The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity

The Phoenix Affirmations, named for the town in which they were created and the mythological bird adopted by ancient Christians as a symbol of resurrection, offers disillusioned and spiritually homeless Christians, and others, a sense of hope and a tolerant, joyful, and compassionate message.

Built on the three great loves that the Bible reveals, love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self, these twelve affirmations refelct commitments to environmental stewardship, social justice, and artistic expressions as well as openness to other faiths.

Transcending theological and cultural wars, inclusive and generous in spirit and practice, these principles allow believers and seekers alike to affirm their Christian faith in a fresh way.

Resource Types: Books.

Review & Commentary

One thought on “The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity

  1. Review

    The Affirmations of twelve theological principles originated in Phoenix, Arizona, and were named for an ancient Christian symbol of resurrection. They were developed by the author, assisted by members and friends of the Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ. Eric Elnes is senior pastor of the Church and co-president of CrossWalk America, an organization committed to “resourcing, strengthening, and celebrating the emerging progressive Christian faith.” He states that his book “is the product not only of scholarly research and pastoral reflection, but of many public and private conversations for which I am most grateful.” The background of the book is the realization that over the past few years the media has been dominated by the proponents of biblical fundamentalism and religious extremists such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Swaggart. With this media focus, Elnes writes, “…it is easy to get the impression that Christians don’t have much to do with Jesus anymore.” Elnes is convinced, however, that the majority of Christians in our country “whether they realize it or not, are part of a fundamental shift taking place in the nature of Christianity.” He maintains that this shift has been occurring for more than a century. He writes, “As Marcus Borg has observed the shift is largely a product of Christianity’s encounter with the modern and post modern world, including science, historical scholarship, religious pluralism, and cultural diversity.” The shift is “generally referred to by scholars and church leaders as a shift toward ‘progressive Christianity’ or ‘an emerging Christian faith.’ It may very well turn out to be the most important shift in Christianity in the past five hundred years.” The Affirmations declare that what is involved in being a Christian is seeking to embody what Jesus taught about the love of God, love of neighbor and love of self. The author devotes one chapter to each of the twelve affirmations. Each chapter has a one sentence summary of an Affirmation, such as “Walking fully in the Path of Jesus without denying the legitimacy of other paths that God may provide for humanity.” This is followed by a three paragraph full version of that Affirmation divided into “As Christians We Find, We Affirm and We Confess.” This is followed by the author’s exposition and reflection on the Affirmations “based on personal engagement with them as well as input gleaned from laypeople” in his church. The author is convinced that if “present developments are any indication” the Christian faith is emerging “more buoyant, expansive, and compassionate than anything we have imagined in the last millennium, if not longer.” He writes, “Use this book to orient you to the emerging faith in its current form, and if you choose, jump in and emerge with it. This is room enough for everyone.” On Easter Sunday, 2006, CrossWalk America, joined by The Center for Progressive Christianity, launched a walk scheduled to end, on Labor Day, 2006 in Washington, DC., where the Phoenix Affirmations will be symbolically “nailed to the door of America.” I would add that by reading this book, we will join CrossWalk America “to unite progressive Christians nationwide, encourage meaningful discussions, and establish common ground for people of faith.”

or, use the form below to post a comment or a review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>