Frank Schaeffer Is Wrong about Progressive Christianity

I’m glad to call Frank Schaeffer a friend (and I’m glad that he’s toned down his blog headlines from the FOX News variety that he used to publish). I’m glad to have him on the Progressive Christian channel here at Patheos. But he recently wrote a post about what’s wrong with progressive Christianity, and he’s wrong.

Actually, I agree with Frank’s premise:

We can talk about inclusiveness, diversity and making ourselves vulnerable until the cows come home but that doesn’t make religion more interesting or Christianity stronger it simply changes the labels and the shorthand jargon we talk to ourselves in.

The problem with North American Christianity is not the window-dressing– it’s the whole package.

But I wholeheartedly disagree with what he states as the main problem:

The great weakness of Protestant American Christianity across the board is that by and large it dispensed with liturgy. Having dispensed with liturgy it dispensed with the signposts that point people toward an identity that binds communities together.

To that I say [cough] bullshit! [cough].

[Read more…]

Stir It Up this Sunday

Over at the lectionary blog that I help curate,, I used the video response this week to ponder why in the world “Christ the King Sunday” was introduced in 2915 1925, just as the last kings of the Western world were going the way of the dodo bird.  I mean, I get that Christ is the King of All Creation and all that.  I’ve got no problem with it.  It’s just that it seems a bit anachronistic to introduce a Sunday recognizing Christ as King just as kingdoms are fading away.  It’d be like starting a “Rotary Phone Sunday” now.

Well, to learn more, I turned to my handy-dandy companion for all things calendrical, The Oxford Companion to the Year. (I know it’s expensive, but I cannot tell you how often I’ve turned to this volume to discover items both trivial and profound about the days of the year, both liturgical and profane.)

For example, on page 636, I learned that prior to this, the final Sunday before Advent, being called Christ the King Sunday, it was called, Stir-Up Sunday, with this explanation: [Read more…]