caught on the wave of “progressivism”

I have blogged for nearly ten years now, many of those years with my own blog and the speak can be sharp and often not sufficiently nuanced. That was especially the case early on.

There was a debate between the new Calvinists and emergent Christians like myself, who were open to something more, not something else. Who held unwaveringly to the gospel, but did not think our practice of church lived up to its calling as found in scripture. Over time emergent broke apart, some opting for an openness even with reference to the gospel, the others holding the line on the gospel. Both sides, the new Calvinists (once, “the young and restless”) and the Emergents have since become a bit modified or laid back. Those early days I say are thankfully gone.

But for not a few the wave of progressivism in keeping with sea changes in this country now, is compelling. I have to admit that I’ve found it intriguing even while committed to the gospel. One such person who is committed to the gospel, yet riding that wave is Rachel Held Evans. A great writer. An interesting, good article on her journey, here.

Progressivism is actually in and of itself not an option for faith because it is rooted in large part in the consensus of humanity. In other words, what the world is thinking. And that can be a tricky affair, because rather than being global, it can be quite parochial, that is limited to certain regions and cultures. And for Christians either way it’s really no option at all. We are not to be conformed to this world, to this age, but instead transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might know the good, perfect and pleasing will of God (Romans 12:2).

Sometimes what is meant is in the eye of the beholder. I used to think of myself as progressive, but have long since abandoned that idea once I found out what that actually means. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t think outside of the box. And actually that is not a problem when one is committed in their faith to the gospel and Christian orthodoxy. Unlike what too many seem to think, there’s plenty of room for creative thinking within that framework. And we lose when thinking is not nuanced within that commitment (and the world loses with us).

So let’s get back to the old, old story. Following the examples of Paul and the early church into the early centuries. The gospel being the heart and soul of our existence in and through Jesus. As we seek to live it out in this world to which we are sent.

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