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UU Progressive Christian Fellowship

Progressive Christianity is an open-minded, open-hearted, and collaborative approach to the Christian tradition and the life and teachings of Jesus that creates a pathway into an authentic and relevant religious experience. UUCF is part of a part of the larger network of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship.


Current Book Study: Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today by John Shelby Spong (1931 - 2021)

Zoom only: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/93308402486?pwd=UWVpbDl6NHBla1NIamMweFZVMkRMQT09 (Zoom link will also be available on the right-hand side of the UUCF homepage)

Tentative upcoming schedule:
  • Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 12:15pm: Universalism & Epilogue (facilitator: Rev. Carl)
  • Taking summer off. Then starting a new book in fall 2022, perhaps "After Jesus Before Christianity: A Historical Exploration of the First Two Centuries of Jesus Movements" by Bernard Brandon Scott, Erin Vearncombe, and Hal Taussig.

What is Progressive Christianity?

In The Making of American Liberal Theology. Gary Dorrien defines liberal theology as “based on reason and critically interpreted religious experience, not external authority.”

A more accessible introduction to Progressive Christianity is Marcus Borg’s The Heart of Christianity in which he described the following paradigm shift:

  Earlier Paradigm Emerging Paradigm
The Bible’s Origin A divine product with divine authority A human response to God
Biblical interpretation Literal-factual Historical and metaphorical
The Bible’s function Revelation of doctrine and morals Metaphorical and sacramental
Christian life emphasis An afterlife and what to believe or do to be saved Transformation in this life through relationship with God.
Similarly, Hal Taussig has named “The Five Characteristics of Progressive Christianity” as the following:
  1. A spiritual vitality and expressiveness
  2. An insistence on Christianity with intellectual integrity
  3. A transgression of traditional gender boundaries
  4. The belief that Christianity can be vital without claiming to be the best or the only true religion
  5. Strong ecological and social justice commitments
More expansively, ProgressiveChristianity.org defines Progressive Christians are those who:
  • Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life.
  • Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and the Oneness of life, and that we draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey.
  • Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people....
  • Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe.
  • Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes.
  • Strive for peace and justice among all people.
  • Strive to protest and restore the integrity of our Earth.
  • Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.

Links of Interest

Sermon Archive

To read Rev. Carl's previous sermons on UU Perspectives on Christianity, visit our topical sermon archive under the heading "4th Source: Jewish and Christian teachings.

For more information

To be added to the email distribution list for notification about upcoming UU Christian opportunities, please send a request to .

Recommended Reading

  • Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity
  • John Dominic Crossan, God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now
  • Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith
  • Bart Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
    • How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee
    • Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
    • Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior
  • Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles
  • The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics by Richard Rohr
  • The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice by Cynthia Bourgeault
  • On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process by Catherine Keller
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone
  • Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Freidman
  • Searching for Meaning: An Introduction to Interpreting the New Testament by Paula Gooder
  • Hoping Against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim by John Caputo
  • Proverbs of Ashes : Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker
  • Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity by David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy (HarperOne)

Note: The short link for this page is frederickuu.org/UUChristians.