As a subscriber, you will receive our weekly publication offering a rotation of contributors and topics, and have inside access to a variety of innovative forums and resources.  Members of Progressing Spirit will also have access to our full libary of over thousands essays by Bishop Spong.  Below are some unlocked samples from each regular contributor to give you an idea of the types of content we deliver each week.
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Participating in the Song of Life

Essay by Rev. Dr. Kevin G. Thew Forrester on November, 16 2017

The first lines of John’s gospel proclaim that “in the beginning was the Word,” and that “all things came into being through the Word.”

We can hear these words literally as an historical assertion claiming that at some distant point in ancient times – the initiation of time – the Word (whatever that might mean) came into being as a kind of medium through which all else that has come to be was created. My sense is that misses the poetic thrust of this mystical writer. Rather, I understand John to have experienced that not only in the beginning of each and every experience we have, but in the middle and culmination as well, there is this mystery he identifies as “the Word.”

God is Always Needing to Be Born

Essay by Lauren Van Ham on February, 1 2018

January is over and 2018 is finding its voice. Each year extends possibility. Within the possibility, events take place – births, deaths, celebrations, mishaps – and history is made. Meister Eckhart, the 12th century mystic proclaimed,
We are all meant to be mothers of God…for God is always needing to be born.

Meeting the Challenge

Essay by Fred Plumer on February, 15 2018

Bishop Spong calls for change. He challenges us to begin to rebuild a new Christianity and frankly, that is what we are trying to do here. These are the issues we have asked our authors to deal with. We do not need to do any more deconstruction. It has been done, and done well.

Reflections on my Interactions with Bishop Spong

Essay 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.”

“God” Isn’t in the Bible

Essay by Rev. Mark Sandlin on February, 8 2018

Language is more important than many of us realize. More precisely, the specific words we choose to use impact our way of thinking, our social behavior, and many other perspectives of our lives. It’s actually a fairly recent development in the human brain in terms of our long history as a species. The frontal lobes of our brains have actually expanded to handle its expanded work requirements.

Theological Violence toward the Divine Feminine: Praying for an end to Rape Culture

Essay by Rev. Roger Wolsey on October, 26 2017

If you have a Facebook account you are no doubt abundantly aware by now of the “Me too” campaign that has been taking place. It’s a powerful way for women to convey to the world that they have been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault at the hands of men. It is quite clear that nearly all women have experienced either of those – some on a daily basis. They’re trying to show us the great extent of this problem by simply posting “Me too.” My initial response was simply this: “I believe you and it’s not OK.”

After reading your essay, “The Way Home for the Prodigal Species,” last week, I was left with a desire for …

Answered by Michael Dowd

Five Beliefs I Continue to Hold About Jesus

Essay by Eric Alexander on February, 2 2017

As we continue our exciting journey in charting the new reformation, there are many questions we all must grapple with. So I want to begin 2017 with a step back to the basics, as a place on which to build throughout the year. Before diving into the reconstruction however, I want to set the table on where I’m at with a quick reverse creed, about what I currently* don’t believe:

A New Template for Religion: A Conversation with Michael Morwood: Part 1

Essay by Rev. David M. Felten on July, 13 2017

Most 21st century Christians have grown up indoctrinated by a conventional religious experience that offers the assurance of having all the answers tied up in a little bow, just for the believing. Many still find this to be comforting, but a growing number are antsy. On the verge of becoming what Bishop Spong calls “church alumni/ae,” they know too much. Archaeology, astrophysics, and any number of other scientific disciplines continue to make discoveries that compel us to re-evaluate our true place in the universe – and we are right to be feeling increasingly humble.

1. You are a theologian, and more precisely a scholar of spirituality who has reintroduced to Western audiences the …

East of Eden: Understanding the Creation Story

Essay by Joran Slane Oppelt on June, 21 2018

Why are we here? How did we come to be? What is our relationship to the force that created us? What is our relationship to the environment and to the other creatures on Earth? Does man exercise free will? Why is life full of suffering? Where is the line between right and wrong, guilt and innocence, damnation and salvation? For Jews and Christians, these questions (and more) are first posed in that short, simple story.

REFORMERS, ALL

Essay by Rev. Gretta Vosper on October, 12 2017

We’ve been anticipating the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation for some time. Now that the month is upon us, it seems more like a private birthday party than something worthy of global attention. In truth, I suppose it is. With the global number of Reform Tradition Protestants diminishing, the celebration of the dramatic and cataclysmic leave-taking that was our birth seems of little interest to any but those enchanted by the history of such things and the few others taking advantage of the liturgical and party possibilities offered up by the date.

Moving Toward Radical Inclusion- Part 1

Essay by Rev. Irene Monroe on July, 12 2018

Radical inclusion must not be intellectualized but instead connected deeply with our need for personal healing which requires us to heal our “isms.”

Refiguring the Birth of Christ

Essay by Toni Reynolds on July, 5 2018

Part of the struggle for 21st Christians is that we have inherited a tradition formed many lifetimes ago, a key component being the virgin birth of the Christ. This tradition has been handed to us with little to no permission to rework the interpretations for ourselves. I am eager to follow Bishop Spong’s lead in doing so before more time passes by.

Why Traditional Christianity Must Die

Essay by Rev. Brandan Robertson on October, 4 2018

At the end of his most recent book Unbelievable, Bishop Spong poses a question that should be grappled with by every person of faith in this modern era. Essentially, he asks, “Can Christianity in its theology, liturgy, institutions, and practices evolve to meet the rapidly emerging new textures of reality in the 21st century?” As a Christian pastor and public theologian, I have often grappled with this very question, especially as I have witnessed my own worldview shift dramatically away from a “traditional” Christian perspective towards a new way of seeing and being that could only scarcely be called “Christian” by the standards of the dominant institutions within the religion.

The Way Home for the Prodigal Species

Essay by Michael Dowd on October, 19 2017

Here is a short story. The theme: how human-centeredness alienated us from primary reality (Gᴏᴅ) and how ecology — the interdisciplinary study of the way, the truth, and the life of the living biosphere — can lead us home.

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXVIII – The Ninth Thesis, Ethics

Essay by Bishop John Shelby Spong on July, 14 2016

“The ability to define and separate good from evil can no longer be achieved with appeals to ancient codes like the Ten Commandments or even to later interpretations …

A Brief Exploration into the Gospel of Luke

Essay by Deshna Ubeda on April, 12 2018

I would like to take a moment to explore the Gospel of Luke. When I read Biblical passages these days, I am looking for the deeper meaning behind the words. Meaning, I am not just looking for the dates, context, and scribes, though these are important pieces to the puzzle. I am looking for what the crisis might have been that caused the author to write it and how does the scripture speak to that crisis. I am seeking the wisdom that the passages hold for me in the moment as I read them. The wisdom found in sacred texts can shift as the reader shifts…that is one of the reasons why they are still valuable to modern seekers.