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I often see fundamentalist churches in the UK using Alpha classes to introduce new people into their view of the faith. Do people think there will ever be such a initiative with a more liberal view and respect for diversity of opinion on issues of faith?

http://alphausa.org/Groups/1000047505/What_is_Alpha.aspx

Edited by Pete
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I would love to see something like this addressing liberal, progressive issues of faith. However, in my limited experience, progressives seem to take a much quiter approach. I don't really see a lot of outreach from religious liberals of any ilk (at least in the my corner of the U.S.) And, from the posts here, I think that holds true for many places in the U.S. I would dearly love to do something like this from a progressive POV, but I'm not too sure how successful it would be. Maybe I'm just cynical.

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Fundamentalists are happy to choose one authority and cling to it; liberals would rather 'live in tension'. When the question is asked one needs to know the context. I once worked with a pastor who wanted to firm up the center in a church where fundamentalists were gradually having more influence. We dreamed of a new member class that teach what reformed Christianity (20th cent mainline) was about. It turned out not to be practical.

 

I think there is material available. Here is a link to Common Sense Christianity, a book available online.

 

http://www.religion-online.org/showbook.asp?title=3145

 

In 2009 we discussed the book. Here is a link to the thread.

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/1488-common-sense-christianity/page__p__16768__hl__randolph#entry16768

 

Some PCs would find it too conservative. It was progressive in 1989.

 

Dutch

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Thanks Paul and Dutch. I have a copy of Common sense Christianity but find I do not agree with all that the book declares but refreshingly the book does not declare that I should.

I will certainly look into the book "Living the Questions", but the DVDs ($100+) seem costly to me.

 

When I open the thread I was thinking more about the way Alpha is freely presented in many conserative churches and as such gives over their viewpoint without ever mentioning the fact that Liberals and Progressives exist too. I just wish there was some initiative that was being widely presented that recognised our viewpoint. Too often we are dismissed as just a heresy without any respect to the history of theology and Christianity being not so clear cut as conservatives would like to present it. We then become the unheard voice which often only is found when a persons seeks for a deeper and a more considered explanation of what the faith is without many of the prejudice the conservative theology holds towards differing opinions, other faiths and sexuality equality. I just wish Progressive churches held something that was more liberal/progressive and open minded in order to address many of the views being presented in Alpha and this was also freely available.

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I will certainly look into the book "Living the Questions", but the DVDs ($100+) seem costly to me.

Churches often share this cost. LTQ2 is now $75 for the DVDs.

 

http://livingtheques...ltq2-ad-nyt.jpg

 

Often adult classes do book studies in which each participant buys a book @ $10 each. LTQ2 has 21 episodes. If you ask for donations each session - just as Alpha does - I would think you would receive at least $1 each session from each participant. In a series with 8 students you would get more than enough to pay for the materials.

 

Since LTQ, the first, has been around for so long I suspect you could find a copy free to use and return if you asked around.

 

Living the Questions fits the need I think. The first Living the Question series was used as adult curriculum in many many mainline liberal churches when it came out just as Alpha is fashionable now with conservatives. I imagine LTQ2 has received a good reception also.

 

In a quote from a promo for the book Marcus Borg says. "... virtually a manifesto for Progressive Christians."

 

LTQ is not a para-church organization like Alpha which sets their own schedule. Groups in and out of churches can choose to use LTQ when they want.

 

Dutch

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Thanks Dutch for the pointer and the advice. I am very much interested. I have downloaded a copy of the book from Amazon. I will look at the disks later when I get paid. Maybe my local Quaker meeting would like to watch it with me.

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