Post-Progressive Christianity: Part 6, Love

j.moomin (Posted by) Level 3
The moral default of progressive Christianity is liberal humanism. That is to say, progressive Christianity prizes tolerance and inclusion. Progressive Christianity generally adopts a non-judgmental posture toward the world. By and large, in contrast to evangelical and conservative Christianity, the ethic of progressive Christianity tends toward the permissive.

As a post-progressive Christian, I highly prize tolerance. Where many evangelical Christians see liberal humanism as a great enemy, I tend to see it as one of the great moral advances in human history. It's hard not to read a book like Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature and not come to the conclusion that the liberal values of the Enlightenment have had a salutary effect upon human moral development. Tolerance toward our neighbors and acceptance of their differences, especially in an increasingly pluralistic world, are vital aspects for creating a more just and peaceful world.

Tolerance - Cry - Sacrificial - Sits - Heart

And yet, tolerance is a far cry from the sacrificial, cruciform love that sits at the heart of the Christian ethical vision. Christian notions of agape demand a bit more than "I'm okay and you're okay."

There are many contrasts I could make between love and tolerance, but let me focus on one in particular. Specifically, the Christian vision of love involves love for our enemies. Jesus, from the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6.27-29, 35-36):

Enemies - Pray - Someone - Cheek - Someone

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of...
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