22 Jun The Progressive Christian: A Working Definition

Readers of LivingHour.org have noticed that we cast a pretty wide net when talking about Progressive Christianity and the works of Progressive Christians. In our online bookstore, our motivational series, and our video picks we include people who’ve never identified themselves as Christians, much less Progressive Christians. Indeed we’ve even included atheists, like Albert Camus, among our sources of Progressive Christian inspiration.

Although our definition of a Progressive Christian may seem a little loose, it is by no means vague. At The Living Hour we see the writers, scientists, philosophers, and preachers that we’ve placed inside the Progressive Christianity circle as all possessing certain defining characteristics—all of which find a voice in the life story of Jesus of Nazareth. These characteristics are:

1) A Progressive Christian questions established thought and refuses to accept blindly the status quo.
2) A Progressive Christian uses their vocation to push the world a little further in a positive direction.
3) A Progressive Christian approaches their work with both joy and a devout temper.
4) A Progressive Christian demonstrates great intellectual curiosity and a generosity of spirit.
5) A Progress Christian shows genuine concern and compassion for humanity.
6) A Progressive Christian follows the truth wherever it may lead.
7) A Progressive Christian is fearlessly honest.

Ultimately a Progressive Christian need not identify themselves as a Progressive Christian to be one or to fall within the circle of Progressive Christianity. For as Jesus once said, there are many folds of people1 and one doesn’t need to follow Jesus and his disciples directly to do the work of Christ.2


  1. “I have other sheep besides, which do not belong to this fold.” – John 10:16 []
  2. “Sir, we saw a man driving out demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he does not follow you with us.” “None of you must prevent him,” Jesus said to John; “he who is not against us is for us.” – Luke:9-49-50 []