Welcome to Progressive Christianity, Rob Bell!

A Review of Rob Bell’s new book: What We Talk About When We Talk About God (2013: HarperOne) A few years ago I wrote a “musing” about Rob Bell’s book, LOVE WINS, in which this former evangelical megachurch pastor abandoned the idea that anybody is going to hell. He now espouses the Christian theology known [Read More…]

WWFS? (What Would Francis Say?)

By Anne Howard, Executive Director The Beatitudes Society Francis. Francis is on my mind right now as we travel toward Palm Sunday, and Holy Week rises into view. I should say that Holy Week looms into view, as this can be a daunting time of year for church folks: preachers and palm-frond gatherers and liturgists and lily [Read More…]

This Is Not a Pipe – and other opinions…

I’m involved in an initiative here at USC to encourage the use of contemplative and meditative techniques in teaching and learning, in all kinds of classrooms. The last gathering of our Contemplative Pedagogy Faculty Interest Group was led by James Collins, assistant professor of classics. He introduced us to theater games which he employs with [Read More…]

Free Will or Lively Imagination?

A week ago, I attended a conference at Chapman University in Orange, CA, devoted to the topic of free will. The speakers included a physicist, a Sikh spiritual teacher, a rabbi, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and a couple of philosophers. The physicist mused about the possibility, at least at the quantum level, of future events [Read More…]

The Gift: A poem for Lent

(This poem, which I wrote during Lent in 1981, appears in my book, BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS – it is based on Numbers 21: 4-9, John 3: 13-15) THE GIFT No one’s raised who did not fall No one saves whom God did not send No one stands whose knees won’t bend No helper’s not been [Read More…]

The Questions of Lent: To Give Up or Not to Give Up?

Our Facebook Lenten Question of the Week series launched last week with this: How Might a Progressive Christian Approach Lent?  Throughout the week, our fantastic bloggers posted a number of thoughtful and inspiring responses. Some of the standouts included: Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove:  The Fast We’ve Chosen: Begging with our Friends Kurt Willems:  Ash Wednesday: Because Sometimes Rich [Read More…]

Why I’m Giving Up Politics for Lent

By Jeff Fulmer Okay, this is an easy one. I was getting tired of all the polling and endless speculating before the 2012 elections. Two days after President Obama was re-elected, the Republicans were threatening to run us off the fiscal cliff and were still trying to find a cover-up in Benghazi. It’s draining and, [Read More…]

Walking Through Lent: Progressive Christians on the Journey

Once considered the liturgical purview of the Catholics, Lent – the 40-day period from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday before Easter – has become more and more embraced as a liturgical season with legs within the Protestant church. With the comfort level of spiritual practices on the rise in mainstream congregations for the past decade, progressive [Read More…]

A Common Man: A Tribute to Richard Twiss

This weekend I was set to speak in Detroit.  A few hours before the event, I got news that our brother Richard Twiss had crossed over to the other side, after a massive heart attack a few days ago. With tears running down my face, we started the event by lighting a candle for Richard [Read More…]

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…]