Progressive Christianity’s most powerful “evangelism” tools are our willingness to empty ourselves of prideful claims to the ultimate truth, and our efforts to serve the common good of humanity. Jim Burklo, What is Progressive Christianity?
Amongst the many definitions of Progressive Christianity is that of Jim Burklo author of Open Christianity: home by another road (available from Amazon), He offers 11 characteristics which he describes as ‘a work in progress’:
- Progressive Christians keep the faith and drop the dogma.
- For us, God is Love, not a Guy in the Sky.
- [If] God and Nature are one, science is a way to learn about God.
- Faith is about deeds, not creeds.
- We take the Bible seriously because we don’t have to take it literally.
- Spiritual questions are more important to us than religious answers.
- The morality of what happens in war-room and the board-room matters more to us than what happens in the bedroom.
- Other religions can be as good for others as our religion is good for us.
- Our church parking is for cars, not brains.
- God is bigger than our ideas about God
- God evolves, and so does our religion.
But there are other descriptors –
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1. Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;
2. Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;
3. Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, believers and agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities, those of all classes and abilities;
4. Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
5. Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
6. Strive for peace and justice among all people;
7. Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.
These 8 Points were the focus in their latest progressive Christian Children’s Curriculum: A Joyful Path Curriculum, for ages 6-10.