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Authors of Provocative Book, If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person, to Deliver Mendenhall Lecture October 13

October 7, 2003

October 7, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - “[A] stirring manifesto on the central role of universalism in Christianity,” wrote Publishers Weekly of If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person. Monday, October 13, 2003, the book's authors, theologians Philip Gulley and Jim Mulholland, will come to the campus of DePauw University to deliver the Mendenhall Lecture for the fall semester. The speech, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Meharry Hall of historic East College, is free and open to the public.

What happens after we die? Philip Gulley and James Mulholland grew up believing that only a chosen few would be saved and go to heaven, while most people would be damned. Even while studying to become pastors, they maintained this traditional view of human destiny. But as they experienced the pain and joy of their parishioners, each of these pastors began to hear a small but insistent voice speaking to them of God's boundless love and extravagant grace, calling them to a new understanding of divine will and human destiny. As each sought to be faithful to their experience of a loving God whose grace is unlimited and unconditional, both men arrived separately at the same truth: God will save every person.

In If Grace Is True, Gulley and Mulholland describe their journey to this controversial view and proclaim their belief in a God of love, rejecting the prevailing view of a God who saves some and rejects others. This provocative theological stand has not been easy for them to maintain, just as those who have advocated universal salvation have struggled since the days of the early church. Proclaiming this message of love has put both men's pastoral calls in jeopardy and caused them to face censure from friends and colleagues -- even within their own Quaker community, with its history of honoring individual revelations. Nevertheless, they persist in their courageous proclamation of grace, hoping their message will be heard by the millions of Christians who are trying to reconcile their love for Christ with their love for non-Christians. For seekers, for thoughtful Christians, and for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, Gulley and Mulholland offer a beautiful message of hope. “Gulley and Mulholland have extended and deepened the meaning of God's grace in decidedly thoughtful and lovely ways,” notes the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, while EthicsDaily.com asserts, “The authors celebrate God's extravagant grace in ways that remind us of the amazing thing we often sing it is.”

Philip Gulley (seen above) graduated with honors from Christian Theological Seminary. He is a Quaker minister and the best-selling author of Front Porch Tales, Signs and Wonders and Christmas in Harmony.

James Mulholland (seen at right), author of Praying Like Jesus, is a theologian with ecumenical experience in the American Baptist and United Methodist denominations. He presently pastors a Quaker meeting. He lives in Indianapolis, where he is involved in a wide variety of social ministries.

The Mendenhall Lectures, which were inaugurated in 1913, were endowed by the Reverend Doctor Marmaduke H. Mendenhall. His desire was to enable the University to bring to campus "persons of high and wide repute, of broad and varied scholarship" to address issues related to the academic dialogue concerning Christianity. Although Mendenhall was a pastor in the North Indiana Annual Conference of what was then called the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the parents of the United Methodist Church, he explicity dictated that lectures be selected without regard to denominational divisions. Thanks to this endowment, DePauw has been able to bring theological and religious scholars of international repute to campus for nearly a century.

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