Thoughts : Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christianity (Theology)

Being Dogmatic: the “When” and the “How”: In the light of countless disagreements among Christians over interpretations of Scripture, I propose here my view on when we Christians should be allowed to be dogmatic and how we should be dogmatic. (2006)

A Stages of Christian Faith Theory: Some thoughts on a theory of the stages of Christian faith and how it relates to my own Christian journey. (2006)

Biblical Dialectics: Thoughts on how the Bible seems to promote seemingly contradictory truths, or truth in dialectical form. (2006)

The Subconscious Bias at Work in Conservative and Liberal Interpretations of Scripture: I argue in here that both the theologically Conservatives and Liberals need to recognize the subconscious bias at work in their interpretations of Scripture. (2006)

God’s Judgement and Justice: I describe my thoughts on social justice in political philosophy and how this relates to God’s judgement. How would God judge people who, through no fault of their own, were born into circumstances that made them less likely to believe in Christ or were born with homosexual inclinations? (2006)

Emergent and Emerging Christianity: Describes the “tradition” of Christianity that I would most identify with at this stage of my life. (2006)

Christianity and Idealism: I’ve always been an idealist. Here, I relate idealism to Christianity in two particular ways (though more so the first than the second): 1) the Christian call to reach the lost in a non-secretive way without fearing persecution and 2) the Christian call to sacrifice one’s standard of living to help the poor. (2005)

Kierkegaard and a Prophet: Postmodernism’s Pros and Cons: A meeting with a prophet, resulting in some reflections on Søren Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling” and how this relates to Postmodernism. (2004)

Theological Pilgrimage – the 5th Stage: Writing in mid-2004, I describe the 5 theological phases I’ve been through during my Christian life.

Predestination, Universalism and Justification?: Some of my thoughts on some Reformed beliefs I no longer hold to! (2004)

Thoughts on New Creation Church – and Grace, Faith, Health and Wealth: Some thoughts on the “grace”, “faith” and “health and wealth” teachings of one of the largest churches in Singapore. (2004)

On Being a Worldly Christian: This article describes how the Christian ought to live his life as one in this world but not of it. This is the earliest of my writings that can be found on this site. It’s something I wrote many years ago and thus represents my view at that time – which was about 3 or 4 years into my Christian life and at a time when I was very into Reformed Theology. My views have changed much since then and if I were to write on this topic today, I would say things differently and exclude some things I’ve written here. Also, I would add the important scriptural principle of using one’s liberty wisely. (1998)

Progressive Christianity (Poverty)

Goforth National Missions Conference 2005: I describe a Missions Conference I attended in Singapore which surprisingly featured slightly progressive ideals – concern for the poor through holistic missions. I also touch a bit on Church Planting Movements (CPM).

My Choice of Pope: Jorge Mario Bergoglio: I wish Bergoglio became the Pope! Though theologically conservative, he has a real heart for the poor – a true servant leader! What a statement it would have been had he become the Pope. (2005)

World’s Suffering, Christians’ Apathy but “God is in Control!”: I reflect upon how the conservative Evangelical section of the Church lacks social radicalism in their messages and sermons. We tend to hear and care more about uplifting assurances that “God is control despite the suffering in the world” rather than the radical call to Christians to help these people. (2002)

Above All…: Some personal reflections while listening to and thinking about the popular Christian worship song, “Above all”. If the One above all could suffer and think of us above all, shouldn’t we Christians imitate after our Savior and sacrifice our lives for the many suffering in this world? (2002)

Isaiah 58: Beyond the Individual to the Social: Reflections upon Isaiah 58 and how “true fasting” to God goes beyond the personal and individual into the social. (2002).

The Gospel, Healing and Social Action: An abridged version of an email sent to a friend touching on my views on healing and social action. Although progressive in theological thinking, I’ve not let go of my Charismatic roots. I thus believe very much in miracles and supernaturalism, unlike liberal Christians (2002). For more on my views of healing and the faith (prosperity gospel) movement, go here: Thoughts on New Creation Church.

See also:
Articles in the Poverty section.

