About the Author: Edward Simmons

Born in Savannah, Georgia in 1943, Dr. Edward Gordon Simmons has spent most of his life in Georgia. Graduating with honors from Savannah High School, he attended Mercer University and then did graduate study at Vanderbilt University where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. He taught history at Appalachian State University in North Carolina for one year before being drafted to serve during the Vietnam era. Choosing the Air Force, he served in California and South Dakota before ending his service at Warner Robins in Georgia. Finding little job opportunity for college history teachers in 1973, he began working for the Georgia Department of Human Resources and taught history courses for colleges in the Atlanta area on a part-time basis. His 34 year career in government service included the development and implementation of a management training program, serving as consultant and trainer for the top level of management of Georgia's largest agency, and participating as training manager in the development and implementation of two major statewide computer systems that eliminated the issuance of state benefits by paper checks and prepared state systems for the year 2000. Simmons retired from state service in 2005. In 2010, he returned to classroom teaching on a part-time basis with Brenau University, teaching continuing education courses for retirees and then teaching American History online to Brenau students all over the world. In the fall of 2011, he began teaching American History, Western Civilization, and World History on a part-time basis at Georgia Gwinnett College in addition to teaching at Brenau. His special interests include (1) the growing field of Big History with its combination of science and World History; (2) the study of Old Testament and New Testament history and archaeology; and (3) the American Civil War. A long-time Sunday school teacher in Presbyterian churches, Simmons is known for combining history, science, and historical criticism in confessional teaching of the Bible. He is a popular teacher of religion and history for the Brenau Center for Lifetime Study. He is also the author of the 2017 Illumination Gold Medal winner for Spirituality: Talking Back to the Bible: A Historian’s Approach to Bible Study. He also writes the Blog Talking Back!
  • By Published On: July 20, 2023

    Global warming is the latest proof that we have crossed a boundary into a truly apocalyptic age, for we now live in a period when anthropogenic change is overpowering nature and life itself.

  • By Published On: June 30, 2023

    If Jesus had been asked to summarize the Prophets, as Hillel had done for the Torah, his reply would probably have been something like this: “Wake up, open your eyes and ears, repent, and start treating others with compassion and justice!”

  • By Published On: December 26, 2022

    Today there are Bethlehems all over the world as families are forced to leave home environments, travel to places unprepared for them, and find a way to survive on their own.

  • By Published On: September 15, 2022

    As the Biden administration is grappling with a rising tide of violent threats to democracy and fair elections, Great Britain has demonstrated once again the lesson that George Washington learned and made an essential part of the American heritage.

  • By Published On: September 2, 2022

      Does Christianity need a New Reformation? A great many Protestant groups, including Progressive Christians, are likely to respond with a loud YES.

  • By Published On: June 9, 2022

    As passengers and voting crew members on the American ship of state, we must recognize that we are sailing among icebergs more dangerous than those encountered by the Titanic. We must wake up, recognize the extent of the danger, get our values straight, and do our part when it comes time to vote.

  • By Published On: May 5, 2022

    Our Current Situation. We live in a time in which the possibilities for evil are multiplying as fast and possibly faster than the good being accomplished by our innovations.

  • By Published On: January 5, 2022

    The attack on  the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was a low point in the ongoing struggle against dark forces in the American character. It was also another moment when leaders of Christian churches betrayed the message of Jesus while claiming to uphold Christian principles.

  • By Published On: December 20, 2021

    Jesus was best known for healing and exorcising. The crowds that came for medical help got more than they may have expected as they heard him speak about justice for everyone and love for neighbors and enemies. Spreading health and preaching compassion were at the heart of being the Prince of Peace.

  • Progressive Christianity and the Age of Trump

    By Published On: November 3, 2021

    In a series of ruminations, Edward G. Simmons brings a lifetime’s experiences, along with biblical and historical insights, to the ethical problems faced by Christians living under the impact of President Trump.

