Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christianity March 31, 2008

What is Progressive Christianity? For me, it is a form of Christianity which tries to do justice to the following:

1) Christianity has naturally (if not consistently) historically stood for those values that bear the label “progressive” or “liberal”: racial equality, social justice, poverty, inclusiveness, and so on.

2) To be a Christian at all, one has to allow for progressive revelation. One cannot claim that the Bible is authoritative, inspired, or anything else without realizing that there is change over the course of the Bible. Some recognize this, but stop at the end of the New Testament. Others stop with the creeds. But why stop at all? Why not accept that progressive revelation, however one understands it, is open ended and never finished? Looking back, and looking around, we can see things that New Testament authors didn’t see, and find other solutions to the same problems they sought to address.

3) Progress is not only made in theology or in revelation but even more obviously in our knowledge of the natural world. Information from the sciences needs to be embraced as a source of progressive revelation, one whose certainty is far greater than even the most dearly cherished theological affirmation.

Here are some other sources I’ve come across recently, reflecting a progressive Christian perspective:

A talk by Rev. Tom Honey, which addresses head-on the popular view of God, which leaves us with a God who can get us a parking space but not stop a tsunami wave:

(HT Debunking Christianity)

Mystical Seeker drew attention to a nice article in Macleans about contemporary scholarly and progressive views of Jesus.

There is a Center for Progressive Christianity (and a specifically Canadian one too).


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