"Progressive" Christianity...And WHY You Need to Understand It—Mama Bear Apologetics Podcast with guest Alisa Childers
The gospel accounts found in the New Testament are embarrassing. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John included some pretty uncomfortable details in their writings. But if you're a Christian, that's actually a really good thing.
We humans have a tendency to paint ourselves in a good light—to leave out the bad stuff and exaggerate or embellish the good. If you need proof of this, click over to Facebook and check your newsfeed. You will be bombarded by photos of your friends vacationing at the beach, having ice cream with their children, drinking artisan coffee, and eating mouth-watering delicacies at the new local Bistro. You will read a wife's birthday tribute to her husband that would convince the most skeptical rationalist that she is married to Superman himself. In short, Facebook is a highlight reel.
That's not necessarily a bad thing—no one wants to scroll through Facebook and see everyone's dirty laundry.
But Facebook isn't exactly an accurate portrayal of history.
Progressive Christian blogger and author John Pavlovitz wrote, "We believe that social justice is the heart of the Gospel..." Is he right? And what exactly is social justice?
I recently posted an article in which I described Progressive Christian churches as swapping out the gospel for social justice. I got a lot of pushback on this point, but I believe that most of this pushback comes down to a misunderstanding of words.
Some are quick to say, "Social justice is good!" or "Social justice is bad!" without giving any nuanced thought to what the phrase actually means. Recently, I listened to a Mortification of Spin podcast episode called "Hijacking Social Justice," that brilliantly dove into the history and meaning of the phrase and how it interacts with the gospel. It inspired this article, and I highly recommend listening to it.
The world my kids are living in is radically different from the one I grew up in. When I was a kid, there was no internet. There were no cell phones. No Facebook or Twitter. No one I knew owned a computer. If I wanted to find something out, I had to go to the library and check out a book, or consult my parent’s encyclopedia set. In the '80s, it was fairly easy to settle into your church and community and not hear much from the outside world. I wasn’t particularly sheltered, but still I had never heard many of the sophisticated intellectual objections to the Christian faith until I was an adult....and I was not prepared with answers. But the one thing I DID have—I had praying parents.