Resourcing Progressive Christians


Living the Questions

Living the Questions is producing high-quality adult education resources for people seeking pluralistic, inclusive expressions of the faith.

The Center for Progressive Christianity Newsletter
Spring 2007

This is it! Living the Questions is exactly what the progressive Christianity network (has) been looking for: an attractive and thoughtful expression of the progressive approach to Christianity.

James R. Adams, President
The Center for Progressive Christianity

The line-up of contributors is impressive and the content is engaging. I hope there will be many congregants who find irresistible your invitation to a spiritual journey.

Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary
National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Biblical literalism and blind allegiance to ancient creeds and traditions are impossible for many modern educated people to continue believing. “Living the Questions” are new DVD based Christian programs that ask us to consider the hard questions that lead to faith. These courses have remarkable ways to bring us to a “Huge Thanksgiving” in our Theology including a place for science and evolution that enriches our own faith journeys.

Pastor Harold P. Martin
La Porte City, Iowa

A while back, my church offered this program. I had watched the first session and it interested me enough to go to the class. I found that the material being covered was exactly what I was looking for in my faith. It seemed to fill the gaps that just were usually avoided by usual teaching. Every day, it gave more perspectives into my own faith and helped me grasp other concepts. Personally, I think attending those classes was the best thing I could have done in years.

Chad Spence
College Student in Nebraska

It's been especially powerful for some of our newer folk from other traditions who are just astonished that we're allowed to talk about these things in church, allowed to ask questions.

Rev. Petra Malleis-Sternberg
First Cong. UCC, San Bernadino, CA

LtQ conveys the richness of the Christian tradition in the various personalities, stories and cultures presented. It also succeeds in lifting up the importance of social justice in Christian faith.

The Christian Century
April 5, 2005

In the congregation I currently serve, we have been asking our own questions and discovering our own answers for some time. You can't imagine how much delighted and grateful we were to participate in Living the Questions – to read the excellent materials and watch the DVD – to learn new information and have some of our own discoveries confirmed. It's a wonderful tool and it has given us hope and encouragement that churches like ours are not alone. Thanks for developing Living the Questions.

Rev. Barbara Nixon
Junction City United Methodist Church, OR

I wanted to pass on to you the excitement and enthusiasm we have for LTQ! WOW! I have been a UM pastor for 16 years and this is by far the very best study I have ever participated in. We have 32 in our class and everyone is on fire about the content, questions and DVD portion. Every week we just keep saying, 'Just when we think it can't get any better, we do the next chapter and it's so good.

Teri Johnson
Brookings First United Methodist Church, 625 5th St. Brookings, SD

I've been a Resource Center Director for 17 years, and I can honestly say "Living the Questions" has generated more excitement than any other resource. We purchased five copies and they have been out continually for two years. A number of churches and individuals didn't want to remain on a waiting list, so they purchased their own copies. Young adults to senior citizens have all contributed to the positive buzz on this excellent resource.

For too long, the marketplace has been saturated with video studies that provide simplistic answers to difficult faith questions. Thankfully, Living the Questions has been a breath of fresh air for liberal, progressive and mainstream believers. I'm sure the Holy Spirit guided the LTQ producers to take a risk. The results have been a phenomenal journey in faith.

Thank you for all the LTQ studies. he demand for them has outpaced their availability.

Mary Rockwell
Resource Center Director for the Wyoming Conference of the UMC

Just a quick note to let you folks know we are about 6 weeks into the Living the Questions study and have had a great response. At 14 plus me, the class is a little large, but we manage. We meet in my home on Thursday evenings for dinner (thanks to my amazingly understanding, industrious, and creative spouse!) and study.

Thus far the DVD sessions have inspired thought-provoking questions and thoughtful comments. Please share our thanks with whomever you are able.

Thanks again!

Matt Seargeant
Brea United Methodist Church in Brea, CA

We are so pleased with Living the Questions!

I coordinate the small group ministry at our church, Circular Congregational Church, in Charleston, SC and have been doing so for the last three years. We have had outstanding response to Living the Questions with four groups of 12-14 participants in each group. The groups got off to a good start with the orientation session and met with very favorable reactions.

I've never experienced such a response to any group. The only advertisement was a short paragraph in our weekly newsletter for several weeks before the sign-up. We also showed the demonstration video following the worship service on 3 different Sundays. Obviously, this is something that our members have been wanting and needing. Thank goodness you've come up with a study that meets the needs of our people--and the facilitators.

