Progressive Christianity: What is it?

Sethproton

Well-known member
His views on heaven and hell do not conform with scripture.

He has said: "The Bible has caused so much damage. In many ways it has been an agent for dragging everything backwards."



Like I said, he's a heretic.
For me a heretic is a person who says twisted things about who Jesus is and what He has done. Nobody has perfect doctrine besides calvinists.
But I would not be interested in sitting under someone who was not keeping scripture number 1.
 

Beloved Daughter

Super Member
For me a heretic is a person who says twisted things about who Jesus is and what He has done. Nobody has perfect doctrine besides calvinists.
But I would not be interested in sitting under someone who was not keeping scripture number 1.

Too bad the word 'heretic' is not defined by you. Anyone who says such things that about the Bible is a heretic.
 

rakovsky

Active member
Once again: Were not talking about the same thing! Your concept of Progressives is unrelated to the Progressive Movement.

I knew about the Occult connection with progressives fifty years ago. The haunting of Bishop Pike, Merrill Unger 1971. At the end of his life Pike got involved with a movement that still exists. It isn't important to name it. The movement doesn't need a formal organization. It is capable of functioning as an international collection of fellow travelers.

Richard Rohr is listed as a spiritual guru to the current Progressive Movement. There are other proponents of contemplative spirituality also providing guidance to progressives. These gurus are not the Progressive Movement. They are guides to people associated within the Progressive Movement. What makes someone a progressive is acceptance of a set of ideas spelled out in The Ten Commandments of Progressive Christianity By Dr. Michael Kruger, 2019.

Had a discussion about Richard Rohr with Ed Sherman[1] when he was here in 2018. Ed Sherman was one my colleagues in 1970-71, one of several people I had worked with who were extensively familiar with neo-paganism. I am not a guru on contemplative spirituality so I talk to others about it. Suggest others do the same. Find someone who knows and ask them about it. Richard Rohr fits a prototype,

[1] Sherman has been teaching Christian World View for over 40 years.
I don't think you can hamstring the occult onto something amorphous as Progressive Christianity anymore than you can identify the occult with Protestantism by using Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism like I cited in my last post.

Your first problem is it's hard to make some kind of definition for Progressive Christianity I have read definitions of Progressive Christianity that are in conflict with Kruger's 10 Commandments. Kruger's 1st Commandment is:
1. "Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship."
That sounds like just his own idea. I don't think there is some kind of consensus on that.

None of those 10 Commandments mention the occult. Would Kruger say that it's occult? I think he would not.

It sounds to me like your real main underlying primary concern is people rationalizing away some of Christianity's main theological elements. Jehovah's Witnesses and folks like Gary Mac on this forum do it, theorizing that Jesus was not God.
 

Berserk

Member
That is amazing. Bruce Metzger is one of my heroes. Bart Ehrman and Michael Holmes were there at the same time with Metzger. I read Orthodox Corruption and exchanged a few e-mails with Ehrman when we were both on the textual criticism forum decades ago. I have Michael Holmes Apostolic Fathers both Accordance and hard copy. I used it this morning. He was also on on the textual criticism forum along with people like Larry Hurtado and William Petersen from Penn State.

I never got south of Monterey Carmel in California. I've been to Half Moon Bay on summer evenings. Fuller was used as an expletive where I attended seminary. Princeton wasn't really mentioned as an option. Wasn't on our radar. I read a lot of Emil Brunner for no better reason than I could understand him and not Barth who was the guy everyone wanted to quote. Was working on thesis in regard to the Divine Human Encounter until my thesis adviser John Feinberg got wind of it and the theology dept agreed that my approach to Brunner wasn't going to fly. So there were certain limitations on what you could write. My growing up next door friend Steve Graham attended Denver Seminary for a while. They got tired of hearing him quoting Herbert Marcuse and he dropped out. My life before forty was crawling with Marxists.
I did my 140 page Princeton senior thesis ("The Structural Unity of the Gospel of Thomas") under Metzger and used him as my primary reference Harvard in New Testament. He was the ultimate gentleman scholar and a sufficient reason to transfer there from Fuller. Princeton courses gave .me the chance to research my burning questions and the evangelical students there in general seemed more mature and serious about theological inquiry than their Fuller counterparts. The theological diversity at Princeton facilitated stimu;atomg dialogue.

Check out my Life Journey thread in the Welcome section for some of my Princeton spiritual experiences.
 
