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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)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,156 ratings  ·  116 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, 256 pages
Published November 23rd 2004 by HarperOne (first published 2003)
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4.19  · 
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 ·  1,156 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Nov 13, 2007 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.
Apr 15, 2010 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
Aug 27, 2007 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
Aug 09, 2010 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
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: heresy

This book is full of new ways to define and conceptualize commonly misunderstood ideas:

- Salvation means being freed from every obstacle to intimacy with God

- Justice is the end or purpose of salvation, not the means of salvation. Justice does not mean wrath

- Grace is the means by which we work toward justice as the end. In this context, Romans 6:1-2 would say that grace doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want with no consequences, but grace allows us to seek God’s justice as an end and to work
Mar 22, 2009 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
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
Dec 31, 2007 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.
Thomas Holbrook
Nov 05, 2011 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,
Steven Stark
Sep 06, 2008 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
Apr 01, 2009 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
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quaker, spirituality
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
Apr 10, 2010 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
Jan 30, 2008 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
Jul 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book is absolutely horrible. His experiences have led him to adopt a heretical theology. Unfortunately, he is also an antiChrist according to 1 John and does not believe the Bible to be inerrant. He picks and chooses which parts of the OT/NT are "accurate" representations of the "true God." The God of Jesus (gracious, compassionate, loving) is the god he adopts. Sadly, he has traded one false god for another and is leading people astray from the truth with his book. I know my words may seem ...more
May 29, 2009 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...
Jan 24, 2008 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.
Jul 12, 2008 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 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.
May 13, 2008 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.
John Beeler
Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Mostly underwhelming. Even though I nearly believe what the authors suggest, I found their arguments a bit silly.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Feb 22, 2011 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.
Andy Dixon
Jul 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'll sum up my rating of this book by quoting the author:

"Can a Christian believe God will save everyone?
Obviously, if a Christian must believe the Bible is the 'infallible words of God,' the answer is no. There are too many verses about judgment, hell, and the eternal punishment of the wicked to make such optimism reasonable. If you are unwilling to question the Bible, neither my experiences nor my arguments will carry much weight."

"I believe Jesus had a special relationship with God and an imp
Leah Moses
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Changed my life!

This book makes the most sense if you truly have forgiveness in your heart. I forgive because I am forgiven! These words ring true....God will save everyone. I am a believer. This book can change your life if you'll let it. Read this book prayerfully. The authors use scripture to back up everything. Very eye opening.
I give this book of love 5 stars!

Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Anyone who has studied the Bible knows that is it full of contradictions. Everyone makes their own decisions about what is literally true, what is metaphor, or poetry, or just plain wrong. Is God wrathful, angry and judgmental? Or does God bestow love and grace on every human being? Would God demand blood atonement for our sins? Pastors Gulley and Mulholland come down firmly on the "God is Love" side and make a compelling case that God will save every person.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This said the same thing over and over again, kind of. I am personally not interested in a heaven that includes Hitler. I don't know why the authors didn't just go all the way and become atheist after such a thorough reading of the Bible.

But these are the kinds of Christians I want in the world.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You either agree or disagree with this one. I am in the first camp. I found their arguments compelling and well researched. Those who disagree will do so with much certainty and teeth gnashing. I'm ok with that.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One can accept Universalism while also believing in the divinity and the exclusivity of Christ. To accept one doesn't mean you have to reject the other. The authors would not agree. Also, many parts of the book are boring; there are better books out there on the subject.
Carrie Smith manley
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book many years ago, while in the midst of my evangelical lifestyle. It got me thinking about grace and love. I am still very much a believer in Christ, but I probably don't fit the average evangelical description. I am a fan of grace. I need to re-read this book.
Matt Matthews
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting read for sure. Sure makes you think about things differently. Whether I agree with all that he says, I am not sure. Regardless, I like to stretch my mind and see things from another prospective and this book definitely does that.
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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

Other books in the series

Grace Series (2 books)
  • If God Is Love: Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World (Grace Series, #2)
“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".”
“We are not to worship the Bible; we are to worship the One the Bible reveals.” 2 likes
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