The Hummingbird and the Parasite

Open Parachute shared the above image with a quote from David Attenborough. This illustrates well the theological objection that is raised not by atheists and agnostics in the first instance, but by liberal religious believers. And it relates not just to matters of creation but to the implications of thanking God for the good as [Read More...]

Actively Disliking Parts of the Bible

Towards the end of a post about the Bible and interracial marriage, Fred Clark wrote this helpful summary of how liberal Christians like him and myself approach the Bible: The so-called conservatives tend to complain at this point that those of us who recognize and accept the diversity of the Bible are just picking and [Read More...]

The God Beyond God

A variety of traditions, including Christian mysticism and modern existentialist theology, have spoken of the “God beyond God.” This is the very ancient idea that, beyond any sort of anthropomorphic deity that we may think of and tell stories about, there must be an even greater reality that transcends our ability to comprehend and describe. [Read More...]

Daring to Doubt

Without the courage to doubt, Christians (and the same applies to many other religious believers) cannot do what we are called to do. In times of suffering, people doubt not merely the existence of God, but their entire worldviews. We are called to comfort those who suffer. But we cannot do so with the confidence [Read More...]

Can my idea of God “live long and prosper”?

My post on mystics and atheists got a lot of attention. Dale Tuggy has responded (and the ending of his post inspired the title of this one). In response to his last question, I like Hans Küng’s way of putting it – that God ought to be thought of as “at least personal” rather than impersonal, but [Read More...]

Grief at the Loss of Absolutes

David Hayward shared the above cartoon. The title uses “deconstruction” in its popular rather than its technical sense. It is really about the application of Kübler-Ross' famous “five stages of grief” to the grief we experience when we realize that our conviction that we have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth [Read More...]

Struck by Grace

“Do we know what it means to be struck by grace? It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the Saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. To believe that something is, is almost contrary to the meaning of grace. Furthermore, grace does not mean simply that we are making progress [Read More...]

Reverse the Conveyor Belt

David Hayward shared the cartoon below: I don't see the church as a place that should convert humble questioners into confident (and, if the cartoon is accurate, rather grumpy-looking) exclaimers. I used to see it that way, but now my view is essentially the opposite. If anything, the church should be a place that brings [Read More...]

Progressive Then, Brutal Now?

This came my way on Facebook. I was going to just say “discuss” but I thought I should also say something more than that. A key question for those for whom the Bible is important is how to respond to the above, if one agrees with the statement. Is the way to be true to [Read More...]

The Liberal Bible

Benjamin Corey has written two posts, one about how reading the Bible makes you more liberal, the other about how reading the Bible makes you more progressive. (See the Patheos Progressive Christian Digest for this and more!) In related news, Bob Cargill drew attention to the fact that, if you missed last night’s episode of [Read More...]

Liberal Christianity in Three Books

Rod Dreher shared a challenge aimed at combating religious illiteracy: offer a list of three books – and no more than three – that will together give an adequate introduction to a particular religion. Other bloggers have already responded. So which would I choose for my own liberal Christian tradition? There is a real sense in [Read More...]