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Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  194 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Ministers David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy, along with an all-star cast of Bible scholars and top church teachers, provide a primer to a church movement that encourages every Christian to “live the questions” instead of “forcing the answers.” Based on the bestselling DVD course of the same name, Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity includes comm ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by HarperOne
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Apr 13, 2014 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember sitting, once, in the audience at a Christian conference where author, Philip Yancey, described how at time he feels like the most liberal person in the room and at other times, the most conservative. This captures in part my feeling while reading Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity. In this book, authors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy take us through some of the distinctives of the ‘progressive-Christian’ perspective. As a avid (okay, occasional) reader ...more
Leroy Seat
I enjoyed reading this book, and there is much good material in it. There are also some problems, one being that many long direct quotes are undocumented. While there are endnotes for many sources, for some reason many others have no notes.

Then there is the problem of presenting a "progressive" view by sometimes caricaturing more conservative views. There was also a problem of questionable, unsupported statements--such as, "God cannot be all of anything?" (p. 93).

Still there is a lot of helpful
Carol Brusegar
Jul 13, 2013 Carol Brusegar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Living the Questions is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in expanding their view of Christianity and wanting to live a more dynamic, creative Christian life in the 21st century. The book is based on "Living the Questions 2.0: An Introduction to Progressive Christianity," a DVD and internet-based program created by David M. Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy.

There are 3 sections of the book: Journey, Reconciliation, and Transformation which cover a huge expanse of topics. It is a call to "A Ki
Greg Dill
Sep 18, 2015 Greg Dill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While overall I liked some of the content of this book, I in most part wholeheartedly disagreed with its theology. Way too liberal. Explaining away everything, including the resurrection, as metaphor is not a proper hermeneutic and borders on complete heresy. Nevertheless, this does not mean I dismiss the book in its entirety as I thought there was some good material and new insight that I learned greatly from. What I appreciate the most about progressive Christianity is its love for people, jus ...more
Patrick M.
Very interesting. A little too Whiggish in parts (the uncritical reference to the Tennyson's inaccurate metaphor of "nature red in tooth and claw" begins one of the more poorly-reasoned chapters), but interesting regardless.

Although I don't get the animosity (that's the only word I can think of for it) towards the idea of the Resurrection. It seems as though the authors thought it vital somehow to debunk. I've picked up on this in the work of several "progressive" theology types, and I don't qu
This post concludes a series of reviews I did on the book (you can find the first review here: I have to admit, when I first got this book, I was really excited! In fact, I’d forgotten about applying to Speakeasy until the book arrived. What initially drew me to this book were the endorsements from others, most of which I highly respect and whose views have helped me a great deal. But a little here and a little there, the excitement started to wear thin. And, after a bit, ...more
Amos Smith
Sep 18, 2015 Amos Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-books-other
This is an excellent book and well written. I admire the work of the authors, which now serves as a foundation for Progressive Christianity. For a long time there was no broad survey of topics of Progressive Christianity in a format that was readily accessible. The authors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy have provided this foundation, not only in book format, but also in the format of DVDs. My church has used the "Living The Questions" DVD series with excellent results. We had a good turn o ...more
John Suddath
Jun 06, 2015 John Suddath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While some may consider this book as an ultra-liberal intellectural approach to theology and Christology, I think the primary thrust is to challenge us to reconsider our personal beliefs, spirituality, and relationship with God. Perhaps by striving too hard to rationalize the accretion of 2,000 years of myths and traditions, the authors have unintentionally assumed a more defensive position than they intended. Of course, whenever you challenge people’s long-held attitudes and beliefs, you’re bo ...more
Kelly Brill
Aug 05, 2015 Kelly Brill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent overview of the tenets of progressive theology.

Some good quotes: Spong on the resurrection - "There is a powerful Easter experience that starts the whole Christian faith, transforms the disciples, changes them from cowards who had forsaken him and fled and brought them back into being heroic followers of this Jesus, and that changed the way they understood God."

From the chapter "Honoring Creation" - "Perhaps praying with one's eyes open is more a part of the spiritual life than ma
Fr. River
Mar 30, 2014 Fr. River rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This books is a must read for any person who is seeking in their spirituality a way of seeing God beyond the dead, traditional concepts of today.

Living the Questions presents a theology that calls us to live out our questions in the here and now. To challenge the structure of our society in order that all people might have life in all of its wholeness. It is a book that presents Jesus as one who cares for all people in the here and now, not as some distinct, God like figure but as a friend who
Apr 03, 2014 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Instead of being about internal wrestling, this is a book about action. It presents a progressive approach to topics as varied as the rapture, compassion, and atonement and then offers a discussion of how those beliefs might affect the ways that we choose to live. There are a lot of topics, and it’s definitely not an in-depth approach, but there’s a good bibliography if you are looking to expand on any one chapter in particular. The strength of the book is clearly in the ways that it pulls toget ...more
Apr 30, 2013 Shawna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing...I will buy it
Lee Harmon
Aug 07, 2012 Lee Harmon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Latin re-ligio: To relink, to reconnect.

Buy this book! If I do a “best of 2012” summary this January, I guarantee this one will be near the top. Heart and head both feel satisfied as I turn the last page.

