Friday Follow-Up: Progressive Christianity

First, JESS: I have your lost notebook.  It was just sitting there all along on the counter by the restroom.  I’ll bring it next week. 

Second, what a great meeting!  Thanks to Steve for leading the discussion and to all 17 of us who attended and talked and even…listened.   I don’t have any substantive follow-up, except to direct you all to some of the books we mentioned last night.

  • The Evolution Of God, by Robert Wright (DavidG):  This guy takes us through prehistory to the Koran’s writing and concludes that the concept of God evolves as societies become more complex and need to develop more empathy for neighboring cultures.  Religions expand their circles of empathy and respect as their interests in working peacefully with foreigners grows.  Good sections on animism and Judaism; not as strong on Christianity, I thought.  Warning: The author’s perspective, while respectful to religion, is atheist and historical.
  • Honest To God, by John Robinson (Steve):  The 1963 book that, Steve says, kicked off a new age of biblical interpretation.  According to Amazon.com, “On its original publication, this work instigated a passionate debate about the nature of Christian belief and doctrine in the white heat of a secular revolution. It also epitomized the revolutionary spirit of a fresh and challenging way of looking at the world, which, throughout the 1960s, was to bring about the disintegration of established orthodoxies and social, political and theological norms.”
  •  A Godly Hero (2009), the biography I mentioned of Williams Jennings Bryan: 

Also, (at least according to Wiki) these are the five “fundamentals” of Christian fundamentalism that Steve referred to last night:

  • The inerrancy of the Bible
  • The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ’s miracles, and the creation account in Genesis.
  • The Virgin Birth of Christ
  • The bodily resurrection of Christ
  • The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross.

We all look forward to hearing from Steve again next week, on “Red Vs. Blue States: Is The Chasm Mainly Cultural?”  Same deal on background reading: I’ll post as few things and add Steve’s recommendations after.

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