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PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN

Andy Gill
by Andy Gill

Church Marketing Sucks: What the U.S. Church Can Learn from Kendall Jenner and Pepsico’s Blunder

Quick Question (answer without stopping to think): Who’s thought to be the most influential Christian today? N.T. Wright, Chris Tomlin, Joel Osteen…? While I don’t have the research to prove it’s any one person, I can say with confidence that it’s none of the guys listed above. What I can say with confidence is that [Read More...]

Brian McLaren
by Brian McLaren

The Conservative Evangelical Project: An Unexpected Grief

I just took my first sabbatical. Turning 60 seemed like a good time to get off the road, quiet down, take stock, recharge. It was all I had hoped for. I rested. Walked. Rode my bike. Fished. Played my guitar. Finished a book. Stayed out of airports. Binge-watched a couple TV series with my wife. [Read More...]

Capitol & Cathedral
by Jacob Lupfer

Is Callista Gingrich the next USA ambassador to the Holy See?

Callista Gingrich will almost certainly be the next American ambassador to the Holy See. This has been in the works for a while. Since the election, Mrs. Gingrich’s name is frequently floated and in January, it was confirmed that she is being considered. Plugged-in Vatican journalist Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register seems to [Read More...]

Christian Piatt
by Father, Son, and Holy Heretic

Director, Animator, Author Kelly Asbury

Animated feature films have been around since “Snow White,” but they’ve changed dramatically. How do artists and directors keep up? I talked with Kelly Asbury, veteran Hollywood animator and director of the new movie, Sony Pictures’ “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” as well as “Shrek 2” about the technical and creative process behind the stories that [Read More...]

Christianity Is Changing
by Michael Hardin

Metaphysical Jesus. — by Rob Grayson

This guest post encourages us to be disciples, and not merely fans, of a down-to-earth Jesus. Rob Grayson is a freelance translator from Coventry, England. He is passionate about amateur theology and likes to write about the deconstruction and reconstruction of faith, theology and Christian culture. Rob blogs at www.faithmeetsworld.com. Metaphysical Jesus.   By Rob [Read More...]

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
by CBF Writers

For such a time as this: Celebrating Earth Day 2017

April 22 will mark the 48th annual celebration of Earth Day — a day first set aside in 1970 to encourage support for environmental protection with events held in more than 190 countries around the world. That first celebration, now nearly a half-century ago, put environmental issues front and center in the U.S. society and politics. With more than 20 million Americans participating in this awareness and advocacy effort, the first-ever Earth Day displayed the grassroots popularity of concern for our planet.

Dry Bones
by Kathleen Mulhern

Sweeter Far Thy Face to See: An Easter Reflection, John 20.1-18

The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene, Rembrandt Oh Jesus! To collapse in grief, in the sense of utter hopelessness that the death of any beloved—but oh, your death, you who have given us the light of a new life, the hope of the unquenchable love of God, the vision of something beyond the horizons of [Read More...]

EcoPreacher
by Leah D. Schade

Is Earth Worth Dying For? A Reflection on the Earth Martyrs

The faithfulness of the Earth Martyrs shows us that because Earth is worth dying for, we now know what is worth living for.

Edges of Faith
by David R. Henson

The Appearance of Hope (An #Advent Poem)

The Appearance of Hope (An Advent Poem) Not long after John appeared in the wilderness with sweet locusts on his breath Not long after the expectant crowds churned muddy waves of confession into the Jordan Not long after he baptized Jesus in the cold river on a day overcast with love and thunder Not long [Read More...]

Emerging Voices
by Various

I’m Sorry: Reflection on Grief for Holy Saturday

  Easter is great, no question, but today, the day before, is a day to hold our grief. Maybe the day before, the best thing we can say to each other is, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry that the kindest, gentlest teacher who didn’t take any nonsense, either, is dead. There had been this moment, when maybe [Read More...]

