Full episode
304: Heretics
Act Two


Once he starts preaching his own revelation, Carlton Pearson's church falls apart. After all, when there's no hell (as the logic goes), you don't really need to believe in Jesus to be saved from it. What follows are the swift departures of his pastors, and an exodus from his congregation—which quickly dwindled to a few hundred people. Donations drop off too, but just as things start looking bleakest, new kinds of people, curious about his change in beliefs, start showing up on Sunday mornings. (23 minutes)

Carlton Pearson is now based in Chicago. Russell Cobb is the co-host of the podcast Word Salad about language and identity, and he teaches at the University of Alberta.