From Publishers Weekly
Traditionally, many Christian denominations have held fast to the belief that those who confess God's saving grace from sin will be rewarded with eternal life while those who reject this grace will be damned to eternal perdition. Such a belief, according to ministers Gulley and Mulholland, fails miserably to acknowledge the real message of Christianity: that God's gracious arms are wide enough to hold every person, regardless of shortcomings or sins. The authors did notalways feel this way, and their little meditation on Christian universalism is as much autobiographical confession as theological treatise. Using stories from their own lives and ministries, Gulley and Mulholland devote a chapter to each of the words in the sentence "why God will save every person." In a seamless voice, they tell of people's struggles to accept teachings of the church that keep them from closeness with God. They also recall events in their own lives where they stood in the way of God's grace operating in personal relationships. For example, when one of their ministerial friends declared his homosexuality, they realized that - despite their former judgmental stance on homosexuality - this person deserved God's love and grace as much as any other. Salvation, they argue, is simply being freed of every obstacle to intimacy with God. Gulley and Mulholland's stirring manifesto on the central role of universalism in Christianity will provoke traditionalists and encourage new ways of thinking about the nature and purpose of the Christian faith.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gulley, author of the best-selling stories set in fictional Harmony, Indiana, and theologian Mulholland have been friends since they first met at seminary, and they speak as one voice and in the first person--as they take great pains to emphasize: for though they are very different, they have had remarkably similar spiritual experiences. To many people, their book's subtitle and premise that God will save every person, without exception, amount to a controversial stance, to say the least. Some will think theirs is an awfully generous interpretation, and others--those who grew up being assured that some would be saved and most damned--will be appalled. Despite such reactions, including angry outbursts from friend and foe alike, Gulley and Mulholland stick to their guns as they tell their stories and the stories of people they have met with compassion, hope, kindness, and grace--and the lovely conviction of universal salvation. June SawyersCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved