Grace Emerges

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Forward Progress: Summary

Forward Progress: 
Lessons and Trends in Progressive Christian Faith
by Brad Duncan

A 6-part series on the church, faith and theology,
and how they can move forward into the next generation. 


This six-part series comprises a new "Articles of Faith" for believers.  We must reject some old ideas in order to make progress.  Just like in the current generation we needed to teach our children not to hate, or else risk passing on the prejudices of previous generations (e.g., toward people of other races or toward women), we also need to put a stake in the ground and teach our children not to judge.  The age of religion promoting individual perfection at the expense of love for others must be brought to an end.  Traditions, systems, institutions, worship styles, creeds and spiritual communities must be transformed or else retired.  Of course, we must resist peacefully, and must tolerate the intolerant, never taking up the methods of those we oppose.  Using peaceful methods, we must take up a global mission and purpose to build God's kingdom, bringing good news and good things to the world.  Or else why are we here, spinning our wheels, doing our dance, wasting resources like time and money?  If we justify our actions by saying they bring glory to God, then think again about what God really wants.  What does he want for us, for our neighbor, for our home (this Earth)?  Let's align ourselves with God and be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

The Gospel based on the Authority of Christ:

  • Brings Good Things (see Figure 2), like joy, peace and freedom, to the world around us
  • Honors God (see Figure 3) by building relationships
  • Works With Human Nature (see Figure 4) instead of condemning it
  • Enables Grace (see Figure 5) for us, to us and from us
  • Fights for Freedom (see Figure 6) by bringing it to us and teaching us to liberate others
  • and Builds a Peaceful Kingdom (see Figure 7) which brings hope to the world and for its future

Forward Progress: "I am the way, the truth and the life.  Come to the Father through me!  Find the good life at home in my kingdom, where God's will is done, where your needs matter, and where forgiveness reigns." -- Jesus

Other Articles in This Series:

[click on each figure to enlarge]
Figure 1.  The gospel should be based on the authority of Christ rather than a mix of grace and judgment.

Figure 2.  The gospel based on the authority of Christ brings Joy, Peace, Freedom and a life that is spiritually rich and abundant
Figure 3.  In our role as God's children, our goal is to honor and glorify God, doing his will, and contributing to his purpose.  But what does he want?  Rather than actions, service or worship, he longs for us to participate in life with him in a way that is rewarding for both sides.

Figure 4.  The story of humanity's interaction with God continues with us.  God made us, we need him, he helps us.  We relate to and with God, and this relationship brings deep purpose to our lives.

Figure 5.  Grace is defined as unconditional love.  Apply it liberally!
Figure 6.  The story of salvation is about freedom, in fact salvation literally means liberation.  The Messiah has brought freedom, we have received it, and offer it to others.

Figure 7.  The gospel is about change.  The Messiah came to change everything, establishing a peaceful kingdom on Earth where the Holy Spirit has growing influence.  We can't neglect the Earth without neglecting the Kingdom!

No comments:

Post a Comment