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|Progressive Christians Speak
A different Voice on Faith and Politics
John B. Cobb
This is a great resource. I wasn't sure if I was a true progressive, but I knew I appreciated fact based opinion. This
book provides a well informed factual basis for so many of the items identified with progressive Christianity. R Cobb
is brilliant and voices he's chosen to the following topics are well chosen. The titles include Religion and Public
Schools, Basic rights of Children, Abortion, Human and civil rights, Homosexuality, Social Security, The Penal
System, War on Drugs, Immigration, Corporations, Sweatshops, Globalization, Debt, Environmentalism, Food
Security, and Global Population. This book is everything a good liberal arts education should be. It is extremely well
written and brilliant in it's insight and scope. By J. Jacobsen.
The moral basis for the progressive agenda. This book provides a great resource for progressives who want to
learn the moral underpinnings for their point of view. This is done on a whole wealth of issues such as globalization,
abortion, the environment and gay rights among many others. If you are a christian and a progressive and want to
stand up to the "religious right", then I recommend this book!
Review by G. Richard Wheatcroft:
The following is a mission statement. "Progressive Christians Uniting, formerly Mobilization for the Human Family, is
a movement of progressive Christians whose mission is to be a prophetic presence in the Church and in the world,
steadfastly proclaiming the radically inclusive love of God and faithfully working for the inclusion of and justice for all
God's children, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, age, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status."
In his Preface, Editor John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor of Theology Emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology in
Claremont, California, places the need for Progressive Christians Uniting in historical context. It is his perception
that for more than a century, the major Protestant churches in the United States were leaders in progressive social
action. Today they are mostly silent in affirming and supporting issues of justice. Some believe that the old-line
churches, which have experienced declining membership, have turned inward for fear of losing more members. The
dominant message heard in these churches, is "Me and Jesus" or what Joseph Haar called "individualistic
self-serving redemptionism." Cobb, however, believes that one reason for the decline of membership is the loss of
nerve in facing a new historical situation. He points out that conservative churches, which have entered the political
arena and dominated the media, are flourishing. In an Appendix, there is a short history of the politics of the
Christian right, highlighting their message and politics. The author writes, "The judgement of the Hebrew prophets
against the unjust and the powerful and Jesus' gospel of forgiveness and inclusive love seem mostly subordinated
in their speech to the ungodly idols of rigid and narrow sexual morality, capitalistic individualism, and exclusive
Given this situation, Cobb writes, it is the intention of Progressive Christians Uniting, to seek "to understand what is
going on in our world and to clarify the relevance of our Christian faith and heritage to that world." He states that
those who have come together in Progressive Christians Uniting do so as witnesses to a common faith. Although
they come from many churches in the Protestant tradition, they have been "nurtured by the preaching and teaching
of the Word of God, by the sacraments, and by service together in the world." For all of them, the model for mission
and ministry is Jesus. He writes, "As followers of Jesus in the church, both ministers and lay people, we, too, are
called, empowered, and energized for a public ministry in the name of Jesus Christ that reflects the love of God and
will make the reign of God more visible, a reign of peace, love, and justice for all creation."
The sixteen chapters of the book, first prepared as position papers of Progressive Christian Uniting, describe areas
in which Christians, if they are to make the reign of God visible, must be engaged. They are, Religion And The
Public Schools, Basic Rights For Our Children, Reflections on Abortion, Human Rights And Civil Rights,
Homosexuality And Same-Gender Unions, Is Social Security Really Broken? The Penal System, The War On Drugs,
The Immigration Dilemma, Do Corporations Serve The Human Family? Responding To Sweatshops, The
Globalization of Economic Life, Should Debt Be Forgiven? The Church and Environmentalism, Global Food
Security, and The Global Population Crisis. Each chapter has a section on "A Christian Perspective," followed by a
section called "What Can We Do," which includes "Discussion Questions" and "To Learn More." The book is
structured to be a resource and guide for study and discussion groups.
This book is for Christians who know that their faith is more than an individual, personal relationship to God (accept
Jesus as your personal Savior). Faith is a commitment to follow Jesus by proclaiming and embodying the
Domination-Free Order (Walter Wink) of justice and compassion he called the Kingdom of God. Cobb writes, "When
the whole of life and thought are unified in faith, there is an integrity and joy we cannot otherwise know."
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