Everyday Black Matters
by Grace Sandra

The Sexually Pregnant Mind

I see the curves of my breast and they please. I see the round of my rump and it entices. I see the button of my belly & giggle at its cuteness. I rub the bulging bump that sustains my daughter it is tight but lovely. My legs are thick pillars supporting the whole of [Read More...]

Faithful Democrats
by Various Authors

The Refugee Crisis

True to our fears, the Trump administration is already inflicting whiplash on everyday Americans, as many of us flit from report to report in an effort to ascertain exactly what the new President is doing. Perhaps the most glaring example of this from the first several weeks of the new administration has been the travel [Read More...]

Faith Forward
by Voices from the Progressive Church

What to Say When There is So Much to Say: Preaching in the Era of Trump

“When the media and the politicians keep rowing our people around, it will be helpful for preachers to drop a weighty anchor, steady the boat amid all the ripples, and look at political patterns in relation to the good news of Jesus Christ.” — O. Wesley Allen, Jr., author, Preaching in the Era of Trump [Read More...]

Faith With Wisdom
by Paul Peter Jesep

During Lent sacrifice ‘time’ not chocolate: take action

Lent is social action and spiritual growth. Hence, rethink how you experience the season. Social Climate Southern Poverty Law Center reported since November’s election hate crimes increased dramatically. Jews, women, Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals are facing threats. American-Jews are especially under attack. In March, every US Senator signed a letter to the Trump Administration. [Read More...]

Feminismxianity
by Caryn Riswold

Feminist, Interfaith, Public: My Luther Year

Five hundred years ago, an Augustinian monk drafted a disputation on indulgences wherein he detailed how corruption in human institutions threatened the heart of the gospel and the soul of the faithful. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses thus emerged as a pivotal point in the Protestant Reformation. The document wasn’t the first nor by any means [Read More...]

The Official Blog of Benjamin Corey
by Benjamin L. Corey

A Case For Christian Universalism (From A Non-Universalist)

Christian universalism is a solidly biblical and reasonable belief.

Freelance Christianity
by Vance Morgan

One Heart and Soul

“What does the Lord require of us?" Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God. And don't forget to doubt.

FreedHearts
by Susan Cottrell

The Ultimate Question: What If You’re Wrong??

Are we so terrified of an angry God that we choose to err of the side of judging a person instead of loving them? Unfortunately, the answer is “yes” for much of the church. And it is destroying the lives of people and entire families – many of whom we call brothers and sisters in [Read More...]

God is Not a Republican
by Benjamin Dixon

There’s No Way In Hell Jesus Would Vote For Donald Trump

Trump has shown us he is depraved, prideful, unremorseful, and has the temperament of a petulant child. His enduring support from the Religious Right has laid bare the emptiness of their commitment to vote for Republicans out of a sense of morality. Let’s make this clear from the outset: this is not an endorsement–religious or otherwise– of Hillary Clinton. I’m sure [Read More...]

Good and Truth
by Coleman Glenn

Faith & Fidelity: Part 5, The Purpose of Faith

What is the purpose of faith? It is the same as God's purpose for everything in creation: a joining together in love.

Hellbound
by Kevin Miller

You go ahead and keep feeling; I’ll do the thinking for both of us

It seems to me that when it comes to controversial topics like gun control, we tend to believe the other side is good at feeling their way through the issue but not so good at thinking their way through it. Meanwhile, we think we’re masters at dispassionate analysis, which is why we’re able to see things [Read More...]

Hippie Heretic
by Chuck McKnight

I’m Giving Away a Stack of 7 Books! (R. Foster, B. MacHaffie, B. McLaren, R. Sider, J. Yoder, et al.)

I have a problem. I like used-book and thrift stores too much. I can’t help but grab stacks of books I think sound interesting. The problem is that I end up getting duplicates of titles I forgot I already had. I’ve started using Goodreads to catalog my library, and that’s helping, but I still keep [Read More...]

