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Brian McLaren – The Future of Church Planting

Learn why we believe “Common Cause Communities” are the future of church planting.
Hear why Brian McClaren, Peter Rollins, and Alexie Torres-Fleming (among others) are joining our guest faculty.

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Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Others on Progressive Christianity

Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Others on Progressive Christianity

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Brian McLaren Leads Commitment Ceremony At Son’s Same-Sex Wedding

McLaren family wedding ceremony included

Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and a prominent Christian speaker, led a non-traditional marriage commitment ceremony this weekend, according to The New York Times. Held at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this ceremony included “traditional …

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An Interview with Brian McLaren

An Interview with Brian McLaren. What is the overarching storyline of the Bible? What does it mean to say the Bible has authority? Is God violent? Who is Jesus and why is he important? What is the gospel? What is the function of the Church? Can we find a way to address human sexuality without fighting about it? Can our view of the future actually shape it? How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other faiths? What should we do next?

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Interview of Brian McLaren On His New Book

Interview of Brian McLaren on Patheos.com  Challenging the traditional assumptions around core Christian beliefs and advocating a dynamic discipleship that is more about the questions than the answers, this evangelical pastor-turned-author is preaching a compelling message for the future of Christianity that is building bridges across religious divides within the Church and beyond.

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From Progressing Spirit: The Religious Question — and the Human Question

If Jesus was right when he said, in his inaugural address (as found in Luke 4), that the Spirit of God’s agenda is to help the oppressed, the weak, the broken-hearted, those with (in Thurman’s words) their backs against the wall, then no wonder many people are struggling with their religious identity.

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A Different Question

I am sorry to say this, but it has been a long time since going to church on Sunday morning has uplifted my spirit. Interacting with people definitely is uplifting, but the service is mostly boring, preachers never give an indication that the scripture readings are not the literal word of God, and the theology of these same preachers is stuck somewhere way back when.

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Tributes to Bishop John Shelby Spong

Read some of the tributes that have been written on the occasion of the death of Bishop John Shelby Spong. 

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The Self-Destructive American Church

I talk to a lot of people who grapple with religious doubts. Many of them harbor doubts about traditional faith, including a personal, supernatural, providential, and interventionalist God. An even larger number of them express doubts about institutional religion.

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Saving Jesus Redux – Home Edition

Saving Jesus Redux Home Editionis a 12-episode video exploration of a credible Jesus for the 21st Century. Join 25 experts for a conversation around the relevance of Jesus for today.

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Why Heal Our Divides?

A number of writers have been quietly working behind the scenes on a project called How to Heal Our Divides — where we’re bringing together practitioners of what Brian McLaren calls “un-division” to share their wisdom and stories.

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Faith After Doubt

Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It

Sixty-five million adults in the U.S. have dropped out of active church attendance and about 2.7 million more are leaving every year. “Faith After Doubt” is for the millions of people around the world who feel that their faith is falling apart.

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Six Lessons I’ve Learned about Doubt

In recent decades, tens of millions of Americans have left their churches and other places of worship, and that trend shows no sign of abating. Instead, it’s almost certain to accelerate. Although motivations for departing organized religion are numerous, doubts about God, institutional religion, and traditional beliefs lead the pack.

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The Shift: Surviving and Thriving after Moving from Conservative to Progressive Christianity

This book is a friendly survival guide to help followers of Jesus navigate the strange and confusing landscape when shifting from conservative to progressive Christianity.

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2020 Election Season Briefing: Faith Leaders Call For Moral Courage Now

Watch below as these five faith and justice leaders discuss how they are preparing for November 3rd election and for the aftermath that may follow. How do we help keep our communities safe?

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Encountering Silence

One of the reasons Encountering Silence is a real leader in spirituality podcasting is their unflinching commitment to examine systemic injustice today, showing how rootedness in the spacious silence of Christian mysticism helps us find our voice and speak up against racism, homophobia, and the forces of dehumanization everywhere.

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Is the Sense of Self an Illusion?

Would you comment from your Christian perspective on the Buddhist assertion that we have no separate self or separate existence because we cannot understand who we are without understanding who we aren’t, and our separate existence is known only because of everything we are? Is the sense of self an illusion?

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A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith

In this controversial and thought-provoking book, McLaren explores the questions that will determine the shape of Christianity for the next 500 years.

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Blogs We Love

Below is a list of blogs selected by ProgressiveChristianity.org leadership.

Feel free to submit your favorites to us, including your own, so we can add them to the list!