It sounds like "Progressive Christianity" is amorphous. The name makes it sound like it's a leftwing cultural or social counterpart to "Conservative Christianity". Definitions I saw online described it as having standard Christian theology plus concerns about social justice or progressive values. Wikipedia's definition presents it as a post-modernist movement questioning aspects of the historicity of Christianity, but I have known Wikipedia to give mistaken or only partially correct information.

The online definition is both wrong and filled with dubious terminology. The movement does not have standard Christian theology. Richard Rohr is not a Roman Catholic. Social justice and progressive values are code words for (cultural marxism). ANTIFA and BLM are terrorist organizations promoting the destruction of western civilization.

I actually grew up in a church with standard Christian theology which was concerned about people who were suffering and was doing something about it. We had a residential treatment house for heroin addicts all of whom were convicted felons. I worked there in 1970-71 essentially without pay. When the money came it it was less tha half of minimum wage. We did a lot of referral to other Christian houses, two phone lines 600 referrals a month. On demand speaking engagements every week on the drug culture, music and the occult. We didn't wear masks and beat people up or break windows or set cars on fire or gun people down in the street. Nor did we loot stores or take over neighborhoods. We had no label attached to the word Christian. We all at one time or another had read David Wilkerson's first book. None of our staff or residents became famous.
 
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rakovsky

Active member
The online definition is both wrong and filled with dubious terminology. The movement does not have standard Christian theology. Richard Rohr is not a Roman Catholic. Social justice and progressive values are code words for (cultural marxism). ANTIFA and BLM are terrorist organizations promoting the destruction of western civilization.

I actually grew up in a church with standard Christian theology which was concerned about people who were suffering and was doing something about it. We had a residential treatment house for heroin addicts all of whom were convicted felons. I worked there in 1970-71 essentially without pay. When the money came it it was less tha half of minimum wage. We did a lot of referral to other Christian houses, two phone lines 600 referrals a month. On demand speaking engagements every week on the drug culture, music and the occult. We didn't wear masks and beat people up or break windows or set cars on fire or gun people down in the street. Nor did we loot stores or take over neighborhoods. We had no label attached to the word Christian. We all at one time or another had read David Wilkerson's first book. None of our staff or residents became famous.
I feel like it's not going to be the most productive for me to keep arguing the point.
I don't think that one can pigeonhole a movement as broad enough as "Progressive Christianity" to mean that heresy on the basic points of Christianity is inherent to it.

Newport Presbyterian (PCUSA) lists features of "Progressive Christianity", the only one that seems off is their preference to avoid calling God "Him." Calling God "Him" is Biblical, but the third person of the Trinity has been called a "She" by Jerome and Origen, related in part to "Spirit" being a feminine term. But I doubt that there is a "progressive" "consensus" against calling God a "He."

The National Catholic Reporter article on it presents it as just having Christianity and Progressive politics. (https://www.ncronline.org/news/opin...essive-christians-organize-fight-not-dialogue)

Catholics in America tend to be economically "progressive" compared to Protestants. They can have a "progressive" take on Christianity like doing some of your positive charity work that you mentioned without it meaning some kind of heresy on the Christian basics. You write "Social justice and progressive values are code words for (cultural marxism)". But "social justice" has long been an aspect of Catholic social teaching and it doesn't inherently entail heresy on Christian basics. I'm unaware of Dorothy Day or the Catholic Worker making some kind of fundamental heresy in Christianity.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
For me a heretic is a person who says twisted things about who Jesus is and what He has done. Nobody has perfect doctrine besides calvinists.
But I would not be interested in sitting under someone who was not keeping scripture number 1.
As in Jesus was heretic for those who accused him? Following the way of Calvin is a fault and not the way. Following the way of God to be as He is -- is.
 

preacher4truth

Well-known member
For me a heretic is a person who says twisted things about who Jesus is and what He has done. Nobody has perfect doctrine besides calvinists.
But I would not be interested in sitting under someone who was not keeping scripture number 1.
You don't get to define heretic, God does, and in Scripture. Looks like you yourself aren't "keeping scripture number 1."

Too bad the word 'heretic' is not defined by you. Anyone who says such things that about the Bible is a heretic.
Exactly!
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
You don't get to define heretic, God does, and in Scripture. Looks like you yourself aren't "keeping scripture number 1."


Exactly!
Here's a definition of heresy - belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.

