Why Weren’t We Told? Compiled and edited by Rex A. E. Hunt & John H. W. Smith: Foreword & Introduction

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We started the year by considering the Foreword and Introduction to this large collection of short essays and writings which, according to the sub title, constitute “A handbook on ‘progressive’ Christianity”.  These introductory pieces provide a background to the rise and fall of ‘contemporary’ theology from the mid 19th century, the rise of ‘fundamentalism’ and the growth over the last 50 years of more conservative beliefs.  On page xxi, five characteristics of progressive Christianity are suggested:

Faith Explorer’s observations:
  1. A spiritual vitality and expressiveness
Desirable but not fulfilled as we don’t see liberal or progressive views expressed with vitality ie with charisma; liberals need to become more charismatic!
  1. An insistence on Christianity with intellectual integrity
Agreed but an imbalance of intellectualism is too dry and unattractive; needs to be balanced with passion and heart engagement
  1. A transgression of traditional gender boundaries
Agreed
  1. Belief that Christianity can be vital without claiming to be the best or only true religion
Agreed
  1. Strong ecological and social justice commitments
Agreed

 What are your reactions to these five characteristics?

Ian Harris