Theologian Marcus Borg spoke in Madison recently. I've read Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, but not heard the Borg before. He explained "progressive Christianity" as being centered in God, concerned with our life on earth, inclusive, respectful of other faiths, seeing the Bible as metaphor and/or in a historical context and mainly trying to live like Jesus lived. Aspiring to live a life of compassion, equality and justice here on earth!
When Dr. Borg finished, I looked at my list of attributes of progressive Christianity and realized that none of them contradicts Unitarian Universalism. In fact, the attributes sound exactly like UUism to me! Obviously, believing that Jesus is divine is not part of progressive Christianity -- it's not about beliefs, it is about actions. I loved the talk, of course. I had heard rumors before that progressive Christians don't focus on the Afterlife or the divinity of Jesus or believe that God is omnipotent, but hadn't heard all this from the mouth of a progressive Christian (don't get out much, I guess).
Someone asked about believing in God during the Q&A time. "Isn't this based on a belief in God, so you need to believe in God in order to be a progressive Christian?" Borg basically said No! He said that God is the indescribable, the essence of what is -- the "is-ness." Our life here is God; we live within God. It doesn't make sense to say that there isn't an "is" -- we're all experiencing being here right now. That is how Borg describes God -- in the most broad way possible.
I felt great for several days after hearing Borg. Even now, the declaration "we live within God" feels good. It calms and centers me (especially if I'm outside or can look out a window at a living expression of nature).
Too bad more Madison Unitarian Universalists did not attend, because many of them think that there is only one type of Christian (the Fundamentalist). Unfortunately, it cost $50 to hear Marcus Borg give his talks ( lunch was included). Sam didn't go -- just me, because $100 would be too much to spend on a lecture.
I'm gazing out the window at apple blossoms. It's especially wonderful to live within God during May!