According to that definition, since Calvinism is a minority Christian belief and contrary to the majority orthodox Christian beliefs, you are a heretic.
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
As in Jesus was heretic for those who accused him? Following the way of Calvin is a fault and not the way. Following the way of God to be as He is -- is.
I always take into account that the Bible teaches that we know in part. Nobody has perfect doctrine. Not me, not you, not calvinists. But to throw the word heretic around when you yourself are not doctrinally perfect, is misplaced ego.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
I always take into account that the Bible teaches that we know in part. Nobody has perfect doctrine. Not me, not you, not calvinists. But to throw the word heretic around when you yourself are not doctrinally perfect, is misplaced ego.
Paul said that, he only knew in part, Jesus was not lacking at all, he knew exactly who he was in the Father just as we all do who has the same from Him. All of Gods heaven was opened to Jesus by God Himself, Matt 3:16 as He does in all who will receive from Him the same. That is why I follow Jesus instead of Paul, Paul only speculated in part about God, Jesus didnt, nor does anyone who has from God that what he had from Him.

Ego? Ego would for me to deny to have from God to be perfect as He is that what Jesus had from Him. Ego would sound noble toward man instead of God wouldn't it?

Has ego kept you form being as He is?

You say you take into account what the bible teaches -- You should actually take into account what God Himself teaches by His Spirit as He opened up and taught Jesus in His ways.
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
Paul said that, he only knew in part, Jesus was not lacking at all, he knew exactly who he was in the Father just as we all do who has the same from Him. All of Gods heaven was opened to Jesus by God Himself, Matt 3:16 as He does in all who will receive from Him the same. That is why I follow Jesus instead of Paul, Paul only speculated in part about God, Jesus didnt, nor does anyone who has from God that what he had from Him.

Ego? Ego would for me to deny to have from God to be perfect as He is that what Jesus had from Him. Ego would sound noble toward man instead of God wouldn't it?

Has ego kept you form being as He is?

You say you take into account what the bible teaches -- You should actually take into account what God Himself teaches by His Spirit as He opened up and taught Jesus in His ways.
If it wasn't for Paul's teaching there is much you would not know now about Jesus. Why would you denigrate the one who was given such great revelation for the church?
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
If it wasn't for Paul's teaching there is much you would not know now about Jesus. Why would you denigrate the one who was given such great revelation for the church?
If it wasn't for Pauls teaching there would be a lot more follow Jesus in his teachings to be like him righteousness, holiness, perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect instead of like Paul as a sinner as most follow Paul as a sinner instead of Jesus to be without sin themselves. Our denominations, churches, follow Paul in his teachings not Jesus in his.

Paul was of self even stated he used trickery to get people to follow him instead. He looks noble to religious folk who cant be perfect as God is perfect and to walk as He walks with the same signs following. SO these can relate to Paul in imperfections but they cant relate to Jesus in perfection to be like the Father of it and have His same mind. Paul even stated he had a thorn in his flesh which was his desire to be recognized for is abundance of revelation. Sin overcame him. I dont remember Jesus teaching these things. What I do remember of Jesus is be one in the Father with He in you and you in Him as one as He was in the Father and the Father was in him as one and perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

How can you compare that what Paul taught you to be as a sinner from what Jesus taught and be without sin? .
Ill tell you -- people can relate to Paul as a sinner and follow him in it, but they cant relate to Jesus and be without sin. Reason why -- They do not follow Jesus they follow Paul. Saul went about to destroy Christianity and pretty much found the way to do that very thing by gaining their trust in him.

All I ask people to do is compare Jesus from Paul and see what you get. Which one has it right, the sinner who was of self or the saint who was of God? Paul wasnt a saint he was a sinner. Saved by grace? Salvation is to receive from God manifest in you where grace becomes your own disposition.

Paul said a few things that was of Christ but for the most part he spoke from his own initiative.

Religious minds condemn me to their hell for following Jesus to be like him in the Father instead of Paul as a sinner.

For the religious mind demands I believe this and that such as Pauls teachings.
The spiritual minded demands I square my like with the standards of Jesus.

Jesus is just the better way for me by identification with him in our Father who is God.
 

