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From the Emerging Church / Fresh Expressions section

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New Life

Rediscovering Faith Stories From Progressive Christians

by Ed. John W H Smith & Rex A E Hunt

Jacket

Paperback
Price: £20.99
Publisher:Mosaic Resources distributed by Alban Books
Published:October 2014
ISBN:978-1-743-24109-7
Review:

I wasn't sure what to make of this book which originates out of the "Uniting Church in Australia". It contains stories by people who have left traditional Christian orthodoxy behind and have become so-called 'Progressive Christians'.

For 'Progressive Christians' traditional orthodoxy is to be challenged. Everything the Church teaches is to be questioned and the real Jesus is to be rediscovered. It views the orthodox understanding of God as being one who is "a vengeful and judgmental God controlling the universe like some giant puppeteer" (p.30). 

That certainly does not accord with my personal experience of the Church in over seventy years. Do all faiths/religions lead to the same destiny? Are there many paths leading to the same goal? These stories seem to point to that being the position of 'progressive Christians'. 

For some of us that is a troubling proposition in the light of much New Testament teaching. Progressive Christians seem to have a generally negative view of the clergy, emphasize that how you live is more important than what you believe. Many have forsaken the church and have sought their reason for living in other directions. 

Its theology is decidedly progressive-liberal—as is the tradition it comes out of—and is based on some very questionable modern scholarship. For those who are not already part of this stream, this would be a hard book to recommend



Reviewer: Graham Wise   (03/07/15)
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