Does the Bible Matter? Progressive Christians and Scripture

scripture

Progressive Christians are often better known for what we don’t believe than for what we do affirm. I say “we” because I am one of them.There is an obvious reason: we disagree with much of the most publicly visible form of contemporary Christianity. Commonly called “conservative” Christianity, its political form is “the Christian right.” Thus we tend to define ourselves with a series of negations that differentiate “us” from “them.” We don’t believe what they do.  We’re not like them.At t … [Read more...]

Easter Again

I sympathize with clergy who preach about Easter to the same congregation for several years. Of course, you say what you think is most important the first time.So what do you say the second time and the third time and more? Do you avoid saying what you said the first time so that you don’t repeat yourself? But wouldn’t that mean leaving out what you think is most important because you’ve already said it? Or do you proclaim it again, even if in somewhat different words?I am in a similar si … [Read more...]

Continuing the Resurrection Conversation

I am pleased to see that my response to Tony Jones has generated a thoughtful response from him and many thought-filled replies from others. At the risk of continuing the conversation too long, I offer the following.I begin with a few additional and hopefully clarifying comments. Tony correctly reports what I said at an event that he attended. I am quite sure it was at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, a lecture event that also featured Brian McLaren and Diana Butler Bass. I did say … [Read more...]

Meeting Marcus Borg Again for the First Time

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I am pleased to become a Patheos “blogger” (a word none of us knew until recently). I have visited the website frequently for a couple of years and consider it to be the best religious website that I know.Briefly to introduce myself, I am in today’s terminology a progressive Christian and, except for about a decade in my 30s, I have been deeply involved in the life of the church all of my seventy years.  I grew up as a Scandinavian Lutheran and in my 40s became an Episcopalian, attracted to t … [Read more...]

The Resurrection of Jesus: Physical/Bodily or Spiritual/Mystical?

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This is an excerpt of an article written for Patheos on April 18, 2011.The choice between understanding the resurrection of Jesus as "physical/bodily" or as "spiritual/mystical" was included in the invitation to write this essay. The distinction is helpful; it makes clear that Christians have understood the meanings of Easter in different ways. But for more than one reason, including the common meanings of these words in modern English, I don't like either option.I begin with the … [Read more...]


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