The Gospel of Inclusion, known by other names such as “inclusion,” “inclusivism,” “universalism,” “universal reconciliation,” or “ultimate reconciliation,” is nothing new in church history. Certain church fathers endorsed the view, and the early church ultimately took a turn in its theology where the fire of Hell was viewed as “purgatorial” or “transformative” in nature (out of which, the doctrines of Purgatory and Annihilation were born).
Today, however, the Gospel of Inclusion, universalism by another name, is making inroads into the church once more. Pastor D.M. Richardson, Founder of internet-connected The Essential Church, has taken up the mantle to respond to this controversial doctrine. In her work, Doctrinal Deception: Responding to Carlton Pearson’s The Gospel of Inclusion, Richardson tackles certain claims made by the Bishop that are contrary to sound doctrine. Pearson makes claims such as 1) the idea of a personal God or Jesus as one’s personal Savior is foreign to Scripture, 2) one can be saved yet “not know it,” 3) The idea of original sin is unscriptural, 4) and the idea of Hell as a place of eternal torment is “a divine torture chamber” whose God has “an anger management problem.”
Pearson also says that all religions and beliefs are equally valid manifestations of God and that the true God can’t be fully known in any one faith. Not even atheist Bertrand Russell agreed with Pearson (and Russell was a staunch atheist with little regard for Christianity). Pearson was disowned by his Pentecostal denomination when he started preaching from the pulpit that “everyone goes through Hell, but nobody goes to Hell.”
Richardson’s new book is part of a two-book series that seeks to provide a biblically faithful and theologically robust Christian response to Pearson’s decade-old book, The Gospel of Inclusion: Reaching Beyond Religious Fundamentalism to the True Love of God and Self. The fourth-generation, Classical Pentecostal preacher and Bishop has emerged again in the news in recent days due to a new biographical movie about him at Netflix titled “Come Sunday.” The movie arrived on Netflix last month.
Though this is Richardson’s first book on the Gospel of Inclusion, The Essential Church Founder and Pastor is no stranger to the false doctrine. While attending seminary for her Master of Divinity degree in Christian Apologetics, she studied the doctrine under the Seminary’s Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Kenneth Keathley, author of Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach. Keathley mentored Richardson in her subsequent post-graduate, Master of Theology degree, where she concentrated in the area of Theology of Religions while studying the historical Filioque Controversy.
The Filioque Controversy is a historical church debate that engages the Trinity to answer questions about the procession of the Holy Spirit (“Does the Spirit proceed from the Father, or the Father and the Son?”). Filioque is a Latin term, meaning “and the Son.”
Book 1 of Doctrinal Deception is on sale at Amazon in both digital (Kindle) and paperback versions for $9.99 (Kindle) and $20 (paperback). Book 2 of Doctrinal Deception will arrive on Amazon next week. In it, Richardson answers deeper theological questions pertaining to the Doctrine of Reconciliation and whether or not the appropriation of the atonement is automatic.
To pick up your copy of Doctrinal Deception, head on over to the Amazon link below.