Resourcing Progressive Christians

Living the Questions

Purchase of LtQ Curriculum Edition includes a one-year renewable license to use the downloadable/printable leader and participant guides.

LtQ is an open-minded alternative to studies that attempt to give participants all the answers and instead strives to create an environment where participants can interact with one another in exploring what’s next for Christianity. Featuring thirty acclaimed scholars, theologians and other experts, LtQ consists of 21 sessions which may be offered in sequence or as three independent flights of seven units each: “Invitation to Journey,” “Honoring Creation” and “Call to Covenant.”

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Description


The original Living the Questions series is no longer available for purchase. But as a registered subscriber, you can purchase additional copies of the LtQ DVD set for use at the same site as your original purchase at a reduced rate ($49.95 plus shipping and handling). If your subscription has expired, please renew your subscription and you will then have the option to purchase additional DVD sets. Thank you.

Purchase of LtQ includes a one-year license to the downloadable written materials.  At the end of the first year, the license to use the written materials can be renewed annually for $50.00. Please see policy page for additional information.

Contributors


Nancy Ammerman

Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University School of Theology and author of Congregation and Community and Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life. (Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University Photography)

John Bell

Born in Kilmarnock, Scotland. He matriculated in both Arts and Theology at Glasgow University where he was elected President of the Students’ Representative Council and Lord Rector of the University. Ordained by the Presbytery of Glasgow in 1978, his first appointments were in youth work. Since 1987 he has been employed by the Iona Community as a resource worker in the areas of spirituality, liturgy and social justice. With his colleagues in the Wild Goose Resource Group he has published over thirty volumes of hymns, anthems and liturgical material. He lectures and teaches across the globe and is the recipient of a number of honorary awards including two fellowships and a doctorate.

Marcus Borg

(1942–2015) was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity. He was the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland. His books have sold over a million copies, including the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Jesus, The Heart of Christianity, Evolution of the Word, Speaking Christian, and Convictions. His work has been translated into eleven languages. The Marcus J. Borg Foundation marcusjborg.org is a repository of his work and the continuing conversation he so deeply engaged.

Rita Nakashima Brock

Founding Co-Director of Faith Voices for the Common Good (www.faithvoices.org), an organization dedicated to creating a nationwide community of conscience and a visiting scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She is the author of the award-winning Journeys by Heart: A Christology of Erotic Power and co-author of Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and The Search for What Saves Us.

Walter Brueggemann

William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Brueggemann has authored hundreds of articles, several biblical commentaries and more than 50 books, including A Gospel of Hope, Interrupting Silence: God’s Command to Speak Out , Sabbath as Resistance, The Prophetic Imagination, Genesis: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, Finally Comes the Poet, and Theology of the Old Testament.

Ron Buford

Pastor of the Congregational Church of Sunnyvale, UCC, Sunnyvale, California. Ron is the visionary behind the United Church of Christ’s “God is still speaking” campaign and recently launched Racists Anonymous, a 12-step program aimed at ending racism, sexism, classism and more. He served as the coordinator and spokesman of the initiative until mid-2006 and consults with UCC conferences and churches across the nation. He is a writer, speaker, preacher, and consultant. Ron speaks and conducts workshops regularly on a national level.

Diana Butler Bass

An independent commentator on American religion and culture and a leader in progressive Christianity. Diana holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the award-winning author of ten books, including Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, Grounded: Finding God in the World —A Spiritual Revolution, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, and Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith. She regularly speaks at conferences, consults with religious organizations, leads educational events, and teaches and preaches in a variety of venues in the United States and internationally. Her bylines include The Washington Post, The New York Times Syndicate, and The Huffington Post. She has commented widely on religion, politics, and culture widely in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, CBS, CNN, FOX, PBS, NPR, Sirius XM, and CBC.

Minerva Carcaño

Having served as an organizer of various cooperative ministries and a pastor in churches from Texas to California, Bishop Carcaño is the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the Episcopacy in the United Methodist Church. Former Director of the Mexican-American Program of Hispanic Studies at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, she is currently serving as the Bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference.

John Cobb

Emeritus Professor at the Claremont School of Theology and Graduate School and Founding Co-Director of the Center for Process Theology. Recipient of the Grawemeyer Award of Ideas Improving World Order, his many writings include Christ in a Pluralistic Age, God and the World, For the Common Good, Reclaiming the Church, and Jesus’ Abba: The God Who Has Not Failed.

