A Friendly Atheist Critique of Evangelical Acceptance of Gays

Fellow Patheos mega-blogger, Hemant Mehta, watched my video on evangelicals like Rob Bell and Jim Wallis coming around on marriage equality, and he has some thoughts of his own:

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Jim Wallis, Rob Bell, and Gay Marriage

Odyssey Network asked me what I thought of Christian leaders like Jim Wallis and Rob Bell coming out in favor of marriage equality now, after being silent (Bell) or against gay marriage (Wallis) in the past. Here’s my response:

“Progressive” Is the Wrong Word

Not long ago, I participated in a symposium here at Patheos which asked, “Progressive Christianity: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?”  I’ve been thinking about it since, and I’ve had some thoughts coalesce for me.

I don’t think that “progressive” is the right term for our version of Christianity.

I happen to agree with critics who claim that “progressive” is the currently acceptable word because the word “liberal” has been tarnished and is not salvageable.  (For more on that, see this.)

And, at the same time that conservatives were making “liberal” a dirty word, they were claiming the word “evangelical.”  Some, like Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, and Randy Balmer, refuse to relinquish the term “evangelical” to the conservatives.  But I’m afraid that the tipping point has come and “evangelical” is the purview of conservatives.

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The Wild Goose Festival: The Talks

This is another in a series of reports on Wild Goose, which happened last weekend.

In general, I thought that the quality of talks at the Goose was incredibly high.  Like, as high as the old Emergent/YS Conventions and Christianity21, which to this point have been the events of our tribe that have had the best quality and quantity of talks and discussions.

I was a speaker host, so I spent much of Friday and Saturday running around, introducing speakers, and hearing bits and pieces of talks.  I missed some that I really wanted to hear.  But I caught some that I hadn’t expected to.  Here’s what I saw and heard in talks: [Read more…]