Monday, August 3, 2015

WIld Yeast and progressive Christianity

Another cool essay, drawing analogies with yeast and beer (which immediately caught my eye, being a craft beer enthusiast!)-- worth reading the whole thing. My emphasis.
Instead, progressive Christianity seems to be fermenting with wild yeast, in open containers that get cross-seeded with other batches in other places. Progressive Christianity is not simply made up of the liberals from each denomination, the way every brewery has an IPA. Instead, it’s something different—something I’m not sure we’ve seen in a long time. This seems to be a matter of different makeup, with different values and processes and even different stories. This movement seems to be organic and vital in a way that denominational bodies haven’t usually been (at least in my lifetime), and it seems to be wild in a way that augurs well for its survival. Progressive Christianity has no creed or hymnal, and it certainly has no pope or moderator, but progressive Christianity has a style and an ethos—a wildness and an openness that has historically signaled the onset of a lasting movement. Some progressive Christian communities meet in houses, and others nest in the buildings of other congregations. Some have a pastor, and others do not. Some progressive Christians fall into the category of emerging/emergent, and others belong to traditional denominations, and some are both at the same time. Some live by ancient practices, and others innovate their liturgies and music. No one thing characterizes them all–not even theology.

The defining trait seems to be a dissatisfaction with the status quo, and a recognition that the life is draining out of the old cultivars with every passing generation. Progressive Christianity is propelled forward by the notion found in its name–progress–but also by a restlessness that is born of seeking Truth, whatever (in the words of the famous quote) that may turn out to be.
 Progressive Christianity, then , seems to transcend labels and denominations.


1 comment:

JCF said...

Hmmm. MY Progressive Christianity has the Nicene (and Apostles) Creed (BCP 1979, adapted to remove sexist god-talk). Obviously, Progressive religion wouldn't require any (theological) creed, but if it's going to call itself "Christianity", then I think it needs to be based in the original sources. [Naturally, I think the Creed is, ultimately, a very progressive statement. What could be life-affirming than "We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come"? ;-) ]