Longing to Be a Progressive Christian

posted in: Grace, Love, Spiritual Living, Truth | 0

A “progressive” book publisher states that its focus is on, “progressive and mainline Christians who demand an open, inclusive, and culturally engaged exploration of faith . . .” I get what they’re trying to say, but have a very difficult time accepting the idea of what some are calling progressive Christianity.

Some folks, it seems, are not at all satisfied with the type of Christianity that is founded upon unwavering truth (dogma is probably the word they would prefer to use). The problem is that truth and culture are two very different creatures. God’s truth stands as a timeless reality. Human culture waffles and shifts like dying leaves in the autumn breeze.

A voice says, “Call out.”
Then he answered, “What shall I call out?”
All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,

When the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 40:6-8 (NASB)

Should we seek to make truth relevant for people to receive? Absolutely. But it is an entirely different matter when we attempt to redefine truth to accommodate cultural trends. The unfortunate result is that we are found practicing a humanistic religion of our own design. Serious problems result when our fear of offending people compels us to offend God.

The Divine Progression of GraceIn the end, I don’t have an issue with the term “progressive Christianity” as much as I do with how we define it. Truly progressive faith enables us to abide in God’s grace. Grace, in turn, does a progressive work in our hearts as it produces a rich harvest of spiritual fruit.

Spiritual fruit—love in particular—is entirely relevant to any culture. In this, I want to be a champion of progressive Christianity.

Note: This post is loosely based on Bob’s book, The Divine Progression of Grace, which is scheduled to be released before Thanksgiving 2014.