Progressive Christianity Doesn’t Work

More and more Christians are moving from conservative Christianity to progressive Christianity because they think it allows them to circumvent difficult biblical issues, but in reality, this move creates more problems than solutions.

Progressive Christianity pits the Old Testament against the New Testament and Yahweh against Jesus. It says the descriptions of God as jealous, angry, and violent that we see in the Old Testament are poor reflections of Yahweh, and it isn’t until the incarnation that we see who God truly is.

Progressivism says if you don’t like what you read in the Old Testament, that’s ok. Just focus on Jesus.

Does it bother you that God said to stone homosexuals? Don’t get hung up on it; just focus on Jesus!

Does it bother you that God said it’s ok to sell your daughters into slavery if you need money? Don’t get hung up on it; just focus on Jesus!

Does it bother you that God told the Israelite soldiers to slaughter the enemies—men, women, and children—but keep the virgins for themselves if they wanted? Don’t get hung up on it; just focus on Jesus!

But progressivism is fighting a losing battle because it argues against the very words of Jesus. Jesus loved scripture (the Old Testament), which he referred to as “the word of God”!

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Mat 5:17-19

“Jesus answered [the Sadducees], ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God’” Mat 22:29

Referring to a law in the Torah, Jesus said, “So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.” Mat 15:6

Furthermore, Jesus’ “gospel” message was from the Old Testament: The kingdom of God is coming and the unrighteous will be destroyed, but all who repent and turn back to God will be saved. (Isa 35:1-4, 8-10; Isa 40:9-11, 52:7-10, 53:3-6; Jer 23:3-4; Dan 2:44, 7:13-14, 22)

Now progressive Christians typically respond to the New Testament verses above by denying that Jesus actually said them or by creating a hermeneutic that enables them to twist these verses so much that they end up meaning the opposite of what they say! Both of these approaches require historical revisionism since we know Jesus was a devout, i.e Torah-observant, Jew with views closely related to those of the Pharisees.

In conclusion, progressive Christianity is an untenable position that depends on historical revisionism. For this reason, progressivism is usually nothing more than a temporary resting place on the journey from conservative Christianity to theism/deism or atheism.

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Related Posts:
Progressive Christian Blogs
Was Jesus Anti-Law?

2 thoughts on “Progressive Christianity Doesn’t Work

  1. All good thoughts. I’m not sure what your views on Christology are but I find that one of the downsides of a divine Christ is the ease with which progressives can truncate the God of the Bible into their interpretation of Jesus such that all that Jesus becomes all that God is. So if Jesus died for his enemies then surely God could never do violence to human beings. If Jesus propounded a brotherhood of all people, then surely God could never harbor special loyalties. Neither of these are right but I think we will see this move being made more and more.

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  2. Hi Alex, thanks for visiting and commenting!
    Good thoughts. I agree that trinitarianism makes it easier for progressives to reshape Yahweh in the image of Jesus. And unfortunately, the popular image of Jesus has more in common with the Gentile Early Church Fathers than with first-century Jewish rabbis.

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