Are We Modern Yet?

Column by Fred Plumer on June, 1 2017

About ten years ago, I attended a two day conference that garnered a lot of anticipation and excitement about the topics, which were: a new way of communicating our religious beliefs and the discussion of postmodern theology. Near the end of the conference, I was ready for it to be over. It had been a good conference. The keynote speakers were well respected and leaders in their fields. But I was done.

Holy Wisdom

Column by Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D. on May, 18 2017

Over these past several weeks, I’ve been reflecting anew on what it means to be a wise person. This is due in part because in the congregations I serve, we describe the spiritual journey of Holy Week as “The Wisdom Way of Christ,” exploring the stories and experiencing the reformed liturgies as a holy path for 21st century seekers. As human beings, we long for wisdom and it is extolled in poetry, song, and art. But what is wisdom, particularly in the spiritual tradition and how does it differ from what we might describe as the “wisdom of the world”?

Marking the 100th Anniversary of Fundamentalism in America by Bullying Religious Minorities

Column by Rev. David M. Felten on May, 11 2017

Right after Easter in 2015, I arrived at church as a fellow staff member was going out the door saying, “I’m going to get a picture of one of the banners.” “What banners?!” I’d come in the back way to town and hadn’t seen that down the main street of Fountain Hills, eight churches had posted large identical banners overnight: “Progressive” Christianity: Fact or Fiction?”

Is Jesus the Only Way?

Column by Rev. Roger Wolsey on April, 27 2017

As a progressive Christian pastor and author I frequently receive critical pushback from conservative and fundamentalist Christians who adamantly declare that the only way to experience salvation is by giving intellectual assent to certain specific truth claims about the life of Jesus. Scratch that, they don’t generally care about his life, their focus is primarily upon Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Their message boils down to “Unless you believe that Jesus died for your sins and that he physically rose from the grave, you are a heretic, and will go to hell when you die.”

The Season of Relief

Column by Rev. Gretta Vosper on April, 20 2017

The calendars we give and receive as Christmas gifts – Sudoku-a-Day desk tear-offs, or expensive, hang-on-the-wall art photography – don’t pay much heed to the Christian calendar aside from noting its two largest festivals – Christmas and Easter – and helping retailers take advantage of a few minor ones – Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, and Hallowe’en. Denominational church calendars fill in more of the blanks, but we all know that the year we follow starts on the first of January, a bleak and dreary date in the northern hemisphere and a riot of colour and beauty in the southern. I don’t know anyone who hangs up a calendar that starts the first day of Advent and marks their year in the way Christians once did long ago. Of course, I don’t know any monks. Perhaps they do.

“Hopey-Changey”

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on March, 30 2017

Churches are dying at an alarming rate. Every year more than 4000 churches close their doors for good and more than 2,765,000 people leave the church each year.

Yet we, the Church, insist on doing the same thing over and over again and somehow expecting different results. When confronted with change we tend to insist that “it has always been done that way,” as if history is an acceptable excuse for continuing down our path to demise.

Bishop Spong’s Newsletter

Column by Fred Plumer on March, 23 2017

Good morning friends. I am the Board President of ProgressiveChristianity.org and have held that position for over 12 years. Our organization has been the publishers of the Bishop Spong’s newsletters and the owners of the John Shelby Spong website for nearly five years now. The website is titled, A New Christianity for a New World. I hope you all avail yourself to this treasure of fascinating and interesting articles by Bishop Spong that go back almost 20 years. As subscribers you have access to these absolutely wonderful writings of one of the best authors of our time. If you have trouble accessing these nearly two thousand articles by Bishop Spong please contact our office and we will help you. This morning, however, I want to share with you some of the things we are doing with your subscriptions newsletter.

Becoming the Fullness of Who We Already Are – A Reforming Vision of Christic At-One-Ment

Column by Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D. on March, 16 2017

Throughout his poignant and moving book, “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts”, the Vancouver physician, Gabor Maté, offers heartrending accounts of the existential devastation wrought on the fabric of our personal being by the effects of addiction. One particularly graphic description strikes at the core of the human struggle.

How to Repeal and Replace Christianity’s Addiction to “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts” #tremendous #huge

Column by Rev. David M. Felten on March, 9 2017

Bishop Spong’s reputation for expressing unapologetic, sometimes blunt, theological opinions is long-established. While some have accused him of being overbearing or egotistical, others have depended on him for a firm defense of a particular spot on the theological spectrum.

Column by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox on March, 2 2017

I first learned of Bishop Spong’s prophetic work and his work with the Jesus seminar over 34 years ago while I was still a Dominican priest working in the Chicago area. To hear of an Episcopal bishop who was approaching the Scriptures with a critical sense of questioning and scholarship and who was supporting gay rights and women’s rights was, needless to say, a breath of fresh air. When Bishop Spong invited me out to Newark to lead a day retreat with his clergy I was pleased to be invited and I recall my opening line to him when I entered his car at the airport: “We heretics need to stick together,” I said. I don’t recall his demurring in any way. Following my day-long presentation (which included circle dancing and I was pleased to see a Bishop participating in such), Bishop Spong said to me: “Usually people leave at lunch time as they are allowed to do but this day was so exciting everyone stayed until the end.”

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