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Progressive Christianity—drawing together mainline Protestants, emergent Christians, and post-evangelicals—gathers its strength from a new vision of the world, one defined by justice and wholeness. The challenges, however, are many: cultural, theological, environmental, and institutional.

Yet there is reason for hope, and the energy of a common goal unites a wide diversity of Christian believers. These essays address both the unity of faith and that diversity, confronting head-on some of the obstacles and opportunities ahead.

This topic is part of our summer symposium on the Future of Faith in America. For more resources visit our Future of Faith main page.


Featured Panelists

Nomads, Indians, and Saints: A Generation in Search of Real Christianity

Nomads, Indians, and Saints: A Generation in Search of Real Christianity

Jennifer Butler

Many Millennials are actively looking for a community in which to practice their values; they simply don't know where to find one.

A New Pastoral Leadership in the 21st Century: Authentic and Transparent

A New Pastoral Leadership in the 21st Century: Authentic and Transparent

Adam Cleaveland

It's important to me, as a person and as a pastor, to be honest and open with my congregation about my life and my struggles.

Belief and Behavior Up, Belonging Down

Belief and Behavior Up, Belonging Down

Elesha Coffman

Progressive Christians are addressing disaffiliation — and a related, dangerous rise in loneliness among Americans — in a variety of ways.

Our Christian Future: Faith Liberated from Religion

Our Christian Future: Faith Liberated from Religion

Benjamin Dixon

Perhaps in the future we will actually consider how great God must be.

Progressive Christianity and the BlackLivesMatter Movement

Progressive Christianity and the BlackLivesMatter Movement

Andre Johnson

Is the Black Lives Matter movement a blessing for the church?

Progressives and Justice: A Shaking of the Foundations

Progressives and Justice: A Shaking of the Foundations

Peter Laarman

The climate crisis will, like a refiner's fire, separate those with good religion from others whose primary allegiance is to Mammon and/or Moloch, regardless of the faith they may confess with their lips.

Progressive Christianity: Imagine a Future Like the Kingdom of God

Progressive Christianity: Imagine a Future Like the Kingdom of God

Alyce McKenzie

I'm not as concerned about the future of religion in America as I am about the future of God in America.

A Desirable Future for Progressive Faith: Three Conversions Required

A Desirable Future for Progressive Faith: Three Conversions Required

Brian McLaren

In light of the history of belief-system Christianity we have good reason, if not a moral summons, to consider a conversion that places a Christ-like way of life in the center.

Living

Living "In God" Shapes the Future of Faith

Doug Pagitt

The life of God is framed not as a small, tangential story intended for a select few, but the Big Story meant to include all.

The Netflix-ization of the Church

The Netflix-ization of the Church

J. Ryan Parker

The church can adapt for the future by paying attention to what people are watching and how/where they're screening it.

Organic, Free-Range Church: Where the Church Goes From Here

Organic, Free-Range Church: Where the Church Goes From Here

Mark Sandlin

The Christian faith should look much more like Jesus and the Spirit—standing over and against the status quo, and given to doing its own thing in the name of love.

Wild Yeast and Open Fermentation: The Future of Progressive Christianity

Wild Yeast and Open Fermentation: The Future of Progressive Christianity

Eric Smith

The defining trait of progressive Christianity seems to be a dissatisfaction with the status quo, and a recognition that the life is draining out of the old cultivars with every passing generation.

Progressive Christianity: Opportunities Ahead

Progressive Christianity: Opportunities Ahead

Cameron Trimble

There may come a day when our churches die, our denominations collapse, and our faith feels irrelevant. But this is not that day. I believe our best days are ahead.

Is There a Future for Progressive Christianity?

Is There a Future for Progressive Christianity?

Dr. James Wellman

I would ask two primary questions on this question: First, does anyone care? And, second, is the institution important?

Commentary From Our Blogging Community

Will Progressive Christianity Be More Evangelical?

Will Progressive Christianity Be More Evangelical?

Kyle Roberts

These are interesting days for American Christianity. We appear to be in the midst of some major shifts in the American religious landscape. The recent Pew Research study showed that, between 2007-2014, Evangelical Christianity saw a slight decrease in its share of the religious population (from 26.3% to 25.4%); however, it was the only segment [Read More...]

And Yet: Two Words to Transform The Church

And Yet: Two Words to Transform The Church

Erin Wathen

A friend of mine who works in youth ministry has a theory: Millennials, contrary to popular belief, are pro-institution. They will be the ones to rebuild all of the organizations that the Gen Xers have systematically destroyed. It’s true; we Xers have been pretty down on structure and systems ever since we endured the first rounds [Read More...]

6 Ways to Reach Millennials: The Future of Progressive Christianity

6 Ways to Reach Millennials: The Future of Progressive Christianity

Guest Contributor

by Glenn Zuber The recent May 12th Pew poll (“America’s Changing Religious Landscape”) added a new wrinkle to the familiar debate over why established, traditional U.S. churches aren’t attracting younger generations like they used to in the 1950s. It turns out that Millennials more than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers don’t trust institutions of any kind and so they [Read More...]

Franklin Graham, Islam, and the Future of Progressive Christianity

Franklin Graham, Islam, and the Future of Progressive Christianity

Adam Ericksen

Franklin Graham recently made a stir with his 2.1 million fans on Facebook when he posted about the murder of four US marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He wrote, Four innocent Marines (United States Marine Corps) killed and three others wounded in ‪#‎Chattanooga yesterday including a policeman and another Marine–all by a radical Muslim whose family was allowed [Read More...]

The Dones, Rob Bell, and the Future of Progressive (and Evangelical) Christianity

The Dones, Rob Bell, and the Future of Progressive (and Evangelical) Christianity

Zach Hoag

A few days ago I wrote a piece on my personal blog about “Graduating.” It was partly a reflection on the story of Rob Bell and how it resonates with my own. It was also about the “Dones” and “post-church” category and how I identify not with the category itself, but with certain elements of the category even [Read More...]