Berserk

Member
I consider myself a charismatic evangelical. But to do justice to this thread's topic, it seems helpful to play devil's advocate and identify 6 issues that are foundational for "some" self-styled "progressives" or "emerging church" devotees. Such devotees might argue as follows.
"Progressive Christianity" (or the Emergent Church") takes these crucial issues far more seriously than traditional Evangelicals:

(1) the fact that the Bible is incomplete in its revelation and leaves many important questions unanswered and therefore the subject of debatable inference
(2) the indefensibility of the Fundamentalist doctrine of biblical inerrancy that is never claimed in Scripture (not even in 2 Timothy 3:16) and is in any case decisively refuted by its many historical and scientific errors, contradictions, and falsehoods
(3) the role of progressive revelation within the Scriptures themselves
(4) the fact that biblical authors/ editors are limited by a network of outdated assumptions that are shaped by their cultural biases
(5) the evolving role of spiritual disciplines, especially prayer practices, in promoting a deeper spiritual life, greater intimacy with God, and a higher quality of discipleship
(6) the need to apply biblical teaching on social justice to our world

Each of these 6 topics could be the subject of separate threads.
 

GeneZ

Well-known member
Reason for the question: A member of my extended family has self identified as a proponent of Progressive Christianity. He has enthusiastically embraced Rob Bell and Richard Rohr. My nephew attended private "Christian" schools k-12 followed by Whitworth College and Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. He has been working in campus ministries for two decades. This post isn't about my nephew. It is about the worldview he is caught up in.

The question:

How does Progressive Christianity differ from the modernism of the 20th century?

I am wondering if Progressive Christianity is really a thing. It seems that it is somewhat fuzzy at the edges.

There are a few apologists[1] who have taken up discussing Progressive Christianity. But some of them admit it isn't cohesive.

[1] for example, Alicia Childers
Here is the root cause.... Its in the Bible. 2 Timothy 4:3


For the time will come when they will not put up with/endure/ sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."


Sound doctrine many Christians do not want to put up with today. They will not hunger for it. They prefer spiritual fast food, or junk food convenience.

Sound doctrine is whole organic spiritual food. There is a price for it, that those who reject sound doctrine do not want to pay with their lives.

grace and peace.......... !
 

Sethproton

Well-known member
Here is the root cause.... Its in the Bible. 2 Timothy 4:3


For the time will come when they will not put up with/endure/ sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."


Sound doctrine many Christians do not want to put up with today. They will not hunger for it. They prefer spiritual fast food, or junk food convenience.

Sound doctrine is whole organic spiritual food. There is a price for it, that those who reject sound doctrine do not want to pay with their lives.

grace and peace.......... !
That is a good verse to apply to this conversation. And all of us have to be on guard that we don't let our itching ears be scratched, but that we instead, resolutely adhere to what the Bible says and included in that is listening to what Jesus has shown Paul.
 
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Sethproton

Well-known member
If it wasn't for Pauls teaching there would be a lot more follow Jesus in his teachings to be like him righteousness, holiness, perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect instead of like Paul as a sinner as most follow Paul as a sinner instead of Jesus to be without sin themselves. Our denominations, churches, follow Paul in his teachings not Jesus in his.

Paul was of self even stated he used trickery to get people to follow him instead. He looks noble to religious folk who cant be perfect as God is perfect and to walk as He walks with the same signs following. SO these can relate to Paul in imperfections but they cant relate to Jesus in perfection to be like the Father of it and have His same mind. Paul even stated he had a thorn in his flesh which was his desire to be recognized for is abundance of revelation. Sin overcame him. I dont remember Jesus teaching these things. What I do remember of Jesus is be one in the Father with He in you and you in Him as one as He was in the Father and the Father was in him as one and perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

How can you compare that what Paul taught you to be as a sinner from what Jesus taught and be without sin? .
Ill tell you -- people can relate to Paul as a sinner and follow him in it, but they cant relate to Jesus and be without sin. Reason why -- They do not follow Jesus they follow Paul. Saul went about to destroy Christianity and pretty much found the way to do that very thing by gaining their trust in him.

All I ask people to do is compare Jesus from Paul and see what you get. Which one has it right, the sinner who was of self or the saint who was of God? Paul wasnt a saint he was a sinner. Saved by grace? Salvation is to receive from God manifest in you where grace becomes your own disposition.

Paul said a few things that was of Christ but for the most part he spoke from his own initiative.

Religious minds condemn me to their hell for following Jesus to be like him in the Father instead of Paul as a sinner.

For the religious mind demands I believe this and that such as Pauls teachings.
The spiritual minded demands I square my like with the standards of Jesus.

Jesus is just the better way for me by identification with him in our Father who is God.
Are you saying that you are currently learning new doctrines directly from Jesus. or that you only read the red letters of His words?
Your position on this point is hard to pin down
 
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