Confidence Concerning Christ: A Progressivist Problem – Richard Murray
Something has been troubling me for some time about Progressive Christianity and its way of expressing its ideas. I recently got some clarity on what is the problem.
Progressives (with some notable exceptions) don’t emphasize (at all) wanting to know, declare, or share the dynamic and supernatural depths of who “was” and “is” Jesus. By “was” and “is”, I mean Jesus’ divine identity revealed through His incarnation, His death, His resurrection, and His current glorification.
Simply put, Progressives don’t want to tell you anything with confidence about Jesus (which often comes across as an artificial humility). Instead, Progressives want to deconstruct YOUR confidence in what YOU have come to believe, feel, think, and know about Jesus. Progressives offer nothing positive to replace it, leaving you only with a mindset of deconstructive doubt and spiritual befuddlement which marginalizes Jesus to the realm of the basically unknowable.
If you dare share in their hearing what Jesus, Abba, and Spirit mean to you, they will naysay you and challenge your claim as an inaccurate and unknowable view of who “is” Father, Son, and Spirit. They are woefully unable to tell you who Jesus IS, but will quite boldly tell you who Jesus ISN’T. And what He isn’t, Progressives claim, is anything you claim to viscerally or experientially know by and through your OWN spiritual walk and devotional study.
You call Jesus God. Many Progressives will respond YOU are equally God.
You call Jesus supernaturally empowered, an empowerment He has gifted to us as His corporate bride through His Holy Spirit. Many Progressives snicker and say miracles are mere myths because science renders them impossible, and hard science ALWAYS trumps the mythic supernatural.
You call Jesus Savior. Many Progressives snicker and DENY there is anything from which they need to be saved—AT ALL, and it’s silly for you to suggest otherwise.
You call the purpose of Jesus’ heroic acts — His death on the cross, His descent into Hell, His resurrection from the tomb, and His ascension into Heaven as Jesus’ triumphant way of defeating Death and the fallen Cosmic Powers. Many Progressives will deny there are any fallen angelic Powers and that Death is a wondrous dynamic which we are to embrace.
You call the Atonement Jesus’ way of transfusing His curative energies into healing and inhabiting this fractured creation. Many Progressives deny the creation is fractured and that it is perfect just the way it is, and that it always has been, thus there is no atonement.
Progressives (not all certainly, but far too many) leave us with a Jesus we don’t really need, we don’t really understand, and we can’t really know.
Thanks, but no thanks.
The next time a Progressive seeks to undermine what you have come to know and believe about Jesus, Abba, and Spirit, FIRST ask what they themselves know about Jesus with any measure of confidence. All you likely will hear are crickets. You may hear about all sorts of scientific or new age theories about this or that, but you won’t hear anything about the prompting personal presence, the pulsating power, and the prodigious preeminence of Christ.
Psalm 1 exhorts us never to sit in the seat of the naysayer. So let’s don’t. Let’s instead resolve to focus on the fullness of who Jesus IS and what epic things He has wrought on our behalf.