Hugh Hollowell
by Hugh Hollowell

We Must Testify

The election had me upset beyond belief. Not because my “team” lost, but because the man we elected has promised that a goal of his administration would be to effectively declare war on people I care about. People I pastor. People I love. People I am married to.

Interfaith Encounters
by Robert Hunt

Cross-Talk in the UMC

With the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting next week to consider several cases related to human sexuality the interwebs are abuzz with debate, particularly about Bishop Oliveto, who was an acting leader and was consecrated as bishop while married to another woman. As I read the various blogs and multiple responses one thing becomes clear. [Read More...]

Irreverin
by Erin Wathen

Your Church Does Not Need Volunteers

I was writing my weekly note to the congregation  (a few days late, because I took Monday off and it’s all downhill from there). Usually in this note, I share a few words about the message for Sunday so that we can all be reflecting on the same topic throughout the week. It makes the sermon [Read More...]

James Wellman on American Religion
by Dr. James Wellman

Everything Belongs and the End of Religion

Recently I’ve been thinking that in Evangelical culture in the Pacific Northwest there is a strain of a radical gospel that is post-religious, or even a-religious. It doesn’t bind people back to a doctrine, or scripture, or the ecclesia, but frees them into a radical kind of Christ-consciousness that I find myself saying, well, yes [Read More...]

Jeff Hood
by Jeff Hood

When White People Die

  Auburn University is the type of place that most people wouldn’t believe exists until they experience it. For four years, I was consistently surprised at the backward things I heard over and over again. Though much time has past since graduation, I still think about my alma mater from time to time. When I [Read More...]

Jerseygirl, JESUS
by Kerry Connelly

Church Orphan: On Desert Walking And Jesus

This year, Easter kind of sucked.   Or did it? Did I even notice? Honestly, I’m not sure. This is what happens when you’re a church orphan.   I am in that horrible place where I can’t seem to go to my church for a plethora of reasons and no reason at all; and yet [Read More...]

John Shore
by John Shore

The Women’s March is over. Now what?

A young woman, angry and depressed over our current political situation, asks what she can do, now that the Women's March is over.

Kermit Zarley Blog
by Kermit Zarley

Did James Comey Affect the Election?

I posted a lot about the U.S. presidential campaign last year and then the election. But since then, I have tried to avoid posting about politics. I was shocked when FBI director James Comey announced last month that, back in the Fall of 2015, the FBI began to suspect that the Russians had been trying [Read More...]

Kimberly Knight
by Kimberly Knight

Done being Gay and Christian in America

Some of y’all may know that in July I will be moving with my new wife to the Netherlands. The inspiration for this leap across the pond bloomed one traumatic night in November when the changing of the guard ushered in the new regime of madness under which we now find ourselves. See, Betsy has [Read More...]

Knack for Noticing
by Alyce McKenzie

The Green-Eyed Monster

I have a nice blend-in alto voice that makes a pleasant contribution to our church choir. A woman I’ll call Peggy has a gorgeous soprano voice and is often asked to sing solos. We don’t really look alike, except that we have the same color and length of hair. A few weeks ago as I [Read More...]

LECTIO
by Eric Smith

Shepherds and Crucified Kings: The Lectionary for Reign of Christ

Jeremiah 23:1-6 What It’s About: Shepherds. But also kings. When Christianity was young, and it was trying to piece together how to think about Jesus (was he God? was he a man? where did he fit in to Jewish texts and traditions?), Christians mined Jewish scriptures for models. They found many places, especially in prophetic texts, [Read More...]

Living A Holy Adventure
by Bruce Epperly

The Adventurous Lectionary – Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017

The Adventurous Lectionary – Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017 Bruce Epperly Luke 24:13-35 Today’s reading highlights the Emmaus Walk. It could be titled, “Let’s Go For a Walk.” Or, “Walking with Jesus.” Jesus doesn’t come to us “in the garden” but on the highway, the seven mile stretch from Jerusalem to Emmaus, [Read More...]