I met with the facilitators for a weekend planning session where we had the chance to participate and share facilitation. We were unanimous in our positive regard for this program.

I only have one question. What's next?

Sarah Jayne
Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, SC

This is the very best study we have ever done at our church. We only have 50 members and we have had up to 22 people show up for the study.

We are very grateful for this material.

Bonnie Frost
Coral Isles Church in Tavernier, FL

I couldn't help but cry and laugh and praise God for this video. I have struggles with these question for so long - and by the time I graduated seminary I came to a sort of peace about the questions.

To hear the brightest minds in Christian thought ask and address these same questions is a blessing. Thanks...

Rev Pam DeFusco
High Point United Church Of Christ in Union, KY

We are delighted with the program after having used the Alpha program once and found it to narrow in orthodoxy.

We completed the program a month ago and with 18 people involved the response was overwhelmingly positive. In the group were people who had read Marcus Borg and Bishop John Spong. Others in the group had not encountered anyone of their theological perspectives. All however found the information and insights provided as being very helpful to their journey of faith.

Comments received:

I feel affirmed...Id like to see some of it over again...The whole thing was a wonderful, positive, healing experience.

The program will be repeated again in the fall. It is the best resource I have been able to find that brings a liberal (we can use this word in Canada!) mindset to the material that is offered. We will also be following this program up with Borg's Book The Heart of Christianity that has now a study guide and DVD program.

We are a Cathedral Congregation in the Anglican (Episcopal) tradition.

The Very Rev. R.J. (Bob) Osborne
Cathedral Church of St. John in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you very much for creating Living the Questions. A small group in our church just finished the experience and we find ourselves profoundly thankful. I have sought for and not been able to find this type of approach to faith development and discussion until LtQ came along. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this material and the presenters. Marcus Borg, Bill Nelson, John Spong, and Stanley Hauerwas were fantastic people to hear and watch. I will enjoy them even more the next time I have the honor of seeing them in person. It was great seeing Minerva Carcaño again (having been a classmate of hers at Perkins Seminary). Who could not love Tex Sample? I enjoyed listening to the mysticism of Siyoung Park and the comments of John Dominic Crossan, Emilie Townes, and Nancy Ammerman. The discussion and thought it has provoked has been life affirming. LtQ is freeing, guilt deflating, and faith strengthening. LtQ is excellent! We will be starting another group or two soon.

I have been looking for something more in the progressive line for our confirmation groups. I do hope there will soon be something similar available for the youth.

Thank you again for this excellent study.

Pastor Butch Lewellin
Byron United Methodist Church in Byron, MN

Our church has been looking for a curriculum with a progressive voice...something that celebrates the questions life offers, rather than providing pat answers that no longer speak fully to the 21st Century mind.

Living the Questions provides a framework for open, honest faith discussion...a dialogue essential for the church to remain relevant in individual hearts and community action. We are grateful for your efforts, and hope this is one of many programs to come.

Stephen Walden
Green Mountain UMC in Lakewood, Colorado

Our group has just completed four sessions of the course and I once again want to tell you what a joy this course is, and to thank the speakers and organizers for putting together such a well thought out course. It is a delight! We currently have 6 older adults involved (including one fundamentalist friend). At this stage, everyone seems to be enjoying the course equally regardless of conservative or liberal disposition.

With gratitude to all!

John Jacobson
Theology Study Group in Volusia County, FL

Greetings from Colorado,

On behalf of the class using Living the Questions as an adult spiritual formation curriculum here at Plymouth Congregational UCC, I want to thank you for the thoughtful, progressive, inspiring DVD series that is LTQ. This class has brought many people to the understanding that they are not alone, and that they are still a very real part of the body of Christ despite (even because of) their beliefs that do not fit into the traditional understanding of Christianity. We are all grateful for the people who worked to bring us and the world this study series.

Thank you again for Living the Questions, so that we may also live them and love them.

I unreservedly recommend this program to all churches seeking a way to talk about Christianity in light of a liberal theology. I believe Living the Questions has come to us at the right time, as people are ready to begin anew their journeys with Christ and his Gospel.

The Reverend Sharon A. Benton
Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC in Fort Collins, CO

Check out Living the Questions 2.0.