Progressive Christianity ?

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On Wednesday Night, Aug 21st , we will have a discussion about a new movement within Christianity called “Progressivism”.  I was recently listening to a local talk show who had Jonathan Merritt as a guest. Jonathan is the son of Dr. James Merritt who pastors Crosspointe Church in Duluth, GA and was the President of the Southern Baptist Convention 2000-2002.

Jonathan was invited on the program because he had recently written an article in “The Atlantic” called “the Rise of the Christian Left in America.”  In the article, he quotes statistics from a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution which shows that the religious balance of power is shifting away from the Religious Right to the Religious Left.  According to their numbers, 18-33 year old Christians are much more “progressive” in their beliefs than are their parents and grandparents.

This new progressivism (also referred to as “the emerging church”) is summarized in wikipedia as a movement that is characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity, strong emphasis on social justice, and environmental stewardship of the earth. Further, Christian Progressivism is described as believing that Christians are being saved for abundant life vs being saved from hell, it takes the Bible seriously but not literally, it emphasizes right actions vs right beliefs, it does not consider homosexuality to be sinful, and it does not claim that Christianity is the only way to connect with God.

Jonathan Merritt concludes the article by saying that “the data indicate that the growth of religious progressives may soon shift a balance of power” and that Religious Right leaders “dominant days may be ending sooner than expected.”

The question for the evening:

Is Conservative Christianity dying ?

  • Yes (56%, 9 Votes)
  • No (25%, 4 Votes)
  • Not Sure (19%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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