  • By Published On: August 28, 2021

    In the face of enormous danger and spreading death that seems pointless, there is a tendency to ask: “Where is God? How could God let this happen?” This is the same spirit that fills up space on cable news channels with critics complaining about all the things that are going wrong.

  • By Published On: June 3, 2021

    After a yearlong Covid imprisonment, Americans are celebrating liberation over Memorial Day in 2021. Masks are coming off, signs tell us businesses are hiring, and confidence is growing that the emergency is over. We celebrate because we think liberation is upon us—but the party has started before the victory is secure.

  • By Published On: March 1, 2021

    I received notice of a statement that is being circulated to oppose the association of white nationalism with evangelical Christianity. Many Progressive Christians would not call themselves evangelicals, but I believe all of us can stand with the values asserted in this statement.

  • By Published On: January 26, 2021

    Can prayers be narcissistic? A great many prayers are in the first person, like the laments in the Psalms. “God help me, rescue me, forgive me, heal me” are typical petitions in the first person. But praying for oneself can become narcissism when concern for oneself supersedes loving our neighbors. 

  • By Published On: December 18, 2020

     I have found two books to be especially helpful this Christmas. Living under COVID restrictions is like being imprisoned. Sermons written by Martin Luther King, Jr., while in jail speak directly to the concerns of today, although he was thinking of the situation in the 1960s.

  • By Published On: August 21, 2020

    Progressive Christians rely on God’s message of love as our guide through the mounting crises in the United States and the world. It is not a message of waiting and hoping, as in the case of apocalyptic expectations. It is a message calling for action based on dedication to truth and loving consideration for others more than ourselves.

  • By Published On: June 30, 2020

    On the 4th of July 2020, how can we recognize true American patriots? No matter how many flags are waved or used to decorate clothing, the legitimate patriots will be wearing a mask across the nose and mouth.

  • 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity

    By Published On: June 24, 2020

    What should Christians think about Donald Trump? His policies, his style, his personal life? Thirty evangelical Christians wrestle with these tough questions. They are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. They don't all agree, but they seek to let Christ be the Lord of their political views.

  • By Published On: May 4, 2020

    The viral pandemic of 2020 is being documented in remarkable depth by cable news media. Story after story demonstrates how a historical event is prophetic by exposing and judging short-comings in our society – and by pointing to necessary corrections to avoid a longer-lasting global catastrophe.

  • By Published On: April 15, 2020

    Much of human life is spent in an illusory world that is mistaken for reality. The sun comes up each morning, runs its course, and day by day we fall into routines that we pretend will never end. When crises come, as we know they will, false confidence and phony optimism are shattered by calamity. Overwhelmed by anxiety and grief, we feel mistreated, betrayed, or helpless. Then comes the thought: “Am I all alone? Does God care?”

  • Overcoming the Evil of Silence

    By Published On: January 30, 2020

    In 2018, the evangelical scholar Walter Brueggemann boldly departed from the twin evils of American Christian Evangelicals – fawning approval and cowardly silence about the evils of privilege and oppression that have resulted in “our socio-political circumstance.”

  • By Published On: January 11, 2020

    Three questions need to be clearly explained to the American public. What is Progressive Christianity? Secondly, what does progressive mean in the context of this religious movement? And, why is Progressive Christianity especially needed in our time?

  • By Published On: January 9, 2020

    Millennials seeking a new approach to spirituality, those who identify with the “emerging church” identified by Marcus Borg and others, anyone interested in Christ’s Jewishness and the elimination of anti-Jewish bias from Bible study, and women, LGBTs, and others who seek a Biblical approach that overcomes insistence on obedience to questionable Old Testament commands will be intrigued by the new book by Edward G. Simmons.

  • By Published On: August 8, 2019

    Americans have been losing confidence in our political and religious institutions since the 1960s. The fundamental reason is well-founded suspicions of dishonesty among political and religious leaders. Outright lying was not always the problem, rather it was failure of courage to acknowledge political and religious truths that became increasingly obvious despite efforts to deny or obfuscate.