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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

What Is Progressive Christianity?

Should we think of Jesus more as a model for living than as an object of worship? Did he die on the cross for our sins, or was he just some kind of martyr? Is life in this world more important than the afterlife? According to Michael J. Kruger, the liberal, progressive, or emergent answers to these questions essentially amount to a wholesale abandonment of historic Christianity. Shane Rosenthal discusses this with Dr. Kruger, whose latest book is titled The Ten Commandments of Progressive Christianity.

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Progressive Christianity is a name I’ve given to what most people think of as liberal Christianity where all the classic doctrines of Christianity are either reversed or eliminated. When we think about core truths that we believe as Christians, we would believe Christ is divine. Progressive Christianity would say, “No, he’s not.” Christians believe that sin is real and his atonement saves. Progressive Christianity would say, “No, it doesn’t.” Historic Christianity would say that Jesus died on the cross for a reason. Progressive Christianity would say, “Well, he was just a martyr like anybody else.” Progressive Christians say they are a kinder, gentler version of Christianity. When you look at the doctrine of Progressive Christians, all they have is moralism, which is all imperatives, “Do, do, do.”  “Be, be, be.”  “Change, change, change.” Ironically, the very religious system that’s supposed to set you free, Progressive Christianity, is the very thing which puts you in shackles. It binds you with law but no gospel.

Michael J. Kruger