Fourth-generation fundamentalist Carlton Pearson, a Christian megastar and host, takes a courageous and controversial stand on religion: he proposes a hell-less Christianity and a gospel of inclusion that calls for an end to local and worldwide conflicts and divisions along religious lines. The Gospel of Inclusion explores the exclusionary doctrines in mainstream religion and concludes that, according to the evidence of the Bible and irrefutable logic, they cannot be true. Bishop Pearson argues that the controlling dogmas of religion are the source of much of the world's ills and that we should turn our backs on proselytizing and holy wars and focus on the real good news: that we are all bound for glory, everybody is saved, and if we believe God loves all mankind, then we have no choice but to have the same attitude ourselves. The Gospel of Inclusion also tells the story of a powerful religious figure who watched everything he had crumble due to a scandal. Why? He didn't steal money nor did he have inappropriate sexual relationships. Following a revelation from God, he began to preach that a loving God would not condemn most of the human race to hell because they are not Christian. He preaches that God belongs to no religion. The Gospel of Inclusion is the journey of one man's quest to preach a new truth.More
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He's an Evangelical Preacher, so he knows how to project, resonate, and modulate his voice for effect. I'm glad he narrated his own book.
I'm horrible about giving up something for Lent and sticking with it. So in recent years, I decided during Lent to read a book with a religious theme, someone's experience of God or something spiritual and mystical. This seemed a more positive way of participating without torturing myself with giving up bread, alcohol or cake.
This year I choose "The Gospel of Inclusion" because I heard tell of Bishop Pearson's fascinating journey on the NPR radio program "This American Life". Bishop Pearson's transformation, loss, struggle and ultimate gain is a compelling story.
The problem with this book is it preaches to the already converted. As Bishop Pearson found out first hand when he lost practically his whole congregation, you cannot persuade "Christians" away from a dogmatic, rules & regulation, judgmental, bigoted, fire and brimstone mentality. This type of church-goer needs this way of thinking, otherwise they feel lost in the vastness of this world.
So everything he imparts in the book is to those who already have a more open, inclusive, spiritual way of looking at God, religion and faith. I didn't really come away with any new revelations.The book does touch on what was lost of the real message of Jesus and his teachings, due to the formation of "religion". So much of what we are taught has been influenced by the politics and power struggles which took place starting year 1.
I believe Jesus came to remind us of our own power and divinity, but this message was deliberately obliterated, and manically stamped out to keep control on societies. It was good to hear Bishop Pearson speak on this in similar terms.
I recommend the book, but be prepared for some redundancy.
- L. R. Lindsay
I absolutely loved this book!!!
- Audrey Roddy