The Gospel of Inclusion

Part Three Introduction and
Chapter Eleven: Re-Imagining God and Other Heretical Notions

Notes, Questions, and Reflections

In preparation for this week’s discussion, please think about the Basic Homework Questions as you read it. Mark in your copy of the book or in your notebook which paragraphs pertain to these questions for you. Include your thoughts as to how they pertain to it. You’ll be ready to engage in discussion with the Group.


Then come back to this page and check out the additional questions and thoughts from past courses that St. John’s MCC people have had about the section that are listed below....

Chapter Eleven: Re-Imagining God and Other Heretical Notions


Which passages or paragraphs interested or inspired you most from this chapter?


How is it that God can be considered to have the characteristics of a mother?


Pearson’s logic concerning the finite and the infinite (p. 230) helps to form his assertion that God cannot be defined. Yet, how can we understand God if we cannot define God?


How does Pearson explain “the Devil?”


On page 233, Pearson asks, “What if the ‘accuser of the brethren’ is not some supernatural invisible entity with power second only to God, but is instead the law or religious legalism itself, not a man in a red suit with a pitchfork? What if the devil is not a personality, but instead a personification – an idea?” What difference would that make?


How does Pearson’s discussion of the Holy Trinity make you feel? How would you put Pearson’s understanding in your own words?


“When you make your religion your God, you lose the God – and the good – of your religion.” (p. 237) “This usually begins as reverence for the Deity. This slowly deteriorates into control and manipulation, using the so-called will of the Deity to control and manipulate the people, holding them hostage to their fear of the God. God becomes a tool of intimidation for earthly purposes.” (p. 237) Can you affirm this observation from your own experience? How?


“Man knows he cannot control God, but he can control religion because he invented it, and he knows that by doing so he can influence the emotions and minds of those who either believe or dare not admit their disbelief.” When it is put like that, why do we have church at all?


“Jesus came to save us from religion and inspire in us relationship instead.” “He is not competitive and has no need to compete with anyone or anything.”