Progressive Christianity (Missions)

Marketplace, Missional and Missions: I argue here that the recent emphasis on missional Christian living and seeing our homeland and secular workplace as a mission field is causing Christians to lose the sense of urgency in what we traditionally call overseas mission work. (2006) [Blogged here]

God Calling More Christians to the Third World?: If we just realize how many people do not know Christ in this world and that these people are mostly from the developing world, dare we disagree that God is calling more Christians to do missions in the Third World? (2006) [Blogged here]

See also:
Christianity and Idealism [Progressive Christianity (Theology)]

Progressive Christianity (Politics)

Bush and Evangelicalism: An unpublished letter sent to The Straits Times on the 6th of November, 2004 in which I state many Evangelicals do not support George Bush and that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat.

Church Camp vs. Political Conference: Reflections one month into my University life when I had the option to either spend the Easter weekend at a Church camp or a political conference. No prizes for guessing which one I chose :) (2002)

Easter Morning Protest: Reflections on the Easter morning protest rally I participated in. I touch on the Christian’s role and involvement in politics. (2002)

Christians Changing the World through Politics?: Reflections about whether it is legitimate for Christians to be working for political and social change on this earth. (2002)

Seeing the Far Near: Thoughts about the immediate and tangible impact that stems from involvement in full-time Christian ministry versus the much slower and more intangible impact one will make through involvement in political and social change. The temptation is to follow the orthodox route to serving God in full-time Christian ministry due to the more immediate transformation in other people’s lives that such a vocation produces. (2002).

Christianity as the Opiate of the Masses?: Some reflections on the lack of social and political involvement in the present world by Christians. (2001)

Progressive Christianity (Homosexuality)

Leaving Free Community Church: Some of my thoughts on why I left Free Community Church – and also a bit on my present view of homosexuality. (2005)

More on Free Community Church – too Liberal for my Liking?: On my concerns about the liberal-leaning beliefs of Free Community Church. (2004)

Settling into a New Church – Free Community Church: How I started to attend Singapore’s most liberal-leaning and only gay-affirming Church. (2004)

Thoughts on Christianity and Homosexuality: Some preliminary thoughts of a progressive Christian on the issue of homosexuality. (2002)

Progressive Christianity (Others)

Ted Haggard and How and Who God Blesses: How do we reconcile the fact that God still blessed Ted Haggard’s ministry eventhough he was in sin?: “Ultimately, the only way we can reconcile all this is to believe that God still blesses the imperfect and the disobedient. In fact, if He were to only bless Christians and churches which have got everything (doctrine, practices, etc.) right, no Christian or church would be blessed by Him. Indeed, to say that God only blesses the obedient and those who preach a theologically perfect message is to underestimate how sinful and theologically inept we all are.” (2006) [Blogged here]

Ted Haggard and the Progressive Christian Response: About how a Progressive Christian should respond to the Ted Haggard saga – i.e. in grace. (2006) [Blogged here]

My Faith in Australia: About my faith in Australia – my encounters with fundamentalist Christian groups, Christian responses to social action, etc. (2003)

Does Living Your Christianity in This World Entail a Clash of Ideologies?: Reflections on Christianity as being counter-cultural. (2002)

Struggles with Organizational Christianity: Part of my email to a non-Christian friend about the struggles and disappointments I’ve had with organizational Christianity. I do believe in sharing my struggles even with a non-Christian. Organizational Christianity is imperfect (as everyone knows that) and acknowledging that and being honest about it can do more to help a questioning and thinking unbeliever see the attractiveness of my faith. There’s no need to put on a front and speak as though being a Christian and being part of the Christian community will free one from all problems. A progressive faith will acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers and that we’re still on a journey – it is a struggling and even sometimes doubting faith. (2002)

The Attraction of the Radical Nature of Cults: I write here of my belief that one attractive characteristic of cult groups is the radical way in which they live out their beliefs. Orthodox Christians can learn much from this and progressive Christianity seeks to take seriously issues that traditional Christianity has mostly given lip service to. (2002)