Spiritual Progressives Tag

The Lebanese-American writer Kahlil Gibran is best known for his elegant and moving book The Prophet. But Gibran produced many other works during his short life, which ended in 1931. Since his death, Gibran has inspired countless men and women, including artists like John Lennon who paraphrased Gibran's famous verse, "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that...

Spiritual Progressives who have studied some Eastern philosophy are no doubt familiar with Lao Tzu, whose book the Tao Te Ching (The Way of Nature & Its Power) established the religion of Taoism. Not so many though are familiar with the second great teacher of Taoism, Chuang Tzu, who more than anyone preserved Taoism from the encroachments of Confucianism. One of the...

In an earlier post, we quoted the progressive Christian Leo Tolstoy as saying that we all can wake up to a real, happy, and peaceful life, as it exists in our consciences (God's Kingdom within), if we just make the moral effort. That was easy for him to say. While Tolstoy might have inspired Martin Luther King and Gandhi with such words, few...

The great Russian author Leo Tolstoy is a monumental figure in the world of literature. His epic novel War and Peace is unrivaled in its breadth and scope. But Tolstoy was more than just a fiction writer. He was a keen observer of the human condition and arguably the most progressive Christian in Russia during the 19th and early 20th century. His later...

In today's online issue of Salon.com there is an interesting interview with Robert Wright, a well-known American journalist. Wright is the author of a new book "The Evolution of God," which approaches its subject from the logical standpoint that, more often than not, we have created our Gods to match our own evolving self-image and needs. Wright refers to himself as a materialist...

Continuing with our theme of cultural evolution and the long arc of the moral universe, we turn to the subject of the evolution of Christianity, Religion, and Christian thought. For insight we go to another progressive figure who long has been forgotten by many: British historian Henry Thomas Buckle, who arguably was the first scientific analyzer of social evolution. Like the Unitarian...

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 writings 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...

The 14th century German vicar Meister Eckhart was in many ways a 21st century Progressive Christian. Although highly educated and an admirer of Thomas Aquinus, Eckhart also realized the limits of formal education, once telling the Paris elite that not one person among them could conceive with all their learning what God was in the meanest creature, not even in a fly. An indomitable...

Years ago in an interview with Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp aligned himself by association with the likes of Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson, and especially Marlon Brando, who (like Depp) once owned an island. One thing that celebrities share with regular folks is that we all like to associate ourselves with people whom we admire, and fancy the notion that we're...

The Catholic writer Graham Greene famously summed up his life as a search for "Ways of Escape." He said that his abundant writing and travels were simply a means to escape the panic fear, madness, and melancholia of contemporary life. Green's life summation goes a long way in helping to explain some events found in the canonical Gospels of Jesus the Christ. It often...

In St. Pauls second Epistle to the Corinthians, he tells the community to remember that "the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." When this idea is delivered from the pulpit of Christian churches today, preachers usually discuss how it refers to God's grace, the Holy Spirit, or the kingdom of Heaven. The problem is...

When Progressive Christians look toward their lineage, few find sympathy with the old Calvinists of 18th century New England. Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is one of the last things we equate with the tenants of Progressive Christianity. And yet Jonathan Edwards, like all of us, is a complicated individual. While going off the rails at times...

Periodic discussions often arise among Progressive Christians about what does (or should) ministry include. The question is being posed a bit incorrectly. The question should be, "What does ministry NOT include?" Because when we begin to think about it from this vantage point, we start to realize that there are no good works, no vocations, and no discussions that are beyond the...