Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity” as Want to Read:
Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  41 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
Paperback, 271 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by HarperOne
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Living the Questions, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Living the Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  307 ratings  ·  41 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book for taking a close look at the things Christianity has done wrong, stripping them down, and then adding hope with a new perspective. I have long resonated with a progressive take on Christianity, and recently took some further steps in stripping down my faith for closer examination. I’ve come out on the other side convicted, and love what this book has to say about living faith rather than belief. I’m glad to see some solid theology that can embrace science and the cultural and ...more
Leroy Seat
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-devotional
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
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
amazing...I will buy it
Michael O'Leary
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great read for those wishing to explore and examine a progressive view of Christianity.
From the publisher:
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 commentary from such
Brian O'Dell
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
As a stand-alone book on Progressive Christianity I found this to be a poorly-written and composed book. There are so many better books on this same subject - basically anything written by Borg, Crossan or Spong for instance. Thus the tw0-star review. If one is using the DVD-based small group course "Living the Question" in the Church, then this book works well only as a secondary resource book that your participants can read in advance each week (though the book chapters don't mesh exactly with ...more
Orville Jenkins
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a contextual exegesis of biblical themes, with focus on Jesus teachings and the themes of the New Testament documents in their Jewish context of Torah and the Roman Empire in the age of the first Caesars. The authors reference historical and current Christian figures for perspective and example of implementation of the biblical vision.

Some of the key section and chapter titles give a picture of the practical detail these authors provide in their exegesis and application to real life toda
Jim Worthington
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent introduction to alternatives to dogmatic Christianity while still embracing the great principles of the New Testament

This is the kind of book that will want me to explore many of the topics in-depth. It works as a stand alone or a discussion group starter.
Pearl Loewen
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A good primer on progressive Christianity. My one complaint is the caricature and criticism of conservative Christianity. I'm "progressive" myself, but extend grace and respect for those living authentic lives of love as they hold conservative views.
Lynda Heines
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Eye opening and one of those books to go back and reread, highlight, and talk about. Our book study group had several great (and somewhat heated) discussions about this book.
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An example of both what is great about progressive Christianity and why it is in so much trouble.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The organization of ideas and the included reading group guide makes this book one that I'll refer to and continue to read again and again
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly inspiring for anyone who feels that mainline Christianity just isn't for them.
Greg Dill
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
John Suddath
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Lee Harmon
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Amos Smith
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Patrick M.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Kelly Brill
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Fr. River
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nindyo Sasongko
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Anthony Bendall
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Alice Harbin
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Black Flamingo
  • Boys of Alabama
  • Under the Rainbow
  • The Avant-Guards, Vol. 2
  • On a Red Station, Drifting
  • Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God
  • After She Wrote Him
  • It Is Wood, It Is Stone
  • Smash It! (Smash It! #1)
  • Michael Sanders: and the Destiny of the Qori
  • Victor LaValle's Destroyer
  • Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally
  • Check, Please!: Year Two
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015
  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
  • The Magical Kingdom of Ing: An Enchanting Tale of Fairies and Dragons
  • When the Moon is Low
  • Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers
See similar books…

News & Interviews

They’re baaaaaaack! Young adult vampires, that is. Fifteen years after Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight took the world by storm, we’re seeing a brand...
40 likes · 18 comments
“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
More quotes…