The Gospel of Inclusion: Reaching Beyond Religious Fundamentalism to the True Love of God
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The Gospel of Inclusion: Reaching Beyond Religious Fundamentalism to the True Love of God

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  66 ratings  ·  18 reviews
?As Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, these are my Theses, nailed to the door of today's religious culture.? Speak the name ?Carlton Pearson? and you will get one of two reactions: ?heretic? or ?prophet.? Pearson was a Christian mega-star, host of his own TV show, traveling in private jets to speak at evangelical Christian gatherings. His...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published April 30th 2007 by Azusa (first published 2007)
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I would give this book more stars for its ideas than for the actual writing, which was pretty repetitive. But it's real food for thought. Many Christians will disagree with his simple premise, which is that Jesus's death reconciled all humankind to God. Not just those who invite Him into their lives, but everyone. So we're all "saved," and let's get on with the business of God's work on earth, and not argue about who's going to heaven. I like this guy.
I listened to this on audio from Audible -- an abridged version, which I don't normally go for, but after I heard him on "This American Life" I wanted more, and wanted it now. I grew up in an evangelical religion that is heavy on the hellfire, and after many years came to the conclusion I don't believe in hell. When you have this kind of upbringing and come to that sort of conclusion, you feel like you're swinging out there in the breeze without much backup. Friends with that upbringing may stil...more
Carolyn Lind
Bishop Carlton Pearson was a powerful, respected leader in the Charismatic/Pentecostal community, “a respected child of the Oral Roberts tradition.” When he embraced the Gospel of Inclusion, his community rejected and persecuted him.

A few quotes to sample the flavor:

“I could no longer hide my personal theological crisis in the success of my ministry. I felt what I was hearing was important and from God; disruptive and insurrectionist, to be sure, but necessary, right and irresistible. Sometimes...more
An important and surprising book!

Bishop Pearson was a an evangelical pastor high in the Pentecostal Church hierarchy, when he realized that a God of love would not condemn His beloved children. But when he started to preach this message of love he was rebuked, ostracized and shunned on a national level. His congregants left by the thousands as and he soon lost his mega-church. He courageously stood by this gospel of love and has found new faith, followers and family among people who were hungry...more
Not a Christian and not interested in joining the club (but not really interested in any labels or organized religion, period, so it's not really personal.)

However, I have massive respect for Christians like Rob Bell, Bishop John Shelby Spong, and now I can add Carlton Pearson to that list. Huge respect. This is the direction I feel Christianity should go in if it wants respect instead of the scorn most of us have for the vast majority of it.

Pearson elevates the Christian faith into something a...more
I thought the "This American Life" segment on this guy was WAY more interesting than his book. On a theological level, I like some of the points Bishop Pearson makes, but thought his conclusions were a mixed bag--some good, some less convincing. If you are interested in this topic, instead of reading this book, I would highly recommend Brian McLaren's "The Last Word and the Word After That" which is the third book of his "New Kind of Christian" series (a series best read in order, I think).
Sondra Jones
I like this book for its ideas and Pearson's courage. I'd like to get a printed version as a jumping-off point for more exploration of the ideas and sources.

Having grown up in the Pentecostal church and having struggled what I was taught about God, Jesus, sin and "the world", Pearson's views get a big "YES!" from me.

I'm so happy to discover someone from the inside speaking out and describing a different path based on reason and the unconditional love of God.
What if everyone everywhere were "saved" already, and there was no hell or wrathful God? What if God is not a Christian -- or Moslem or Hindu -- and religious institutions and doctrines are man-made? An exposition of these ideas by a former Fundamentalist/Evangelical bishop who no longer accepts exclusivity, unquestioning belief, or attempts to control people through fear; aimed largely at Christians, his arguements most often use Christian scriptures.
While I cannot subscribe to all Pearson says, found some of his tenets heretical for me, wished he had discussed prayer, church attendance, and heaven, he does bring up some interesting points worthy of consideration. I found his writing repetitive, however, and his tendency to attack whatever is in the Bible that disagrees with his religious philosophy annoying (especially since he uses the Bible as his foundation).
E'yen Gardner
I love courage of the author to share his beliefs in spite of the opposition that continually confronts him. I thought this book was okay. It seemed to focus more on what is wrong with religion than share the gospel. But all in all God's so loved and I believe that is what the author was trying to express. God's love unifies while religion separates.
Richard Kirkwood
Excellent book, a real eye opener, I recommend this book to anyone that feels the need to know that God is more than what the religious establishment has been teaching this world, that he is a loving and inclusive God no matter where your beliefs may lie.
I had the pleasure of hearing Bishop Pearson speak at my church a few weeks ago. It was an inspiring event. All fundamentalist communities should really look at what he has to say.
Jul 16, 2010 Andrew added it
I have been a fan of Carlton Pearson ever since I heard him on This American Life/NPR a long time ago (two or three years?). So far, the book is energizing and inspiring.
Read just a few pages -- my impression was that he's preaching the Nehor philosophy of "lift up your head and rejoice for all will be saved at the last day.
John Woods
Aug 18, 2008 John Woods rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
What an incredible man, full of integrity and has truly emulated the example of Jesus of Nazareth, by giving up all he has in order to follow truth.
I heard this guy on 'This American Life' (I think), and so far, his book is pretty interesting.
Nov 20, 2007 Brandon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Excellent introduction to evangelical universalism
Mitchell26 McLaughlin
See my note on Pearson's other book.
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