Is the Catholic Church unsalvageable?

While the two warring factions- conservative versus liberal wings – wrestle with the direction the Catholic Church needs to go in this modern era, the church, nonetheless, is still stymied and stained by continued unaddressed claims of sex abuse by unprosecuted sex offenders.

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O God, When Trust is Shattered

This new hymn is in response to the latest news of abuse by clergy; it was written with input from survivors and counselors. The hymn also references Pope Francis’ August 20th letter, using in particular: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Please share the hymn with priests, pastors, church musicians, counselors, friends and others who might find it helpful. Permission is given for its free use. Prayers, including sung ones, and actions are needed to “Bring healing, love and mercy; Bring justice, God of truth.”

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What the Church Needs is Some Good Sex

It is a tough time to be a Catholic Christian. The current scandals of sexual abuse, by priests around the world, follow a nearly 20-year run of similar episodes. But the lack of transparency in the Catholic Church is no news. Two decades ago, I discussed the problem with my dear friends from Rome. They were shocked that Americans were so shocked. “What is the big deal? Why the fuss?” they asked, waving their hands above their heads. “We Italians have always known better than to leave our children alone with priests!” I found their response both hilarious and appalling. But can we expect any real change of behavior in the Catholic Church as long as it remains a male-dominated monarchy?

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Building Bridges: Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Friends

Building Bridges combines an exploration of the life and work of Letha Dawson Scanzoni with stories of people she continues to empower through her writing and the Evangelical & Ecumenical Women’s Caucus – Christian Feminism Today, an organization she cofounded.

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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.

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Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

I want to let you know about a religious group (“church”) that has continued to respond to new knowledge and new challenges. It is the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) founded in England in 1652 by George Fox and his colleagues.

It was founded as an improvement on the current state religion (Church of England) and the dissenting churches (Calvinism, etc.).

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Thoughts about where progressive Christianity is going from here

What are your thoughts about where progressive Christianity is going from here? In some groups I find it barely different than other evangelical sects, and other expressions seem to feel completely new-age without hardly a remnant of Christianity.

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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.

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Getting Started Suggested Reading List

We are often asked by readers for a reading list for those who want to learn more about Progressive Christianity. Below are some suggestions to get you started:

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God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World

In the modern age science has been winning its centuries—old battle with religion for the mind of man. The evidence has long seemed incontrovertible: Life was merely a product of blind chance—a cosmic roll of an infinite number of dice across an eternity of time. Slowly, methodically, scientists supplied answers to mysteries insufficiently explained by theologians. Reason pushed faith off into the shadows of mythology and superstition, while atheism became a badge of wisdom. Our culture, freed from moral obligation, explored the frontiers of secularism. God was dead.

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A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Why does God exist? How have the three dominant monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—shaped and altered the conception of God? How have these religions influenced each other? In this stunningly intelligent book, Karen Armstrong, one of Britain’s foremost commentators on religious affairs, traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present.

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The Changing Face of Death

The other day, I officiated at a funeral, though we don’t use that word much anymore. Calling such events celebrations of a life is much more popular. The word funeral reeks of morbidity.

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Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century

Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century was written out of a concern for the graying of the church and decline in church affiliation especially among younger generations. It promotes an understanding of Christianity that avoids literalism, dogma, and doctrines—all factors which many believe is driving people away from the church.

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Hastening Change in the Church

In this episode of Faith And Reason 360 we are honored to welcome author, scholar, and scribe of the popular monthly newsletter “Connections,” Barbara Wendland.

Join us as Barbara discusses the need for a radical update of creed, attitude, and structure in the Christian church, whose practices, Wendland says, are outdated—and this behind-the-times attitude, though revered as traditional by many, comes at the expense of Church success. The world has changed dramatically since the 3rd century; is the Church ready to catch up?

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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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Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free from Shame by Vicky Beeching

One Woman’s Fight for LGBT Equality in the Church

Vicky Beeching, called “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” in The Guardian, was an international poster girl for evangelical Christianity as a recording artist and worship leader, but she was living with a debilitating inner battle: she was gay. The tens of thousands of traditional Christians she sang in front of were unanimous in their view: They staunchly opposed same-sex relationships and saw homosexuality as a grievous sin. Vicky knew that if she ever spoke up about her identity it would cost her everything. But eventually, she did.

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Toxic Theology: 
Religious Beliefs that Hurt Instead of Heal


In October 2015 a television news crew covered the story of a ten year-old boy named Kyler Bradley who was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. The crew filmed Kyler in his classroom surrounded by his friends, while the teacher instructed the children to “pray for a miracle.” The reporter said: “Kyler believes in miracles. So do his classmates. Their teacher planted that idea when she told 30 ten year-olds about Kyler’s cancer.”

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Christology in the African context

Prof. Dr. Philomena Njeri Mwaura (University of Nairobi) speaks about African theology and christology at the IWM conference on “Christ and the religions” in Frankfurt.

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