From Publishers Weekly
Coauthors Buehrens (A Chosen Faith
) and Parker (Saving Paradise)
, both progressive clergy, engage in conversation with each other and with theologians ancient and modern (Origen, Barth, Buber, J.L. Adams). Using the metaphors of garden, walls, roof, foundation, threshold, they construct a theological framework that faith communities can apply to stimulate reflection and reform, which will develop communal hope, discipline, and activism. To educate contemporary faithful about progressive theology's deep roots, the authors offer complementary chapters within thematic sections, reviewing historical ecumenical and universalist movements and illustrating their arguments with personal anecdotes. Exploring such religious themes as eschatology, salvation, and sin, the authors provide credible alternatives to traditional biblical interpretations, arguing, for example, that apocalyptic scriptures don't predict Earth's ultimate destruction but a future when God's will is done on Earth, and that humanity needs salvation not from God's wrath, but from the consequences of sin. Closing chapters introduce process theology, which argues that God both abides and changes. This accessible, engaging book may inspire religious progressives to claim their proud history and vital role in contemporary theological conversation. (May)
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“A thoughtful meditation on religion, duty, and the common good.”—Booklist
“To some observers, religion and conservatism have become inextricably fused. But to [Buehrens and Parker], something new is emerging—a liberal religious renaissance.”—Steven Levingston, The Washington Post
“For nearly three decades, journalists and pundits have focused on the views and beliefs of the Religious Right and basically ignored members of America’s mainline and liberal Protestant establishment. . . . [Buehrens and Parker] have set out to reintroduce people to the riches and bounties of progressive religion.”—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice
“Buehrens and Parker begin with the life of service and work for justice and deepen it to show the implicit beliefs that it assumes and that are implicit in it. They show that progressive Protestants can be proud and articulate about their beliefs.”—John B. Cobb Jr., coauthor of For the Common Good