New Handbooks on Progressive Christianity: Book Reviews

WHY WEREN’T WE TOLD? A Handbook on ‘progressive’ Christianity, edited by Rex Hunt and John Smith (Polebridge Press, Westar Institute) and LIVING THE QUESTIONS: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity, by David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy (Harper One) WHY WEREN’T WE TOLD? – that you don’t have to take the Bible literally in order to be a serious, faithful Christian?  That’s the [Read More…]

The Passionate Jesus: A Q&A with Author Peter Wallace

How often have you stifled a deeply emotional response to a person or situation – or even yourself – out of a sense of wanting to be “a good Christian?” In a new book, The Passionate Jesus: What We Can Learn from Jesus about Love, Fear, Grief, Joy and Living Authentically, the Rev. Peter Wallace challenges our [Read More…]

The Arts of Manhood

This past week, I’ve engaged in a couple of intense conversations about manhood in America. A lovely, thoughtful young friend of our family, age 25, was lamenting that she could not find men her age who were worth the trouble of dating. She finds herself interested only in men who are at least ten years [Read More…]

Worse than an Unbeliever: An Atheist Grapples with the Bible

It’s been a long time since I’ve approached something like this. I “came out” as an atheist a few years ago, and I’ve tried to avoid finding “the right interpretation” of the Bible since then. I used to love it. But, over time, it got really frustrating when I finally realized that no one really cared if [Read More…]

An Extremist for Love: A Sermon for MLK, Jr. Day

[Editor’s Note: This was the sermon preached at my UCC church yesterday, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. I found it remarkable on so many levels, that I asked the Rev. Eric Smith if I could share it here at Faith Forward on this important holiday. Enjoy!]  A Sermon from January 20, 2013 First [Read More…]

Perfect Love Casts Out Guns

The recent mass murder of children in a Connecticut school has resulted in at least some redemption, in the form of the current effort by the President to introduce sensible gun laws. Banning assault weapons and imposing universal gun registration would be modest measures to reduce the appalling level of gun violence in our country. [Read More…]

Emergence Christianity: A New Day

As a young pastor, one who will serve, pray, create, and organize in my city for many years ahead, I sense the need and the opportunity for other forms of Christianity. We are in a new day. [Read more…]

Jay Bakker Knows Why We Need Batman

By Ben Howard I’d heard of Jay Bakker before, but I’d never met him. I’d seen pictures, but never in person. He was smaller, more vulnerable. I have this vision of pastors and preachers being the kind of gravitational personalities that draw you in with loud, bombastic voices. That’s not Jay. From what I can [Read More…]

Emergence Christianity ’13: Questions

By Terry Ramone Smith I had a great weekend in Memphis. Saturday started off with the announcement of Animate Faith from SparkHouse, a video oriented small group curriculum for emerging churches. Animate features Brian McLaren, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Shane Hipps, Mark Scandrette, and Bruce Reyes-Chow (who has a book on race releasing next month called Words [Read More…]

Emergence Christianity ’13: The Second Day

By Troy Bronsink The reverberations continued at day two of Emergence Christianity 2013 in Memphis… I’ve heard somewhere that the echo decay in a cathedral the likes of St. Mary’s can be as much as 20 seconds. In other words, if you are completely silent and you clap, high tech instruments may be able to [Read More…]

Emergence Christianity: A Conversation or a Movement?

For as long as I’ve been involved with Emergent, we’ve always struggled to identify what exactly “Emergent” is. 10 years ago, when I was at the very first Emergent Convention in San Diego, it was a discussion that seemed to be never ending. Eventually, people involved got tired of having the same conversation over and [Read More…]

A Question for Phyllis Tickle

By Chris Smith I have been at the Emergence Christianity gathering in Memphis for the last day and a half. The focus of this conference is celebrating the life and work of Phyllis Tickle. It’s been delightful to hear Phyllis speak, after praying the Divine Hours for over a decade and reading many of her other books. Phyllis [Read More…]