A Conversation with Bishop John Shelby Spong

Rev. David Felten interviewed Bishop John Shelby Spong on September 18, 2018 at his home in Virginia.

read more

Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity

Mainline Protestant denominations are dying, while conservative traditions are flourishing. “Nones” are the fastest growing religious demographic in the United States. A pastor and self-proclaimed former “none,” Heath possesses an excellent understanding of church growth and the lack thereof, and frequently draws upon that experience when look for ways to welcome people to church.

read more

After the Patriarchy Falls

In Terry Crews book on Manhood, he talks about targeting high profile sexual predators in order to end patriarchy is like trying to cut a tree down by cutting the leaves. Toxic masculinity is a part of our culture and we need to lay the axe to the trunk of that tree, rooting out the male privilege that has been the source of victimization of women for centuries. Perhaps the current backward trend in our nation is the retreat that will force us to find the activation energy necessary to bring about the fall of the patriarchy.

read more

Church Confession

I am the church, and this is my confession.  My last confession was 500 years ago.  I have oppressed women and kept them out of leadership positions.  I have oppressed gay and lesbian people.  I have judged people pointlessly for having normal sexual urges and relationships, treating sex like a disease instead of lifting it up as a precious gift from God. 

read more

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. 

read more

Christian Theology and Contemporary Knowledge

My answer to this question is a complex one. On one hand, I believe there are tremendous riches in the Christian tradition. It’s a 4,000+ year theological lineage which contains endless metaphors, parables, and doctrines which have helped foster human evolution and have sparked some of the greatest social reform movements in history. That must be acknowledged and celebrated.

read more

Joran Oppelt interviews Matthew Fox

Joran Slane Oppelt (Integral Church) sits with author and theologian Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada to discuss the relevance of the Creation Spirituality movement and the importance of ritual.

read more

Christians Knowing Christians Without Agenda

I don’t need or want to change you. But I ought to get to know you. After all, we both profess to follow this same guy Christ. And we inhabit the same public spaces. As a Christian, part of my responsibility is to at the very least get to know Christians of other stripes and build positive relationships, perhaps even mutually-beneficial relationships, whenever possible. Many Christians are already doing this.

And sometimes in doing this I pause and say to myself… “I actually like that you are different from me…. it gives me a chance to learn something new and see things differently.” And maybe somewhere in this we find the miracle of the unity we already have—and a taste of the unity to come.

read more

Theology From Exile Volume I: The Year of Luke 2nd Edition: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Church

The struggle for distributive justice-compassion continues into the first quarter of the twenty-first century and beyond in what may become a post-democratic world order. Whether Jewish-Christian scriptures continue to be relevant to contemporary “spiritual not religious” folk may determine what becomes of “Christianity.” This second edition of The Year of Luke is a valuable, contemporary resource for progressive preaching, teaching, Bible study, and resistance, grounded in postmodern biblical scholarship of Karen Armstrong, the late Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan, and the Westar Institute’s Jesus Seminar, as well as the transforming work of Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox, whose theology of Creation Spirituality has reclaimed Catholic mysticism for postmodern cosmology.

read more

PATHWAYS Theological Education

An Online Institute for Progressive Christian Theology

PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc., is a Progressive Christian learning community seeking to empower transformative leadership for justice and peace within and beyond the church by engaging heart and mind to consider what it means to know, love and serve God in today’s changing world. 

read more

The Church as a Christian Tribe

In today’s world, we cannot help but be aware of a number of disturbing trends such as increasing inequality of wealth, threats to the stability of the earth’s eco-system, a rise in populism and fragmentation in politics, and a rising threat of violence from terrorism of one sort or another.  At a time when scientific and technological advances in many fields offer great power, with the possibility of both great benefits and also great dangers, these trends, taken together, represent a threat to the future well-being of both our planet and humanity itself.

read more

How to Build the Church of Your Dreams

Planning a church is a challenging task. While many church planters have been blamed for treating churches like businesses, there is no doubt that financial concerns can prohibit builders from creating the church they would like to. How can you build the church of your dreams? How can you best serve your congregation?

read more

Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness

By Rev.Dr. Thandeka

Using insights from the brain science of emotions, Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness narrates two millennia of lost-and-found stories about love beyond belief as the access point to the heart and soul of spiritual life. Many of today’s “spiritual but not religious” people – one in four US adults – have found the access point to spiritual experience that Western Christianity lost: unconditional love. Love Beyond Belief tracks the history of this lost emotion.

read more

True Inclusion: Creating Communities of Radical Embrace

In True Inclusion, public theologian and pastor Brandan Robertson shares how to move your church from mere welcome to radical embrace. Pointing to a clear biblical imperative for radical inclusivity in the sanctuary and in the public square, Robertson presents a paradigm-shifting vision of community, “where nothing is simple, nothing is easy, but everything is beautiful.” Learn practical, step-by-step approaches to becoming deeply, robustly, and richly inclusive of all people regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and socioeconomic status.

read more

Our Witness: The unheard stories of LGBT+ Christians

I have met thousands of LGBT+ Christians around the world, and have witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit moving through them in the most profound ways. I have been blown away by how many Christian leaders have reached out to tell me that they too have felt the Spirit of God nudging them to step forward and embrace LGBT+ people as faithful members of Christ’s Church. I have watched as societies around the world have stepped closer and closer to affirming and embracing LGBT+ people as equal and essential parts of their communities. And I have seen true revival breaking forth in the midst of LGBT+ Christian communities.

read more

Why We’re Still Here

The Emerging Church held its first service 10 years ago today. The progressive movement is largely comprised of small, liberal, academically oriented congregations who are committed to expressing their faith in passionate social justice involvement. To make it to the 10 year mark in very conservative Springfield, MO is reason for celebration!

read more

From Common Sense to an Age of Reason

The progressive faith movement has deep roots in the 19th century in the writings of Voltaire, in France, and Thomas Paine, in the United States. Paine foresaw that a revolution in favor of democracy would lead directly into a revolution in religious beliefs and practices. Three major periods of revivals in America has kept evangelical faith alive in America while France moved more decidedly in the direction of a more secular approach to life. Still, Paine’s “Common Sense” inspired the birth of democracy in the USA and it led to his writing of “Age of Reason” to encourage religion to focus on moral living and to dismiss creedal or doctrinal theology. What we modern progressives call the primacy of orthopraxy over orthodoxy. Rather than beliefs about heaven, hell, salvation, and invisible beings, progressives believe in freedom, justice, equality, and working for the wellbeing and happiness of all.

read more

Presbyterian Church USA takes stand on political issues

A denomination not known for controversy is taking stances on issues such as assault weapons, universal health care and President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a declaration during a meeting of the denominations leaders in St. Louis to stake out positions on several social issues, leaving it up to the church’s 10,000 congregations and 1.7 million members to decide whether to stand behind the declaration.

read more