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Progressive Christianity - Book List Reviews or Summaries


The Way

Understanding Progressive Christianity

Book Reviews

One way to understand a movement is to read what the leaders have written. The progressive Christian movement, like any Christian movement, can be difficult to describe in detail because there is no one authoritative body or voice. Instead, there are many voices. I hesitate to offer too many descriptive statements because there are surely some who will disagree. Nevertheless, I will list a few trends then list some of the books by writers with progressive perspectives.

See the book reviews by clicking the highlighted titles below.

Progressive Christians emphasize:

A focus on the life and teachings of Jesus when interpreting scripture and thinking morally about current social issues.

An appreciation of what it means to truly love God and one’s neighbour as oneself when it comes to compassionate behaviour and promoting justice for all.

A commitment to following Jesus' example of meeting the immediate needs of people who require assistance or are treated unfairly.

An appreciation of the crucifixion and resurrection as a parable for all Christians to die to old ways of living and put on a new way of living that includes a transformed life committed to peace, mercy, forgiveness, justice, and love.

A commitment to changing aspects of society that oppress people and contribute to poverty and ill treatment.

A commitment to humility evidenced in treating all people as equals in all spheres of life.

A belief in the importance of living a transformed life now and leaving the world a better place for all.

An understanding that the Bible includes a variety of literary works (e.g., poems, stories, histories, gospels) by different inspired writers.

An interpretation of scripture that relies on an appreciation of metaphors, figures of speech,  parables, ancient cultures, and historical contexts rather than selective literal or near literal interpretations of translated texts.

An embrace of knowledge and scientific evidence which appreciates the fact that scientific theories change as new data become available.


Books and Book Reviews

I will add to this alphabetized book list whenever I or a colleague reads and reviews a related book. Find the reviews by clicking the highlighted links. Not all books have been reviewed by me.

Biblical Literalism: 

   A Gentile Heresy A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel 

     by John S. Spong

The Bible Tells Me so

   ...Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It 

     by Peter Enns.

On Amazon. We can become stressed if we try to read the Bible through modern eyes.

Conflict, Holiness, and Politics in the

   Teachings of Jesus

       by Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Conversations with Scripture:

     The Gospel of Mark

     By Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

   by  Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Days of Awe and Wonder

   How to be a Christian in the 21st Century

      by Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Do I Stay Christian

     by Brian McLaren


Embracing an Adult Faith
   on Marcus Borg on What it Means to Be Christian

The Evolution of Adam
  What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say About Human Origins

     by Peter Enns, 2021,   AMAZON

Evolution of the Word

  The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written

       by Marcus J. Borg        AMAZON

Exodus for Normal People

   by Peter Enns, 2021,   AMAZON

Faith Unraveled:
  How a Girl Who Knew all the Answers Learned to Ask Questions
   by Rachel Held Evans, 2014 on  AMAZON

The First Christmas
   What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth
     by  Marcus J. Borg & John Dominic Crossan

The First Paul

   Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icons

     by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan    AMAZON

Genesis for Normal People: 

   A Guide to the Most Controversial, Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible 

     by Peter Enns and Jared Byas.      Amazon

A focus on reading this ancient book as the story of Israel's struggle with God.

The God We Never Knew

   Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith

     by Marcus J. Borg        AMAZON

A Generous Or+hodoxy
  by Brian D. McLaren     AMAZON

The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith 

     by Marcus J. Borg


A House Divided: Sexuality, Morality, and Christian Cultures

     by Geoffrey W. Sutton  AMAZON     WIPFandSTOCK

Comparing conservative and progressive perspectives on a variety of topics linked to sex and gender

How the Bible Actually Works

  by Peter Enns, 2020,   AMAZON


Inspiration and Incarnation:

Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament

   by Peter Enns, 2015,  AMAZON


Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

  by Rachel Held Evans, 2018,  on  AMAZON

Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship

  by Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Jesus:  A New Vision

     - Spirit, Culture and the Life of Discipleship

       by Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

     by Marcus J. Borg    [AMAZON]      [GOOGLE]

Kissing Fish:

   Christianity for People Who Don't Like Christianity

     by  Roger Wolsey     AMAZON

The Last Week  

     A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem 

     by  Marcus Borg and John Crossan     AMAZON

Love Wins

   A Book About Heaven,  Hell, And The Future Of Every Person Who Ever Lived 

     by Rob Bell Available on Amazon

The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions

     by Marcus J. Borg and N. T. Wright   AMAZON

Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time 

     by Marcus J. Borg  AMAZON

Meeting Jesus in Mark (2011)

   By Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

The Moral Teaching of Paul

   by  Victor Paul Furnish     AMAZON

Putting Away Childish Things

   A Tale of Modern Faith

      by Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

Reading the Bible Again for the First Time

   Taking the Bible Seriously but Not literally 

     by Marcus J. Borg     AMAZON

The Rise and Fall of the Bible 

     by Timothy Beal     AMAZON

The Search for Jesus

   Modern Scholarship Looks at the Gospels

   by John D. Crossan, Stephen J. Patterson, Hershel Shanks, Marcus J. Borg


Searching for Sunday

   Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

    by Rachel Held Evans  on AMAZON

Sex God

  Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality

       by Rob Bell     AMAZON

 The Sin of Certainty

   Why God Desires “Our” Trust More Than “Our” Correct Beliefs 

     by Peter Enns     AMAZON

The Sins of Scripture

  by John Shelby Spong

     On   AMAZON

Speaking Christian

     Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power 

     by Marcus J. Borg   AMAZON

Still Christian:

Following Jesus out of American Evangelicalism

  by David P. Gushee  on AMAZON

Telling God's Story

A Parent's Guide to Teaching the Bible

   by Peter Enns, 2011,   AMAZON


     Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today 

     by John S. Spong   AMAZON

Wholehearted Faith

by Rachel Held Evans and Jeff Chu 2021 on AMAZON

A Year of Biblical Womanhood

How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head,

and Calling her Husband 'Master' 

     by Rachel Held Evans, 2012, on  AMAZON

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