling.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Feb 22, 2011 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it it was amazing
This book changed my religious experience, and then I got to have lunch with the author. I can't even put it into words.
John Beeler
Jul 02, 2007 John Beeler rated it it was ok
Mostly underwhelming. Even though I nearly believe what the authors suggest, I found their arguments a bit silly.
Kim
May 28, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing
The authors claim this book is controversial. I found it to be life affirming and true to my own beliefs.
Joey
Nov 13, 2009 Joey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, non-fiction
If Grace Is True presents the idea of Universalism, the idea that God will save every person. I admit, at first I was extremely skeptical. I thought there were too many issues to be resolved for such an idea to be seriously considered. What about free-will, Hitler, and justice? Surprisingly, Gulley and Mulholland humbly and diligently answer these and many more questions that any indoctrinated Christian would ask.

Unfortunately, most Christians are familiar with a savior who demands his acceptanc
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Steven Stark
Sep 07, 2008 Steven Stark rated it really liked it
If you consider yourself a Christian you should check out this book. If you're not, you may want to read it in order to get a Christian view that is not in the media nearly as much as the fundamentalist version. In fact, fundamentalists have defined the religion for so many people for way too long. I find it so odd that most who reject Christianity outright, whether atheists or agnostics, agree with the fundamentalists on what Christianity is! Why agree with that view?

Anyway, these guys believe
...more
Carefree Toni
Jul 11, 2009 Carefree Toni rated it it was amazing
This book moved me.

Despite being raised in the Catholic church and going to Catholic school, I have always had issues reconciling some of the information that I was taught about Catholicism. What was especially troubling to me was the fate of non-Catholics (doom), how science and faith can co-exist as well as why bad things happen to good people. This book helped me reconcile my issues in these areas.

The beauty of the author's writing style coupled with the interjection of uplifting scripture he
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Jeffery F Addison
Heresy

The universal redemption of all mankind by a gracious God is compelling, but anti-biblical. God is loving and merciful,but he is just, also. Mr Gulley denies the deity of Jesus and the inerrancy of Scripture, which renders his opinions anti-Christian. Personally, his opinions do not affect the individual, as salvation is between an individual and God.
Michael Lighten
Jun 12, 2013 Michael Lighten rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book about grace, forgiveness, and mercy; but in hindsight deep down I had the distinct feeling the authors were more in wishful thinking than reality. It is obvious that some people are not going to heaven, because their hearts and character is totally wrong for that accord. It would take some time after forgiveness, mercy and grace for them to touch unto the beauty of this place. There was once I thought that all would go to heaven, because I could not conceive of any in h ...more
Paul
Jun 26, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
I love this book. I agree with about 98% of what Gulley says. I'm about halfway through and only had one real disagreement with the author; he suggests that John the Baptist was disappointed in the Savior, that he had likely hoped the Savior would lean more toward justice than mercy, more "the axe is laid at the roots" type person. I think John knew exactly who the Savior was and he recognized his own role as the forerunner who would prepare the way for the Savior. This book departs by a very sm ...more
Betty-Ann
Aug 27, 2014 Betty-Ann rated it really liked it
This book was easy to read, full of personal stories and anecdotes and persuasive arguments. What I really loved about this book was its message, which resonated strongly with me. This idea of grace makes sense to me and this book made me think and wonder. That's one of the definitions of a good book, in my opinion.
Deann Doolittle
May 22, 2016 Deann Doolittle rated it liked it
This book makes you think. Some of his points I agree with, some points I've never thought of before, some points I'm not sure I agree with. I checked this book out from the library. Definitely going to write down the Bible verses he used and dig a little deeper.
Mattmiller
Apr 10, 2010 Mattmiller rated it did not like it
This book attempts to make a case for Universalism. Although the authors correctly point out problems that do occur in churches and with Christians, their flawed theology is hardly the remedy for how people can better love God and their fellow man. By openly advocating a "pick what you're comfortable with" approach to the Bible, their reasoning seems haphazard and nonsensical. The authors' view of a universal salvation implies that God is bound to save each and every person because to do otherwi ...more
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Philip Gulley has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, Gulley is the author of the Harmony series of novels, as well as If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, which are coauthored with James Mulholland.

He hosts "Porch Talk with Phil Gulley" on the Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI television's flagship show Across I
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More about Philip Gulley...

Other Books in the Series

Grace Series (2 books)
  • If God Is Love: Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World (Grace Series, #2)

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“I ran across the following thought that I JUST LOVE & I thought of you......
"I do not know where we will sit at the final banquet, but I suspect who will sit beside us - on our right will sit the person whom we have harmed the most. On our left will sit the person who has done the greatest evil to us. We will be seated between grace received and grace required".”
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“We are not to worship the Bible; we are to worship the One the Bible reveals.” 1 likes
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