From the Director – Why keep “Christianity” in our name and mission?

There have been many people over the years who encourage us to drop “Christianity” from our name. Here are my two cents on why I am not ok with that.

Progressive Christianity is a unique and beautiful movement. It is a vital landing space for hundreds of thousands of humans around the world. Though small, it is growing. And there continues to be a very large percentage of people in this world that consider themselves Christian. At some point many of those will question what they are being told in church. Many will find that the theology presented in their church does not match their understanding of science and/or their values. And they will, perhaps, consider leaving their church. But many will not if their isn’t a better alternative. People who have Christianity in their heritage, their culture, and their traditions are often not ready to straight up leave Christianity all together.

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Remembering our nation’s values in these troubled times…

The recent flap about athletes “taking the knee” during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice has been called disrespectful of our armed services. I realize the anthem’s imagery is of a battle, but our national anthem is about ALL Americans who have contributed to our nation’s character, from the seamstress who made the first stars and stripes to the seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus. The “land of the free and the home of the brave” values protest and the courage of activists. We actually have benefited from both. Important battles have been fought with picket signs, resistance, demonstrations, civil disobedience, and votes.

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Words I Don’t Want to Say Together: Active Shooter & Church

It seems horrifying to imagine that the places we have used for worship, sanctuary, community, fellowship, love and connection, places that for millennia have helped define our own identity are now having to be prepared for violence and death. I can’t even believe I am having to write these words. It pains me to know that shootings happen everywhere, every day, more frequently than you may realize, yet most go unreported in mainstream media.

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A Force of Love and Fury

“Because I was so vocal about my feelings and the things I had been through, a lot of girls in my cohort started coming to me and asking the same questions. And as I was working through my own stuff, I realized that there was this huge need out there for someone who understood what it was like to be a woman and be oppressed in a spiritual space.”

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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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Got the holiday blues? Here’s a resource for resistance AND renewal!

A new way to experience the holidays..together.

Is it that time of year already?

Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and Christmas is coming…how are you feeling?

Overwhelmed? Resolute? Confused? Curious?

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Why Interfaith (and Interspiritual) Studies and Awareness are Epically Important in Today’s World

When we ponder religion and faith, we often think of their more modern day manifestations and how much devastation and destruction has been done in the name of religion. It is hard to remember that most major religions were born out of a profound mystical experience, flowing from an inner realization, which was then attempted to be shared via language and action. My own feelings toward religion have been complicated, confusing and challenging. Growing up in a very liberal, progressive Christian church, I had a meaningful and positive experience of the community that gathers around an organized religion and yet it was impossible for me to forget the vast atrocities which have been done in the name of Christianity over the last 2000 years. I also felt tired of the same mistranslated, seemingly irrelevant book used week after week, the same teacher held up on the pedestal week after week, a man who had died fighting for his cause over 2000 years before, who while an amazing human, was no different than you or I, just a man. I looked around and saw many incredible human beings doing phenomenal work in the world, affecting positive change and expanding upon some of the great mystic teachers, and yet no one was singing about them each week.

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From Ancient Times to the Present: Transferring Guilt Makes a Mockery of Justice

  One of the foundations of modern ethics is crumbling. Having rights is about being respected as a human individual who shapes his life through choices. Whether with respect to original sin, honour based violence, modesty dress …

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“Bulk of Christians Seek Salvation”—Not Me!

A friend emailed me this statement from a seminary professor: “The bulk of Christians seek salvation.” My friend likes to bait me, and he did so again. In a return email, I used a form of teaching that Jesus used often called didactics, which means one answers a question by asking a question. My questions to him were “What’s salvation?” and “Who is ‘the bulk’?” The truth is, I have no idea what people mean when they talk about salvation because there are so many concepts. Let’s look at a few:

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Christian Unity: Warts and All

I’ve noticed a generational divide in the quest for Christian unity. People of different ages often articulate different priorities.

Many veterans of the work for Christian unity focus on what Christians have in common. Younger ecumenists often talk of finding peace in the midst of real differences.

This divide follows a natural pattern of healing and reconciliation. It reflects more than just two sides of the same coin.

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All Saints – Giving thanks for the Divine in One-another!

All Saints’ Day is a day for remembering. The word saint simply means “holy”. In the New Testament, all those who believe and were baptized were referred to as saints. It wasn’t until round about the third century that the church began using the word saint to refer to those who had been martyred for the faith. Over time these martyred saints were held up for veneration and people used to pray to them to intercede on their behalf. I’m not going to go into all of the institutional abuses that led Martin Luther and the later reformers to abolish the veneration of the saints. Except to say, that while the Reformation put an end to the veneration of the saints in the protestant churches, it did not abolish the concept of sainthood.

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Was Einstein a Theist?

…though linguistically, “being” an a-theist (atheist) should be the same thing as not being a theist, this clearly is not always the case. Indeed, even the renowned Unitarian Humanist John H. Dietrich made this very claim: that is, that because he considered himself open minded about the possibility of there being a god he was not an atheist. Though because he saw no evidence for a god, he was not a theist. Dietrich falls victim to the mental contortion of equating denial of existence with proof of non-existence, what he felt was the definition of atheist.

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Robin Myers Interview – What message do you have for young people struggling through today’s world?

Robin Myers Interview – What message do you have for young people struggling through today’s world?

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Joining With God to Create a Better World

Part 1 of 2

The starting point for understanding how religion relates to politics is to determine how God functions in the world. Like many of you, I attribute the word God to experiences of beauty, love, and goodness that have no logical explanation. These encounters have depth. The reality of the experience is so much greater than the parts making it up.

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The Matthew Shepard murder revisited

With October being LGBTQ History Month it allows the LGBTQ community to look back at historical events. And Matthew Shepard’s murder is one of them.

This October marks nineteen years since the death of Matthew Shepard. In October 1998, Shepard, then 21, was a first-year college student at University of Wyoming. Under the guise of friendship, two men (Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson) lured Shepard from a tavern, tortured and bludgeoned him with their rifles, and then tethered him to a rough-hewn wooden fence to die – simply because he was gay.

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Presence and Process

While the Christian church in 21st century North America is experiencing decline, interest in Buddhist-derived Mindfulness meditation is on the rise. Yet Christianity also has a rich meditative/contemplative tradition.

This book is an exploration of meditative/contemplative practices in both Christian and Buddhist contexts, emphasizing their areas of affinity. Common characteristics and effects of meditative/contemplative practices are defined.

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Faith and Reason 360

As fires rage in California and hurricanes menace the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, hosts Ann Phelps and Debo Dykes talk with guest Frederica Helmiere about the environment and what lessons Christians can learn from their interaction with the natural world.

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Catholic church to make record divestment from fossil fuels

By Arthur Neslen for The Guardian

More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.

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