Heaven is a symbolic expression of two complementary yearnings: the longing for perfection in this world, and union with the divine. We are drawn by the promise of perfection. On an interior level this is felt as the promise of perfect love, happiness, and the ideal relationship. The idea of hell is essentially a symbolic yearning for a moral order in which the good are rewarded and the bad are punished.read more
I have been asked many times, Well, do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus and of eternal life for believers? Yes or no?
My answer is: “Well, it’s both ‘yes’ and ‘no’!”
I see no conclusive evidence for an afterlife. Having said that, I find enormous meaning and power in the metaphor of heaven and feel very motivated by the many ways we can manifest heaven both in this life and beyond our life.read more
Bruce Epperly gives us the bullet points on how Progressive Christians have left go of traditionally negative images of heaven and hell in favor of a more loving, honest and transcendent vision of everlasting life.read more
If we could grasp Berry’s vision, then our biblical images of judgment would not be terrifying, tormenting images to be feared, but purifying images to be welcomed, invested with new meaning.read more
Creation liturgist Sea Raven juxtaposes the thinking of Matthew and Paul for her first article of the lenten season.read more
This service was created by Gretta Vosper from the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity
The service can be led by one person but is richer with a diversity of voices. In some places, options for Reader 1 and Reader 2 are marked to suggest a particular flow. Leaders are urged to work out who is responsible for what and use the options provided only as guidelines.
The space is prepared for the service with an easily accessible table, cloaked in dark cloth, with baskets of tea lights set upon smaller tables or stands at each end. The table may be decorated with a sprinkling of silvery or translucent glitter or cut out stars. Silver-covered boxes of various heights might offer different places for people to set tea lights and offer visual interest
This is a masterful and engaging account of how humans through centuries and cultures have engaged and experienced the divine. Webb includes her own experiences, both personal and observed from travel in fifty countries, as well as centuries of theology, literature and travel writing. She meanders along winding trails, talk over the fence and drink wine with a stranger, literally and figuratively. To engage the larger-than-description Sacred, we need all the stories we can find, even if only to remind us the distance still to go and the limitless (sometimes unsuccessful) journey. As a teacher of world religions and art, and an artist, this will not be a string of anecdotes, but a woven together, reader-friendly, vividly painted, theologically reflective whole.read more
I share these familiar family stories because I wonder as we approach this Christmas “holy day,” if we have lost our ability as a society to look for, to wait for, to anticipate those magical moments in life. Have we become so materialistic, so rational, so cynical that we no longer see the magical, majestic, the mystical, the mystery?read more
With scriptural wisdom, theological reflection, and pastoral insight, Chuck invites the reader to encounter Advent as a transformative experience. He utilizes film, literature, and contemporary experience to draw readers into spiritual reflection on the Christian’s sacred story, exploring the redemptive possibilities of the Christmas season.
Chuck writes in the introduction: “It is my hope that amide all the glitter, glamor, gladness, and grief of the Christmas season, you will find some shimmers of light in these spiritual reflections that will enlarge your vision of God’s kingdom, expand your love for all persons, and evoke your creative participation with God’s project to heal and transform our world.”
Finally, Pope Benedict XVI has opened the theological door to affirming condom use to help stem the spread of HIV in the world. For decades the Roman Catholic popes and bishops have not only discouraged condom use to prevent the transmission of HIV but have suggested that the use of condoms actually spreads HIV.read more
Another year is drawing to a close! I find myself reflecting over this past year and am proud of what we have accomplished here at The Center for Progressive Christianity.read more
Yoga- a beneficial practice or the work of the devil? The increasing popularity of yoga in the United States has sparked controversy among evangelical Christians and fundamentalist Hindus. In this article, Jain reports the view points of several Christian and Hindu figures, who criticize the practice of yoga in America, and provides counter arguments to the monolithic views on the ancient practice.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State have together drafted a point-by-point rebuttal to The Manhattan Declaration, a right-wing Christian manifesto published (with 200+ prominent signatories) last November. Our MANHATTAN COUNTER-DECLARATION aims at providing clarity on the issues they address, and defending the values they profess to (but fail) protect by means of their document. We want to launch our Counter-Declaration so that the religious right can get busy responding to good arguments for a change, instead of spending all of their time composing bad ones of their own. Progressives, moderate Christians, humanists, atheists, and other religious leaders are tired of being on the defensive and are putting forward our own agenda for the future.read more
A debate has raged over the last 18 months as to whether the tea party movement is racist…I propose to put this debate to rest. The tea party is racist. Its followers have deployed a brilliant strategy to deflect charges of racism by using a form of the legislative provision known as…read more
Invisioning a future in which the Christian church plays a viable and transformative role in shaping society, Gretta Vosper argues that if the church is to survive at all, the heart of faith must undergo a radical change. Vosper, founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity and a minister in Toronto, believes that what will save the church is an emphasis on just and compassionate living-a new and wholly humanistic approach to religion. Without this reform, the church as we know it faces extinction.read more
Romanticism, Marxism, pre and post war German theology, non-realism and the nineteen sixties death of God movement, and now many contemporary writers around the world- they have all reshaped our ideas about God, giving it the rich diversity of experience and expression it comprises today. Tracing the history of the key idea in Western thought from its origins through to the present day, this is the story of the intellectual journey that remade God in the image of man, so that he might become one of us.read more