Happiness in the Afterlife [Questions that Haunt]

I have been astounded and gratified at the number of questions that have been submitted for this new series, The Questions that Haunt Christianity. Scores have come in, many from atheists (thanks to The Friendly Atheist for the shout out). Other questions have come from doubts, and from wavering believers. You can submit a question via my website; if your question is chosen, I’ll be in touch to let you know about the post, and to ask whether you’d like your name (and links) used or not.

As a reminder, a question will be posted every Tuesday. I look forward to all of you answering the question — and debating each other’s answers — in the comment section. On Friday, I’ll post my own response.

Our first question comes from Bart Mitchell:

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#progGOD Is Live!!!

Last month, I posted something out of frustration. I’d been reading lots of blogs written by progressive Christians. They were quick to criticize their more conservative brothers and sisters, but it seemed to me that they almost never said anything substantive about God. So I started to wonder, What do progressive Christians think about God? I mean, I know what I think. I just didn’t know what my compatriots think.

So I asked. Say something about God, I said, Something substantive — not about Jesus or the Bible, but about God. Some started by clearing their throats, talking about why it’s so hard to write something about God, about how God can’t be summed up in a blog post, etc. I called BS and reaffirmed the challenge.

Then the posts started rolling in. Dozens of them were submitted. And that has filled me with hope — progressive Christians do have substantive things to say about God.

Deb Arca, my awesome editor at Patheos, has now helped me collects all of those posts and list them on a dedicated page on Patheos. It’s called #progGOD: An Open-Source Theological Conversation. Many of you who read this blog have posts there, and I hope you’re as gratified as I am to see the abundance of good and interesting theology in the list.

I think that #progGOD deserves to be broadcasted far and wide. I really hope that you will post the link on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and, of course, on your own blog. Progressive Christians take some deserved grief for being cagey about saying constructive things theologically; we seem to be more inclined toward deconstruction. But #progGOD shows another side, a constructive side, and the world should see that.

We’re going to have more challenges for progressive theo-bloggers, probably about one per quarter. So, watch this space for your next challenge. In the meantime, enjoy reading all of the great posts at #progGOD.

The Questions that Haunt Christianity

Today, we start a new series here at Theoblogy. It’s called The Questions that Haunt Christianity, and it will be my attempt — as a theologian — to address the issues that keep people from faith.

I’m not afraid of doubt. I, myself, am a doubter. But I consider a large part of my vocation as a Christian theologian to proffer intellectually honest answers to the big questions of faith.

So this series is for everyone who doubts. It’s for your friends who are agnostic and atheistic. It’s a place for them to email me a question, and get an honest answer — even if the answer doesn’t necessarily show Christianity in the best light. It’s a place for you to submit the biggest hurdle you have to fully giving yourself over to the Christian faith.

Here’s how it will work:

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#progGOD Posts Coming Soon!

Again, thanks to all of you who contributed to my challenge for progressive theo-bloggers to say something substantive about God. We received about 60 submissions, and they’re being curated into a page by Patheos for release early next week. You can read about it here first.

And, we’ve loved doing it so much that we’re planning on quarterly challenges for progressive theo-bloggers, to live under the #progGOD heading. Let me know your suggestions for future topics.