John Dominic Crossan

Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at De Paul University, John Dominic Crossan is generally acknowledged to be the premier historical Jesus scholar in the world. He has written thirty books including Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, Who Killed Jesus? and The Birth of Christianity. A Roman Catholic monk for nineteen years and a priest for twelve years, Crossan is a former co-chair of The Jesus Seminar and a past-president of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Yvette Flunder

A San Francisco native, she has served her call through prophetic action and ministry for justice for over thirty years. This call to “blend proclamation, worship, service and advocacy on behalf of those most marginalized in church and in society” led to the founding of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in 1991. In 2003, Rev. Dr. Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational coalition of over 100 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity. Rev. Dr. Flunder is on the Board of Starr King School for the Ministry and DEMOS and has taught at many theological schools. She is a graduate of the Certificate of Ministry and Master of Arts programs at PSR and received her Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is also an award-winning gospel music artist and author of Where the Edge Gathers: A Theology of Homiletic and Radical Inclusion.

James Forbes

Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church in NYC, President of the Healing of the Nations Foundation, and host of “The Time Is Now” on Air America Radio. Newsweek magazine recognized Forbes as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world (03/04/96). An ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and the Original United Holy Church of America, he is the first African American to serve as Senior Minister of one of the largest multicultural congregations in the nation.

Matthew Fox

Spiritual theologian, Matthew Fox has been a pioneer in recovering the ancient but often ignored creation spirituality tradition and in developing alternative forms of education. Author of 36 books that have been translated into 70 languages, his work on behalf of eco-justice, gender justice, women’s rights and gay rights got him silenced by the Vatican and then expelled from his Dominican order after 34 years. He is currently an episcopal priest. Among his books are: Original Blessing, A Spirituality Named Compassion, Stations of the Cosmic Christ, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Times, Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times, The Lotus & the Rose: Conversations on Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity, and Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the God Without a Name.

Lloyd Geering

holds Honours degrees in Mathematics and Old Testament Language and Literature. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he served in Kurow, Dunedin and Wellington. He held Chairs of Old Testament Studies at theological colleges in Brisbane and Dunedin before being appointed as the foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. From this he retired in 1984. His major publications include God in the New World, Resurrection – a Symbol of Hope, Faith’s New Age, In the World Today, Tomorrow’s God, The World to Come, Christianity without God, Wrestling with God, Coming back to Earth, Such is Life!, From the Big Bang to God, Reimagining God, On Me Bike, Portholes to the Past, and Witness to Change.

Hans Küng

President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic and internationally known Roman Catholic theologian. He is the author of On Being a Christian. In the late 1960s Küng became the first major Roman Catholic theologian after the late 19th century Old Catholic Church schism to reject the doctrine of papal infallibility. This resulted in Küng’s license to teach as a Roman Catholic theologian to be revoked but he carried on teaching as a tenured professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen until his retirement in 1996.

Cynthia Langston Kirk

After serving many years in parish ministry and then writing, leading retreats, fabric art and more, Cynthia retired from the United Methodist Church. Her writings have included the poetry and other spiritual writings included in Living the Questions 2, Rhythm and Fire, and more. She continues her work through Piecing Stories by writing and by creating stoles for clergy from Arizona to Alaska and United Methodist bishops from Illinois to Africa.

Amy-Jill Levine

University Professor of New Testament Studies and Jewish Studies, Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Jewish Studies, and Professor of New Testament studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Science in Nashville, TN. Her most recent publications include Short Stories by Jesus (HarperOne), The Gospel of Luke (Cambridge University Press), and the co-edited Jewish Annotated New Testament, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press). Dr. Levine is a Yankee Jewish feminist whose primary job is teaching the New Testament to candidates for Christian ministry.

Megan McKenna

An internationally known author, theologian, storyteller and lecturer, she teaches at several colleges and universities and does retreats, workshops and parish missions. She has graduate degrees in Scripture, Adult Education and Literacy from the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Systematic Theology from Catholic University. She has authored more than 25 books, including Praying the Rosary, The New Stations of the Cross and The Bible Diary. She resides in Albuquerque, NM.

Brian McLaren

Author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. He works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal/Convergence, the Wild Goose Festival and the Fair Food Program‘s Faith Working Group.

Pat McMahon

An award winning talk-show host, editorial commentator, and host of the “The McMahon Group” and “The God Show” both on KTAR radio (Phoenix, AZ). Pat’s professional and personal contributions have been recognized with seven Emmys, major national and international radio awards, numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. He is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Award, and is the only two-time Hall of Fame recipient of the Arizona Broadcasters Association.

