Progressive Protestant Power Shift Not Without Challenges

NEW YORK – When the Rev. Brad Braxton was tapped last year as the next senior pastor of Riverside Church, he was billed as an energetic and dynamic preacher with the power to reinvigorate the flagship pulpit of progressive Protestantism.

Soon, however, those very qualities got in the way.

Some parishioners found him a little too energetic. He talked a lot about Jesus, and perhaps a little too much about Scripture. Some critics even used the dreaded “f” word: fundamentalist.

Two months after his installation, Braxton, 40, abruptly resigned on June 29 after a bitter dispute over his leadership style and compensation package made his job impossible and untenable. And while Braxton’s departure was shaped by Riverside’s unique culture, some see a generational conflict over what constitutes progressive Christianity.

I suppose that one’s definition of ‘fundamentalism’ shapes the
way one might respond to a given term which contains the
word ‘progressive.’

“We’ve got to get back to fundamentals!”

Oddly enough, a self-defined progressive might even be heard to say:
“We’ve got to get back to the fundamentals of progressive… [whatever.]”

So does ‘fundamental’ = the non-negotionable?

Fundamental…in terms of the* basis* on which a given movement was founded?
fundare = to found.]

I do note how the word ‘fundamental’ has oft been ‘nuanced’ to mean 'fundamentalist.'
As in: “This matter needs to be nuanced.”
[Where ‘nuanced’ trumps ‘simplistic.’]

If ‘progressive’ is invariably held to mean 'progress,'
is one considered simplistic - if one inquires
about the direction of all of this progress?

Conservative means to save and to treasure the best of that which has gone before,
while remaining open to genuine ‘progress.’

Happily - reality so often trumps 'nuance.'
There’s something rather bracing, about reality. :coffeeread:


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