Progressive Christianity is moving into the 21st century with a freedom to challenge and question tradition and scripture in ways that simultaneously respect the past and look for fresh ways to live into the future. Traditional Christian interpretations of scriptures on a wide variety of issues—hell, gender, sexuality, marriage, community, atonement, social justice, and leadership—are giving way to more nuanced understandings of authorial intent, deeper explorations of the linguistic and cultural realities of the biblical world, and broader definitions of Christian identity. What is the role of Scripture for progressives? How do we define its authority? To what extent is it prescriptive for 21st-century Christians?
Adam Hamilton, United Methodist minister and author
While my love for scripture has deepened over the years, so has my awareness of the questions we are right to ask when we read it. The questions begin on page one.
Barbara Brown Taylor, Author and professor
Open your imagination to the divine stories of the Bible and the world stands a better chance of becoming a sacred place, if only because you are out there acting like it is.
Brian McLaren, Author and speaker
The Bible is too good and too important to be left to those who won't think critically about it. And frankly, it is too dangerous.
Marcus Borg, Author, Speaker, Theologian
To neglect the Bible because of negative associations would be to abandon our heritage and to deprive ourselves of its riches and power as one of the world's great wisdom traditions.
Candice Benbow, Author and speaker
While I acknowledge the holiness of the Bible, I also acknowledge the places in our sacred narrative where human hands have obscured the love that set us free.
Jose F. Morales, Jr., Regional Minister Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
A new way—a third way—of reading the Bible is emerging, particularly among younger believers. This new way is neither fully conservative nor fully liberal.
Carol Howard Merritt, Presbyterian minister and author
As progressive Christians look to the Bible, we come to the text with the curiosity of people longing to know not "how," but "why."
Eric Smith, Congregational Church minister
Having walked the shifting shoreline, we prefer the beach to the path. We like the way it's never the same twice, and we find truth in the change and interplay.
Peter Laarman, Progressive Christians Uniting
Sooner or later we will make our own decisions about which parts of the biblical testimony hold ultimate authority for us.
Peter Matthews, United Methodist minister, author, and speaker
Will we simply speak on behalf of the disinherited or are we willing to incarnate the Gospel in ways that unleash the shackles the vast majority of the world finds themselves in?
Mark Sandlin, Presbyterian (USA) minister
Ultimately, this is where biblical authority rests for Progressive Christians: in relationship.
Mihee Kim-Kort, Presbyterian minister and author
The way I view authority is different now—I rely on the Holy Spirit to engage and provide meaning.
James McGrath, Professor and blogger, "Exploring Our Matrix"
I’d like to begin by challenging the notion that progressive Christians’ approach to and understanding of the Bible deserves to be contrasted with “traditional” interpretations.
Ben Corey, Blogger, "Formerly Fundie"
My fear for Progressive Christianity is the potential for it to spiral into a giant theological mosh pit.
Joerg Rieger, Author and Professor
We can reclaim the authority of the Bible when we realize that not even the most powerful empires, including current forms of capitalism, have the last word.
I can’t speak for all progressive Christians, but here’s how many progressive Christians approach, discern, and interpret the Bible...
A Spirit of renewal has been moving through Christianity. New meanings are being discovered in Scripture, meanings that are so strange and unnatural to us that they could only have come from God.
Scripture doesn’t line up very well with the conservative paradigm of scripture (some form of inerrancy). That’s why the paradigm needs constant tending and vigilant defending in order to survive.
Christians would do well to humbly acknowledge that our sacred texts are also limited and fallible. Jesus did.
Our parents had the Bible figured out. Our children’s parents don’t. How we're teaching the Bible to our kids.