I'm glad to see NY Times conservative columnist engaging liberal Christianity. But there are a couple things he misses:
"Douthat's title, "Springtime for Liberal Christianity" is more correct than his column. Most of his critique was true of the progressive churches a decade ago, but decline has brought reform. The most read progressive Christian voices like Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass, Marcus Borg, Jon Dominic Crossan, are all doing biblical studies and touting a Christianity that is deeply spiritual as well as politically engaged. At the congregational level, there has been a renewal of liturgy, spiritual practices and prayer. Many progressive congregations have also seen issues like gay marriage as pastoral issues, wanting to fully include all people into the life of the congregation. More than a third of my congregation is GLBTQ, so it is not just a political abstraction.
So it is Springtime for progressive Christianity, but the green shoots are not simply political coming back into fashion, it is the death and resurrection of Christ being lived in new ways in the church.
Read Ross Douthat's full column here.