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Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places

When you have an experience and tell the story of that experience to someone, something sacred happens inside of you. That experience doesn’t have to be an extravagant moment, but it can be beautiful, nonetheless. And as you store up all those stories and share them, you grow your world’s boundaries. You build community and remind yourself that every moment of your life counts for something holy, good, and glorious.

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Decline of Christianity

Why are some Christian Churches growing in numbers and outreach? Is there any room to find agreement and move on with the work of Jesus Christ ? 

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Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World

By Brian D. McLaren

When four religious leaders walk across the road, it’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s the start of one of the most important conversations in today’s world.

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Sustaining Hope in an Unjust World: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up

what happens, in our striving for social justice, when we discover that God offers us something entirely different than the promise of victory? In this love letter to the disheartened activist, pastor Timothy Murphy reflects on his own journey of disappointments and despair and rediscovers a faith – and a God – who inspires us to continue fighting, even when it feels like we’re losing the battle.

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If you’re sad about Rachel Held Evans (and other un-answered prayers).

If you haven’t heard, or if you need confirming that it wasn’t all a terrible dream, Rachel Held Evans—beloved author, truth-teller, and icon for a generous Christianity—passed away yesterday morning, after a brief and unexpected storm of health complications. She was only 37—two years younger than me.

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The Future Is Calling Us To Greatness

With series host Michael Dowd + 55 Experts

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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Violence doesn’t create anything.

That’s a radioactive statement. When I say it in certain circles, the negative reaction is swift and unambiguous. It’s ironic that conversation about reducing violence often results in a fight. But the outcome of even that fight proves the point: violence doesn’t create anything. Except suffering, of course.

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The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian

The Christian story, from Genesis until now, is fundamentally about people on the move—outgrowing old, broken religious systems and embracing new, more redemptive ways of life.

It’s time to move again.

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Cory and the Seventh Story

The story we tell about the world shapes how we live. Along Cory’s journey, readers will discover six familiar stories that have repeated through history, teaching us all how to dominate, fear, or withdraw from the world and the beautiful people in it. The good news is that there is another story, a path of openheartedness toward others. Cory’s discovery of the Seventh Story will inspire children and adults alike.

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Progressive Christianity and the Church?- BRUNCHtalks 9

Together, learning to be LOVE in the world! As we explore the connections between Progressive Christianity and the Church, Brian McLaren’s question: “What if Churches became schools of LOVE?” provides insights into the church’s task to become communities where we can learn to become the most LOVING version of ourselves. This is the last of our BRUNCHtalks for this summer. We have explored what it means to be Progressive in approach: Christ-like in action. 

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Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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Garden Table Apocalypse | Diana Butler-Bass

  Mike’s note: The following reflection from Diana Butler Bass – an excerpt from her book Grounded: Finding God in the World – is part of a special guest-post series anticipating this November’s Gospel of Peace Conference …

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A Hatred of Science Is Killing the Church: Why Young Adults Leave or Never Show Up

By Kurt Willems for Patheos

One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”

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Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words

In the same way he revitalized our faith in A New Kind of Christianity, church leader Brian McLaren reinvigorates our approach to spiritual fulfillment in Naked Spirituality—by tearing down the old dogmatic practices that hamper our spiritual growth, and leading us toward the meaningful spiritual practices that can help transform our lives.

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John 3:16 vs. the Greatest Commandment

Part 3 of the series, What Makes a Christian?

John 3:16 is a beautiful verse, understood this way–that God’s act of sharing Jesus with us comes out of love, and that all who participate in that love through loving both God and one another follow in the Way of Jesus, which is the Way of eternity–to love Jesus so much that you imitate Him and follow His Way. To believe in His message so much that you follow it.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Does the Genesis Flood Story Hold Water?

The Genesis account of the flood was written by two Israelites (the Priestly account and the non-Priestly version) who were trying to tell a story that would help their fellow Jews better understand their place in the world. If a myth about a flood covering the earth and killing everyone and everything except for one man and his family and a select number of animals accomplished that goal, then it may be worthy. But the vengeful God who decided he had made a mistake so he wanted to start over is not my idea of God. A God who would destroy the world and its inhabitants – except for one “righteous” man and his family (who may not have been righteous) and a handful of animal species – is not worthy of worship.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – God Can Use Imperfect People – Part One

I am abundantly aware that God can do remarkable things with less than perfect people. Noah supposedly had “blameless behavior,” but after the flood, he got drunk on the wine he produced and, although he may not have been aware due to his drunken stupor, may have had sexual relations with one of his sons. Later in Hebrew Scriptures, we meet other imperfect people who were used by God: Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon was afraid, Samson was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, David was an adulterer and murderer, Elijah was suicidal, and Abram.

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