This is what progressive Christianity is all about. It will toy with your emotions, lift you to the heights of compassion, and fill your soul with awe for the beauty and mystery of life we share. God is in this book, until you set the book down and discover He has wiggled out of its pages and i
Sep 12, 2015 Katrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. It was a relief to hear what I had been thinking, and yet afraid to say. Itis a relief to be able to call self a christian again with no doubts in the back of my mind. I learned so much. I learned that Jesus' main teaching is compassion, and christianity isn't what you believe in but what you do. I wish everyone would read this book.
Alice Harbin
Jul 01, 2014 Alice Harbin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of questions to live with! I enjoyed the thinking that they provoked. At times the questions shook me up for a bit, but then after pondering them, I was okay to just consider what thoughts they brought up. It changed my thinking about the church as an institution. It certainly brings to mind that time changes people and their thoughts. Nothing stays the same, so it's a good thing to be flexible and learn to adapt.
Nindyo Sasongko
Sep 10, 2012 Nindyo Sasongko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have finished reading the book and I am astonished to what the authors pose the arguments. Packed with illustrations and quotes from theologians and Christian mystics, yes, these stuffs are all perplexing and often slippery. I learn that the book will be very helpful for those Christians who live with many questions, yet it challenges the readers to be bold and courageous to live amidst many questions. Some theologians might be called to present Christianity in a logical and convincing way. Bu ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good introduction to the ideas of so-called Progressive Christianity. Good for anyone who finds "traditional" Christianity intellectually inadequate as it offers a demythologized understanding of the biblical texts and focuses on compassion as the heart of Jesus' message. One does wonder, though, why demythologization doesn't go as far as abandoning belief in any god at all. This is not addressed in the book - but the construction of God is clearly different to a traditional construction. Draws ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is on track with my faith, and to a large degree with my understanding of the Community of Christ. Prior to reading it I had one of our Community of Christ pastors in Arizona suggest hosting a workshop or class by the authors. Then I had another minister in our faith, after hearing one of our general church officers speak, ask if he had read the book. I checked and the officer had not--sort of proving the point, I guess.

I would encourage this as something to read and study in adult Sun
Sharon T.
Mar 06, 2014 Sharon T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written and well-researched. Offers lots of food for thought.
Anthony Bendall
Aug 05, 2013 Anthony Bendall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great introduction/guide to the universe of progressive Christianity. I'm just embarking on this area of exploration, having been raised a Catholic, from which I gently lapsed some years and more definitively rejected more recently, in the face of the inhumanity of John Paul II, Bendedict IX and their various acolytes and in particular e woeful response to the disgraceful sexual abuse scandal.
Mar 13, 2013 Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books dealing with Progressive Christian thought around. It complements the video series very well. If your looking for something that will help to challenge your traditional Christian thinking, and yet keep you rooted in the mystery that the Christian life can be, then I think you will enjoy this book. Blessings!
Jun 03, 2013 Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With a background in the sciences where one is encouraged to think I felt that when it came to religion there was no room for rational thought or questions. Living the Questions has give me hope. Now I can take steps to enrich my Christian faith. Hell, indeed is the place where one has all the answers.
Mar 02, 2014 Ami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some really great perspective from Methodist authors. Opened my eyes to a few new things.
Cedric Rudolph
Feb 22, 2013 Cedric Rudolph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book delivers. A great guide to progressive Christianity. I am in the United Church of Christ, and we definately identify with the discussions in the book.
Dawn Hutchings
Sep 19, 2012 Dawn Hutchings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology

What a wonderful consise overview of progressive Christianity! I'll be using this in Adult Education Classes. Tons of sermon fodder
Deborah Brewster
Oct 03, 2013 Deborah Brewster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emergent, religion
If you define yourself as Christian, but can't buy the beliefs that just don't make sense, this book is for you!
Nov 08, 2013 Ruhegeist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, ebook
section on forgiveness was very helpful to me
I would not recommend the e-book if you want to get into the questions.
Christy Overton
Nov 22, 2012 Christy Overton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful invitation to embark on the search for truth and understanding
Apr 11, 2013 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book about progressive Christianity.
Jenn Raley
Jul 29, 2014 Jenn Raley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
A good introduction to progressive Christianity.
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David L. Felten, M.D., Ph.D. is a well known American neuroscientist and respected researcher whose contributions helped to establish the field of psychoneuroimmunology and laid the foundations for the physiological understanding of complementary and integrative medicine. Dr. Felten first demonstrated a direct connection between nerve fibers of the sympathetic nervous system and cells of the immun ...more
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“When people begin to become fundamentalist, it becomes a real challenge to the church to maintain the Spirit of Christ. What happens is people get defensive about their faith because they’re insecure and this is a very insecure time for the world. Fundamentalism says we know the answers; therefore, we should superimpose them on anybody who doesn’t agree with us. And along comes the organization of fundamentalists into a political bloc that not only takes over their churches but takes over (or attempts to take over) the governments of their countries, whether you’re a fundamentalist Muslim or a fundamentalist Jew or a fundamentalist Christian, the spirit is about all the same.” 1 likes
“Now from science we have a new creation story, which is very alluring and very exciting. It's not about deposing all the other wisdom stories about creation that humanity has gathered, but it certainly supplements it. It offers a real universal view because it's beyond any particular religion, ethnicity, nation and so forth. As we're struggling as a species to come together as a tribe, it provides us our basic framework, because it's from creation stories that ethics derive. Today's creation story from science is that we come from 14 billion years of an organic unfolding of the universe and are connected physiologically with every being in the universe. We all share the same atoms and the same molecules. That's truly significant and important at this time in history. We're all kin, we're all interdependent. And that's the basis of compassion, which was Jesus's ultimate teaching.” 1 likes
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