Kudos to Dave on a good post about what one liberal Methodist looks like. Dave and I don’t agree on a number of things–mostly politics and football–but it’s nice to see somebody articulating a progressive agenda without also attempting to do away with the majority of Christian doctrines.

4 thoughts on “Liberals…

  1. Lutheran Zephyr

    Hmmm . . . I was a bit surprised by your post. I wonder if you aren’t doing liberals/progressives a slight bit of a disservice in your post. It seems that you expect liberals to disregard the majority of Christian doctrines.

    I didn’t realize that liberalism/progressivism and fidelity to the Christian tradition was such a hard tension to embrace. Of course, you are in a much better position than I to evaluate the state of Christian scholarship and its fidelity to traditional Christian doctrines. And maybe most self-described liberals reject core elements of our doctrinal tradition – I honestly wouldn’t know. I haven’t read or studied most liberal Christian scholars. But as someone who self-identifies in the Progressive Camp and yet who holds to doctrinal fundamentals such as the divinity of Christ, the reality of the resurrection, etc. etc., I didn’t realize that I was doing such a difficult or inconsistant thing.

    No disrepect intended, but I found nothing really earth-shadderingly unique about his post. I resonate with much of what Dave writes, but I’m not sure that Dave does anything in this post that I haven’t read or encountered elsewhere . . .

    Sorry if I come off sounding flippant. That’s not my intention. It’s just that what you find pleasantly surprising or refreshing I find to be a no-brainer.

  2. Derek the Ænglican

    It *should* be a no-brainer… But it’s not always. I draw the line at a literal interpretation of the creeds as the core of Christian doctrine. Many of the progressive types that I know or who have taught at the various seminaries I have known refuse to go there.

    Furthermore–speaking as a moderate–this is one of the issuses that conservatives take issue with and use as a wedge in our respective communions. The default stance of conservatives seems to be that a progressive agenda and bad theology go hand in hand. What I appreciate here is that Dave has laid out that–for him certainly–that’s not the case. I think that *more* progressives need to step up and say it publically too.

    Some conservatives pick on theological slackness to create a wedge issue; overs do it because they genuinely believe that good theology matters. For those who *are* interested in dialogue, they need to know what the deal is to get beyond caricatures.

  3. LutheranChik

    When I was involved in what I’ll call the Beliefnet debating society, it was the socially progressive folks in the discussion who most passionately defended the creedal affirmations of Christianity. Ironically I think that was in part because, unlike persons in other Christian traditions, we affirm the words of the creeds every day. But yet the conservative folk kept intimating that non-social conservatives had ipso facto jettisoned the basics of the Christian faith. In any event, it was an incredibly wearying circular conversation.

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