Rethinking the Bible’s Place (It’s Just the Way It Is, Part 2)

There are some Christians who give the Bible godlike homage. It might as well have come floating down from heaven on the wings of angels. Should we ascribe to the Bible divine status?In Nazi Germany a Jewish fugitive fleeing for his life came to a small town. He sought out the house of the Christian pastor, hoping to find refuge. He knocked on the door and when the pastor opened it, he told his story and asked if he could stay a few days until it was safe to travel again. The pastor invited … [Read More...]


A Gay Catholic Priest on Sex and the Synod: A Q&A with Fr. Geoff Farrow

by Timothy VillarealThe Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, California experienced something of an earthquake in October of 2008. A month ahead of the vote on Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in California - the same Prop 8 that was finally put six feet under by the Supreme Court in 2013 - a Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Geoff Farrow, declared he was gay.Farrow, then 49, was the pastor of the St. Paul Catholic Newman Center in Fresno. Just before giving a sermon in which he … [Read More...]

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Covering Worship: Special LP Deluxe Edition

The sample size might be too small for statistical validity, but I’ll go ahead and offer a data-influenced hypothesis nevertheless.Concept albums are on the rise.Or perhaps we should call them “cover” concept albums, since most of the ones I’m thinking of are a concept, but they are also “covering” an album from the past.Here are the ones I’m listening to right now. You might have heard others. The Bad Plus recently put out a jazz rendition of Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring. It’s kind o … [Read More...]


A Seminary Invites Silicon Valley to Play: The Launch of a New Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS

I've just recently returned from an exceptionally joyful jaunt to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I learned first-hand the transformative power of play for solving real-world problems such as hunger, violence, racism, and climate change.Late last week, on a beautiful fall day in the sleepy hills of Marin County, the San Franciso Theological Seminary (SFTS) launched its new Center for the Innovation in Ministry with an extraordinary event that brought together Silicon valley gamers and i … [Read More...]

Two Visions, One Book — That’s Just the Way It Is

Biblical scholar John Dominic Crossan argues in his book, God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now, that in the biblical tradition, both Old and New Testaments, two incompatible and contradictory explanations of God’s final victory over the evil and injustice of the world run side by side, o … [Read More...]

Invite a Corporation to Church

The Supreme Court has declared corporations to be people, according to its Citizens United decision. And, likewise, in its Hobby Lobby decision, it decided that a company can be exempted from obeying laws that contradict his/her personal religious beliefs.This opens up an exciting opportunity … [Read More...]

Lucinda Williams: Our Greatest Living Preacher

Anticipation of Lucinda William’s new album has been growing for months. First there were blogs about it. Hints in the news. Then I heard about twenty minutes of it a few weeks back because NPR First Listen posted the whole two-disc set. I didn’t listen to the whole thing, because frankly, it’s a lon … [Read More...]

Francis of Assisi: God’s Holy Fool

by Susan R. PitchfordI lost my heart to Francis of Assisi for the same reason I lost it to Jesus: I’m a sucker for the combination of holiness and charm. It’s been said that Francis followed in the footsteps of Christ as closely as anyone ever has. And of all the saints, Francis is one of the mos … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: Was Jesus Perfect?

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for another question and answer session in our Stump a Scholar series here at Patheos Progressive Christian. No question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry … [Read More...]

Mark Driscoll and the Amazing Technicolor Evangelical Funhouse Mirror Sexual Worldview (Swedish Batteries Not Included)

Perhaps the recent tsunami wave of “Mark Driscoll Penis House” headlines has finally subsided to the point where one can write on the subject of the American Christian sexual worldview for a reason other than to gain an easy 10,000 views—and perhaps with a little substance in mind.Once Discr … [Read More...]

Incarceration or Redemption?

The weekend of Oct 3-5 is a time for congregations all over America to reflect in worship on the issue of mass incarceration:  for resources, see Justice Not Jails.Today, over 2,000,000 Americans are in jail or in prison.  We've got 5% of the world's population, but 25% of its prisoners.  More bl … [Read More...]

Preventing Suicide is Possible: A Q&A with Author Karen Mason

Throughout the developed world, self-harm is now the leading cause of death for people age fifteen to forty-nine, surpassing all cancers and heart disease. Even as you're reading this post, there will be one U.S. suicide every 16 minutes. And while these and other sobering statistics on s … [Read More...]

Stump a Bible Scholar: Wrestling with Zoroastrianism Influences

Tuesday is Stump a Scholar Day here at Patheos Progressive Christian — and no question is too tough or too radical for our experts! This month, we’re answering your questions about the Bible with resident expert Professor Jerry Sumney. Dr. Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theolog … [Read More...]

Can You Handle the Truth? On Galileo, Biblical Inerrancy, and the Courage to Question

A wonderful thing happened some four hundred years ago. Renaissance man Galileo Galilei thought to himself, “I wonder what the stars would look like through my telescope?” And so, he took an instrument that most in Europe had viewed as a toy, and he pointed it toward the heavens. The viewed startled … [Read More...]