Mercy Not Sacrifice
by Morgan Guyton

The debate that’s older than Paul’s letter to the Galatians (#NoSuchLaw)

The United Methodist Church faces a major flashpoint next week when our Judicial Council meets to decide whether lesbian bishop Karen Oliveto can be summarily dismissed from her post without a clergy trial. It’s a fascinating test because a true judicial conservative in the mold of Neil Gorsuch would be constrained by the limits of [Read More...]

Modern Kinship
by David and Constantino Khalaf

5 Questions for Queer Christians About Finding the Right Church

Many LGBTQ Christians who attend a conservative, non-affirming church will at some point face an internal struggle: Should I stay where I’m not fully welcome, or should I find a new church? The question often produces a cocktail of emotions, especially for those who love their church and the relationships they’ve built. There’s often a [Read More...]

Nomad
by Brandan Robertson

Blinded By Bias: FOX News and Naming Our Prejudice

Yesterday, FOX News posted an article and interview about a Tweet that the progressive UCC Minister, Rev. Al Sharpton, tweeted out over the weekend that critiqued Trump’s refugee ban, saying: “Before you head to church today, remember to thank God for his son, Jesus a refugee who fled to Egypt.” Apparently, a number of conservative [Read More...]

Paperback Theology
by Tim Suttle

10 Stunning Facts About Davinci’s Last Supper for Maundy Thursday

Every year on Maundy Thursday our church does a short visio divina around Leonardo DaVinci’s famous mural, “The Last Supper.” This practice, and this painting, have both come a rich part of our Holy Week tradition. Here are a few fun facts about Davinci’s famous masterpiece: DaVinci didn’t choose the subject matter. The work was commissioned by [Read More...]

Post Traumatic Church Syndrome
by Reba Riley

These 3.5 Books Saved Me From Suicide

In early June 2016, I drove my car onto the tracks and waited. When the train rumbled in approach, I heard the whistle. Relief washed over me. Finally. Finally I will escape this deep, black Darkness. Finally I will wake up from my living nightmare. I would have said a prayer for forgiveness, but I believed in a [Read More...]

Progressive American
by James Ireland

Christianity at the White House Under Trump

With the celebration of Easter just past it might be a good time to assess how Donald Trump is working with and for Christians considering their overwhelming support for him. Trump is approaching three months in office and so it is not unreasonable to see where he has succeeded and failed. During the election we were told [Read More...]

Progressive Youth Ministry
by John Vest

Friends of Time: youth ministry and the clock

Youth workers come in all shapes and sizes, but they tend to have at least this one thing in common: they are busy! Youth workers are some of the busiest people on the planet, trying all the time to navigate the busy schedules of young people while also maintaining their regular scheduled programming and, in [Read More...]

Radical Christian Millennial
by Christian Chiakulas

Easter is a Myth (and That’s Okay)

Don’t be ashamed of the word “mythology.” Mythology is how we explain our world. What does the story of Easter tell us?

Religion Prof
by James F. McGrath

Doctor Who: Smile

Last night’s episode of Doctor Who began with a discussion of why the seats in the TARDIS are so far away from the controls, the fact that you don’t steer it you negotiate with it, and... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Rhetoric Race and Religion
by Andre E. Johnson

White Silence and the Making of #WhiteChurchQuiet

On Monday Night April 3, 2017, the Center for Community Service and Justice at Loyola University-Maryland, invited me to give the Messina Lecture. I talked about white silence and the creation of #WhiteChurchQuiet. I like to thank Dr. Jean Lee Cole for offering the invitation to speak and everyone associated with the wonderful Loyola University-Maryland [Read More...]

Sarcastic Lutheran
by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Wounds and Wells; A Sermon on The Samaritan Woman

This is one to listen to if you really want to get the meaning – and also a bonus joke from Stuart  which made everyone crack up during what was otherwise a serious sermon! Click below. Last week I was talking with a friend about the practice of keeping a diary –and I said that, to [Read More...]

slacktivist
by Fred Clark

Sunday favorites

"Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy."

