Progressive Religion - towards a definition
Progressive Religion is an expression of faith held within the phrase: ‘Nothing Fixed or Final’.*
This is a creed in that Progressive Religion is not without belief, but that belief is always provisional because we are human. It involves a seeking after truth with the humility to admit that if we think we have found such truth, and we are tempted to frame and dogmatise it, then we have missed the point. Our understanding can never be complete, is always dynamic, always subject to change.
Progressive theology is predicated on the provisional nature of this religion and cannot ever be rooted in only one religious expression. While it may draw conclusions these are always open to critique, modification, change or even ultimately abandonment.
Progressive worship gives expression to such theology and it is the nature of liturgy and worship that they are not simply dependent on this theology, but are also the crucibles in which such theology is explored and sometimes formed.
*Sidney Carter once said that his creed was ‘Nothing Fixed or Final’ and I have found this has held for me thus far.
When life juggles with our learning,
with the things we thought secure,
then it seems the artist’s palette
spins and faith becomes obscure.
In the wash of different colours,
as we seek for shape and form,
others paint their faith by numbers
forcing God to fit some norm.
But when life has torn the canvas,
when the numbers twist and slip;
then we need to find an image
that will help our hope to grip:
holding us, when we're past holding,
grounding when we're insecure,
till we find a faith, not drifting,
still dynamic, free, yet sure.
© Andrew Pratt 28/5/2010