Confessions of a Former Progressive: My Journey from Fundamentalist to Progressive Christianity and Back

“Confessions of a Former Progressive: My Journey from Fundamentalist to Progressive Christianity and Back”

In this landmark book, Snider reveals the truth behind the progressive “Christian” agenda like no one else can. After going undercover for over ten years in the deepest, darkest corners of the progressive Christian world, including its churches, seminaries and publishing houses, Snider exposes the ways that progressives constantly twist scripture in order to make it conform to their every whim. From treating women or gays as equals to denying the biblical truth that the world is only 6,024 years old to believing it is okay for scripture to be understood figuratively rather than literally, Snider shows how progressives have lost their bearings and are being used by the Antichrist to usher in the last days. If progressive Christians don’t turn from their ways, Snider argues, then people will be encouraged to treat others equally and in the process care more about this world than the afterworld, which is a horrifying prospect for everyone involved.

“A must read for all Bible believing Christians.” – Franklin Graham

“Snider lands a knockout blow to progressive Christianity.” – Mark Driscoll

Published by April Fool’s Day Press and available at terrible bookstores everywhere.

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Another civic prayer

I appreciated the invitation to offer the opening ecumenical prayer at Claire McCaskill’s town hall gathering earlier today at Drury University. Here’s a copy of the prayer I gave (because of time I omitted paragraphs 3-4 at the live event):

To the One who transcends all religious affiliations and languages and creeds, we take this moment to open our hearts to the call of love, justice and compassion that we sense upon our lives — a call that is found in the best expressions of our religious traditions, but of course is not confined to religious traditions.

And regardless of the name in which we pray, or if we pray at all, we come together at this time to express our deep longing and abiding hunger for love, justice and compassion to be found in our midst; for fairness, equality and opportunity for all people to be our guiding principles.

For all of the times our actions fall short of love, understanding and compassion, may we be set on right paths. For all of the times our laws fall short of the claims that justice and fairness and equality make upon our lives, may we be set on right paths. For all of the times we willingly or unknowingly participate in systems and structures that fall short of human rights and economic dignity for all people, may we be set on right paths.

More than anything, may our prayers be expressed not on our lips but rather through our actions, lest we hold our religious beliefs in vain. May we keep in mind that all people – including and especially the poor, and the vulnerable, and the citizens among us who don’t have access to the same rights and opportunities that many take for granted, whether because of socioeconomic status, skin color, sexual orientation or gender identity — way we be reminded that each person deserves our attention, our action, our voice and our care.

We give thanks for leaders with the integrity to govern not by the shallow demands of ideology or popularity but rather by the highest principles of fairness and equality, in solidarity with those they represent.

We pray these things in the name of the Love which transcends all boundaries, divides and religions and constantly seeks to usher in a better, more beautiful way of being, Amen.

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Current sermon series: “To Believe or Not to Believe: Is that even the right question?”

To Believe or Not to Believe graphic_updated
Image H/T Christina Levasheff

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Reverse Racism, Anyone?

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Get all three Banned Questions books for the price of one!

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January 15, 2014 · 4:24 pm

12 steps to becoming an LGBT ally in 2014

Well, I’m about a year late getting to this blog post from Kimberly Knight but I figure its advice serves just as well in 2014 as it did in 2013…

Happy New Year and praise be for do-overs!

So I had this epiphany today (convenient I know). If I hope for more LGBT allies (especially of the prayin’ sort) it occurred to me that I ought to share a few suggestions for how to become an ally.
If you are a seasoned ally or just taking your first steps, I hope you will share your thoughts, struggles and celebrations from your own journey to becoming an ally. If you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person I hope you will share your own suggestions for how folks can be allies.

I hope these will help you on your journey.

1. Sit – You may not realize it or you may be in blissful denial but you likely know someone who is LGBT. LGBT folks are not just characters in gleeful musicals or sit coms about modern families – we are your sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, pastors, teachers, students, doctors, nurses, librarians and law makers – in other words we are your family and your Neighbor. Sit down for a while and think about the people in your life, what they add to your life and how you are called to be their friend and ally in a world that (more frequently than you may realize) relegates them to second class citizens, or worse, tells them again and again that they are worthless freaks to be fixed, shunned or even killed. Sit with this knowledge and know you can make a difference, you can even save lives.

2. Pray – Pray for courage to be vulnerable and the humility to be changed. Pray for eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a heart that can discern…
Gracious and loving God,
Mother Hen,
Abba,
who was made known to us in the body of a babe,
born into poverty and despised by the state -
Our parent and brother
Help us
recognize the stranger as our kin.
Help us
listen attentively to our lives.
Help us
discern the murmuring of grace
planted by you in our hearts.
Help us
hear the the deep pain and soaring joy of others.
Help us
see our interdependence with others
Help us
to be your hands and feet in the world.
Amen

3. Invite -
Invite the Holy Spirit into your heart to do a new thing.
Invite new ideas to your table.
Invite a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender friend to lunch, dinner, out for drinks, or for a rousing round of mini-golf and ask them about themselves.
Invite yourself to be fully present.
Invite your neighbor into your heart.

Read the next nine steps here

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Here’s a list for all of the homiletic nerds out there

Maybe it’s because I tend to like end of year “Best of” lists, or maybe it’s because of the top 10 book thing going around Facebook. I really don’t know. Whatever the case, I came up with a list of my top 2o books on the art of preaching. They are close to being in a particular order, but it’s hard to say which one I like the absolute best…

1. Preaching as Testimony, Anna Carter Florence
2. They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching, Frank Thomas
3. Sharing the Word: Preaching in the Roundtable Church, Lucy Atkinson Rose
4. Other-wise Preaching: A Postmodern Ethic for Homiletics, John McClure
5. Homiletic: Moves and Structures, David Buttrick
6. Too Good to Be True, Christopher Rodkey
7. Preaching, Fred Craddock
8. Preaching From Memory to Hope, Thomas Long
9. Preaching in an Age of Globalization, Eunjoo Mary Kim
10. Prophetic Preaching: A Pastoral Approach, Leonora Tubbs Tisdale
11. Conversations with Barth on Preaching, William Willimon
12. The Word Militant: Preaching a Decentering Word, Walter Brueggemann
13. The Preaching Life, Barbara Brown Taylor
14. Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World, David Lose
15. Marking Time: Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense, Barbara Lundblad

I just realized my list doesn’t include Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, by Frederick Buechner, so I need to add it somewhere. Doug Pagitt’s Preaching in the Inventive Age also comes to mind, as well as Richard Lischer’s The End of Words. Plus, of course, the collected sermons of William Sloane Coffin, who is one of my heroes. The Renewed Homiletic, edited by Wesley Allen, is also worth checking out — as are so many others, but I have to draw the line somewhere and 20 seems like a nice round number. :-)

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