Slow Church
by John Pattison & Chris Smith

Conversational Bodies.

To be created in the image of the triune God is to exist as a conversation. God, as trinity, exists as three “persons” in an eternal conversation with one another: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, listening and responding, giving and receiving with one another.

Spiritual Direction 101
by Teresa Blythe

Why I Became a Spiritual Director

The practice of spiritual direction rescued me. I never felt I fit into the conservative church I grew up in, so I set out as a young adult to find a spiritual path that focused on God’s unconditional love of creation. The journey took considerable time. My new path had little to do with the [Read More...]

spiritchatter
by Jack Levison

The Detritus of Dreams

I saw this photograph today from Parsons School of Design in a New York Times article. It contains the backpacks left behind by migrants coming across our border. Of course, it is a powerful image of loss and naivete. Of dreams shattered. Of panic. Of giving up–both things and hope. That is where the photo [Read More...]

Storied Theology
by J.R. Daniel Kirk

A Man Attested by God: Response to Hurtado

Larry Hurtado has posted to his blog the review he read of my book, A Man Attested by God, at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in November. A number of people have asked for my response. What follows is not my response from the session, but a newly written response for my blog. Appreciation I want to [Read More...]

Surprising Faith
by Alicia de los Reyes

Something like a socialist dream

Olivia Smith, Associate Minister Intern at a social justice-oriented church in South Seattle, tackles displacement in spiritual terms.

Talk with the Preacher
by Amy Butler

Signs of Life

John 21:1-19 What are you supposed to do after resurrection? I mean, really. What are you supposed to do after everything you know about life changes? We’re one week away from resurrection, so it’s natural to ask the same question the disciples were asking each other. Now what? Well, they didn’t know.  They didn’t know [Read More...]

Teaching Nonviolent Atonement
by Suzanne Ross and Adam Ericksen

Benjamin L. Corey Webinar – Jesus: The Nonviolent Resurrection

Dr. Benjamin L. Corey claims that Jesus didn’t resurrect to kick ass and take names. He came back to offer peace. I sat down with Ben to talk about Jesus’s nonviolence. The resurrection confirms Jesus’s nonviolent life and death. The early Christians followed Jesus in this pattern. They gave their lives to follow the resurrected [Read More...]

The Everyday Awakening
by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Arrests Resume As Moral Movement Continues

Two years ago this week, seventeen people were arrested on the first “Moral Monday,” sparking a summer of protests in which tens of thousands came to register their objection to immoral policies backed by dark money and extremist legislators. More than 1,000 people were arrested in the largest civil disobedience campaign since the 1960s sit-in [Read More...]

The Bite in the Apple
by Nancy Rockwell

The Skeptic

Buncha malarkey. Snake oil. Quack, quack, quack. Christmas, yes. Easter, no. These are common human answers. Much more skeptical than Doubting Thomas, who, after all, was a part of the group around... {This is a content summary only. Click on the blog title above to continue reading this post, share your comments and browse the other areas of my blog.}

The Holy Kiss
by Roger Wolsey

O We of Little Faith.

Christians in America are no longer people of faith, we’re people of fear. Instead of truly putting our trust, faith, and reliance upon the Way, teachings, and example of Jesus, we put our actual faith in guns, our obscenely over-funded military, and in strong-man  & authoritarian leaders. …You’re saying, that doesn’t apply to me! Okay, [Read More...]

The Naked Jesus
by Dr. John O'Keefe

Why I Fear A Christian Nation

I fear the idea of a Christian Nation. Why? Because, at no point in history, has making Christianity the Official Religion of any place, shown positive results.

