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Kissing Fish: Christianity for People Who Don't Like Christianity Paperback – January 10, 2011
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More About the Author
Roger Wayne Wolsey is a free spirit who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He's a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves "spiritual, but not religious." A trumpeter, Roger grew up during the "Minneapolis Sound" era of the 1980s and '90s. These experiences contribute to a musical approach to his theology. Roger studied philosophy and political science, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church. He has taught Introduction to Religion classes as an adjunct instructor at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA. He has served as a pastor for churches in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado. He currently serves as the Director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. Roger was married for ten years, divorced, and co-parents a delightful child. He loves music, yoga, dancing, rock-climbing, motorcycling, trail running with his dog Kingdom, and hosting house concerts. Roger on the board of directors of the Boulder International Fringe Festival and blogs for Patheos, Elephant Journal, and Huffington Post.
A word from the author:
A big part of why many are leaving the Church is because they aren't aware of progressive Christianity or progressive Christian congregations. Granted, this isn't the only reason - but it's tragic that so many folks aren't aware that there is a form of the faith that many of them would actually like a lot.
Whether or not there is a literal heaven, we are Christians not for the sake of some future reward/glory, but rather for the sake of living faithfully to Jesus and his Way here and now -- for the sake of experiencing and partaking in salvation/wholeness and the Kingdom of God here and now. Faith isn't fire insurance to avoid going to "hell." We seek to follow the religion *of* Jesus not the religion *about* him.
Progressive Christians believe that Jesus *is* "the way, the truth, and the life," and we believe that all who follow Jesus' teaching, Way, and example, by whatever name, and even if they've never even heard of Jesus, are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and his Way.
That said, we're rather enamored by the uniqueness of the Jesus story and we invite others to join us in sharing that specific journey -- even if we feel no dire need to convert them.
It is this non-exclusive approach to our faith that many young adults find compelling. So we're evangelistic even as we're not. ; )
Ultimately, let's just be as faithful as we can and not worry about "the Church dying." We have no fear of death for we follow a savior who gave it all up for the sake of others. Indeed, if we do anything to "attract" people out of desperation on our part, it'll be fruitless. It's like dating someone who is insecure and anxious -- not attractive. Let's just boldly be who were are -- and maybe even more so -- yes, more so.
Roger Wolsey, author, "Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity"
Top Customer Reviews
Roger puts it this way in his opening chapter: "I discovered the disappointing gap between idealistic notions of what the Church can and could be - and the decidedly non-ideal, petty, political, conflicted, dysfunctional beautiful messes that most of them are" (45). Hopefully, that doesn't put you off...particularly since Paul Tillich voiced similar sentiments in his History of Christian Thought: "...the gap between its claim and its reality." Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski has said the same about primitive religions. So, Roger is in good company.
Progressive Christianity seeks to develop a something other than a religion about Jesus. It focuses on the religion of Jesus: "his actual beliefs, practices, and lifestyle" (58). Sanctification is at its core: the slow gradual growth towards Christ-likeness in individual piety and social justice. Not one of the other. Both. Progressive Christianity is more tolerant for the sake of inclusion, reconciliation, and healing.Read more ›
bottom line-- this book was so encouraging, and i will be recommending it to all i come in contact with. :D
Though the media prefers to present the shrill and abrasively loud fundamentalist voices within the faith, Christianity isn't a monolithic religion by a long shot. In fact, there have always been, ironically, rather vicious battles among Christians over what defines orthodoxy and, consequently, heresy.
Rogers new book tackles the job of differentiating conservative Christianity from progressive Christianity. He makes it clear that neither category is uniform in its beliefs and practices, yet there are characteristics that are unique to conservative and progressive ways of thinking. Though some basics remain the same, thus the `Christian' moniker, the differences are so well defined that they are, for all intents and purposes, two religions.
Roger isn't at all squeamish when it comes to discussing the difficult issues. Conservatives and progressives have different pictures of God, what happened on the cross, the nature of sin, the origins of life, how to interpret scripture, what it means to be `saved', their notions of heaven and hell, the origin of evil, and what is meant by `the end'.
Here is why you should to read this book. If you are an honest follower of Jesus, you ought to understand both sides of the major issues that face and divide Christianity in the 21st century. If you are a progressive, you need to have clarity on conservative talking points. Don't assume you know. There is only one `body' of Christ, the church, and we would all do well to at least seek to understand one another - maybe even to `love one another'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lot of progressive christian books that I have read (particularly a few of Spong's, though I like him for a lot of things) have been pretty dismissive of any traditions at all. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Ryan N.
I would give this book 5 stars for content, but only 4 stars for format. I bought it the kindle edition, and I have to change the font to read some of the excerpts. Read morePublished 5 months ago by parjda
I was recommended to read this book to gain better understanding of progressive Christianity. I did, and as a result I am thoroughly discouraged from further interest in this... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michal Pleban
I can hardly bear to put this book down... am on Chapter 10 and on my 3rd hi-liter! I am a Director of Worship and Sacred Arts, and am an avid reader and conference attendee on... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Leta Cook