10 Gift Ideas for Progressive Christians

10 Gift Ideas for Progressive Christians November 9, 2018

It can be difficult to find off-beat and unusual books and videos outside the mainstream that grapple with faith and Christianity.

Here’s a list of 1o under-appreciated or unusual gift suggestions for the progressive Christians in your life.

The Book of Daniel – The Complete Series

Because of Conservative Christian backlash, this series was doomed to failure before it ever aired on NBC. Some of the story lines are dreadful, but the special relationship between Daniel and Jesus is poignant and powerful. The series is worth watching just for their moving scenes.

The Forbidden Word

The life of the Rev. Dr. James Henry Harris was like that of many black men of a certain age in the American south, but his personal journey and his struggle with the n-word is haunting and memorable. (Full disclosure, Dr. Harris was one of my professors in seminary. I helped with this unusual memoir and I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements.)

Finding God in the Questions

Written by a medical doctor, the medical editor for ABC News, and published in 2004, this was one of the first Christian books I read after my baptism. There is always room for faith and science.

Evan Almighty

This sequel to the blockbuster Bruce Almighty has everything that Bruce Almighty lacked– charm, heart, and sincere faith.

As Evan struggles to understand and do God’s will, like many of us, he finds himself torn between work, family, and faith. Despite several ‘animal’ jokes, this is suitable for the whole family.

Whose Gospel?: A Concise Guide to Progressive Protestantism

Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. is a legendary preacher who gives voice to God’s love for all. He also affirms every progressive belief in support of God’s people. He’s the best preacher I have ever seen – I once saw the passion of his convictions bring him to tears during a sermon.

Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks

Dr. Diana Butler Bass is among the leading progressive Christian voices today. An academic and former professor, her writing is like her sermons — accessible and informative.


Progressive Christians looking for a Christian movie outside the Conservative Christian bubble, will love this. The story of Jesus and his apostles told through the eyes of the Roman officer assigned to investigate the disappearance of Jesus’ body; I love this movie.

Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places

Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian and her finding God in everyday circumstances is similar to the Celtic tradition of recognizing the Divine everywhere.

Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality

John Philip Newell writes, preaches and speaks with the same, slow, precise cadence. Every page of this small book has something of value and interest. This is an excellent introduction to Celtic Christianity and a wonderful way to find God in the world around you.

Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World

I absolutely love Anam Cara, by the late John O’Donohue, an excellent scholar of Celtic Christianity. According to Amazon, this new book is conversations that “span a number of years and explore themes such as imagination, landscape, the medieval mystic Meister Eckhart, aging, and death.” I look forward to reading it.

In addition to this list,

I wanted to add a list of progressive Christian writers, young and old. Some publishing today and some from long ago. I recommend each of them, for different reasons, starting with, Walter Rauschenbusch. Every senior at my seminary had to write a paper about Walter Rauschenbusch, that’s how significant he was. For those who think Progressive Christianity is a modern creation, his social Gospel theology developed around the same time as fundamentalism. Other important progressive Christian writers include:

Rachel Held Evans

William Barber II

John Pavlovitz

Walter Brueggemann

Tony Campolo

Shane Claiborne

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thomas Merton

Marcus Borg

James H. Cone

Jim Wallis

Jen Hatmaker

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!