The Pangea Blog
by Kurt Willems

How Jesus Defeats the Monsters of the Deep (and Shows Us How to be Human)

During the Season of Lent at Pangea Church (Seattle), we’ve been walking through a series called “Encounters by the Sea.” The basic idea is that Jesus is the one who defeats evil. Here’s a longer summary of the talks: Much of the New Testament narrative of Jesus’ ministry takes place “by the water” – specifically by [Read More...] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

The Peripatetic Preacher
by John C Holbert

The Bible as Mirror: Trump and Aaron

The Bible seems to present no end of Trumpian mirrors for our delectation and discussion. As I have offered these various mirrors to our 45th president, I recognize that some of my readers may see these articles as little more than sour grapes at an election lost or as angry pique toward a man who [Read More...]

The Thoughtful Pastor
by Christy Thomas

Sexist pastors, sexist news commentators: losses and wins

Today: a possible victory for women subjected to sexist practices partnered with the long-running “Christian” and unquestionably sexist practice of keeping women’s voices subjugated. In the New York Times April 19, 2017, edition, the major editorial title reads, “Is Your Pastor Sexist?”  It’s a piece about the extremely famous NYC pastor, Tim Keller, an excellent [Read More...]

The View from Dixon Hall
by Maria Dixon

To Bind the Wounds: 3 Millennials write the Trump Inaugural Address

One of the things I love about my day job is the joy of watching my students surprise themselves with their own gifts and talents. I also adore the fact that our Corporate Communication and Public Affairs program is the home to some of the most successful political, corporate and non-profit strategic communicators in America. [Read More...]

To Do Justice
by Rebecca Todd Peters

How to Reject Xenophobia – Have Lunch Instead!

There many things - large and small - that Christians can do to fight the xenophobia that threatens our country. One simple thing to do is have lunch!

Unfundamentalist Christians
by Dan Wilkinson

Nones, Dones and Religionless Christianity, Part 2

For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, religious language is often a mask or a shield that protects us from saying what we actually mean. It allows us to hide ignorance behind certitude.

Unfundamentalist Parenting
by Cindy Brandt

How to Parent when Grandparents are Conservative?

I am honored to interview Carol Howard Merritt today on the blog for Unfundamentalist Parenting. Carol is a Presbyterian pastor and the author of Healing Spiritual Wounds. For those of you who have experienced abuse at the hands of church or Christian institution, I hope you will find solace and healing through Carol’s words, as [Read More...]The post How to Parent when Grandparents are Conservative? appeared first on Unfundamentalist Parenting.

Unsystematic Theology
by Kyle Roberts

Believe it or Not, People Still Go to Church for the Preaching

The primary reason people give for going to church may surprise you: Good preaching and teaching. At least, that’s what Gallup found in a recent poll (March 2017). The poll listed common activities of church, asking respondents whether they rank as a major factor, a minor factor, or not a factor, in their reason for [Read More...]

What God Wants For Your Life
by Fred Schmidt

Recovering Confirmation

Our conversations about the church’s pastoral prayers led to a conversation this week with my students about the sacrament of confirmation. One astute member of the class observed that his efforts to prepare adolescents for confirmation seemed rather futile. “I’m not convinced that at age fourteen they know what they are promising to do, and [Read More...]

Why I Still Talk to Jesus — In Spite of Everything
by Frank Schaeffer

What’s The “Conservative” Response Been to the Rash of Fox News-Sexual Predators? Silence.

When I grew up in the evangelical ghetto good manners about all things sexual were the gold standard of both my evangelical upbringing and our ideas about what it meant to be a conservative. The thought that abuse of women, and sexually predatory antics would be defended by conservatives would have been as unthinkable as [Read More...]

Writing Life
by Marilyn McEntyre

The harrowing of hell

The harrowing of hell A harrow is a spiked implement that is drawn over ploughed land to break up clods, tear up weeds, and level the ground for planting. Knowing that bit of agricultural history gives the common figurative use of the word harrowing an important layer of meaning. We speak of a harrowing experience—one [Read More...]