Robin Meyers

Robin is an ordained United Church of Christ minister who has served Mayflower Church in Oklahoma City for 34 years. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Philosophy Department of Oklahoma City University, a columnist, peace activist, and widely traveled lecturer on the merits of progressive Christianity. He is the author of seven books including the national bestseller, Saving Jesus from the Church, and is a member of the God Seminar at the Westar Institute, home of the Jesus Seminar.

Culver “Bill” Nelson

Founding Pastor Emeritus of the Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix (which grew into the largest church in the United Church of Christ under his leadership). A founding member of The Jesus Seminar, he serves as the editor of the Westar Institute’s magazine, “The Fourth R”, and is a much sought-after lecturer and speaker.

Siyoung Park

Dr. Siyoung Park is one of the core faculty members of the Center for Korean Studies at Western Illinois University and Professor of Geography. Recipient of Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation and numerous other grants and awards, Dr. Park’s teaching and research focus on Human and Historical Geography.

Rebecca Ann Parker

Seminary President, Professor of Theology of Starr King School. She is an ordained United Methodist minister in dual fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. She serves on the board of Faith Voices for the Common Good, an interfaith think-tank focused on progressive religion and politics, and is co-author of Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us and author of a book of collected essays Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now.

Stephen Patterson

A professor focusing on Christian origins at Willamette University, he is the author several books, including The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism, The Lost Way, and The God of Jesus. He is currently at work on a commentary on the Gospel of Thomas.

Helen Prejean

Roman Catholic Sister and leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. She has ministered to numerous inmates on death row, and has authored two books based on her experiences with several inmates on death row, Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Prejean bases her work at the Death Penalty Discourse Center in New Orleans.

Barbara Rossing

Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Her publications include The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation, a critique of fundamentalist “Left Behind” theology; The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse; two volumes of the New Proclamation commentary for preachers and articles and book chapters on the Apocalypse and ecology. She serves on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation, where she also chairs the Lutheran World Federation’s theology and studies committee.

Tex Sample

Former Academic Dean and Emeritus Professor of Church and Society at the Saint Paul School of Theology, Sample is a freelance lecturer, workshop leader, consultant. His books include Ministry in an Oral Culture: Living with Will Rogers, Uncle Remus, and Minnie Pearl, and co-editor of The Loyal Opposition: Struggling with the Church on Homosexuality. He is currently the coordinator of the Network for the Study of U.S. Lifestyles.

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza

Krister Stendahl Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. Her work focuses on questions of biblical, theological, and feminist epistemology, hermeneutics, rhetoric, the politics of religious/scriptural interpretation, and on issues of theological education, radical equality, and democracy. She is the co-founder and editor of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and is a co-editor of Concilium. She was the first woman elected as president of the Society of Biblical Literature and has served on the editorial boards of many biblical journals and societies. Publications include Jesus and the Politics of Interpretation and Wisdom Ways: Introducing Feminist Biblical Interpretation.

Bernard Brandon Scott

Darbeth Distinguished Professor of New Testament at the Phillips Theological Seminary, University of Tulsa, OK. He is a charter member of The Jesus Seminar, co-chair of the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, and a consultant to the American Bible Society experimental film translations. He is the author of several books, including Re-Imagine the World and Hear Then the Parable.

John Shelby Spong

The retired Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, Spong is a columnist and author of over twenty-five books including Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism and Why Christianity Must Change or Die. His books have sold more than 2,000,000 copies and have been translated into every major language of the world. Lecturer at Harvard, Humanist of the Year, and a guest on numerous national television broadcasts including The Today Show, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, and Larry King Live, Bishop Spong lectures around the world.

Emilie Townes

Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity in New Haven, CT. Focusing on Christian ethics, womanist ethics, critical social theory, cultural theory and studies, as well as on postmodernism and social postmodernism, she is the author of such books as Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope, and Breaking the Fine Rain of Death. Professor Townes is an ordained American Baptist clergywoman.

Rick Ufford-Chase

A border mission worker from the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. He was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on June 26, 2004. Ufford-Chase was 40 years old at the time, the youngest PC (USA) moderator in recent history. Ufford-Chase founded BorderLinks, a bi-national organization that tries to connect and educate people of faith on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. He has served BorderLinks for 17 years prior to being elected as the Presbyterian Church’s moderator.

Winnie Varghese

Director of Justice and Reconciliation at Trinity Wall Street in New York. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post; author of Church Meets World; editor of What We Shall Become; and author of numerous articles and chapters on social justice and the church.

Mel White

The President and Co-Founder of Soulforce, an ecumenical network of staff and volunteers committed to teaching and applying the principles of nonviolence on behalf of sexual minorities. In 1997, he was awarded the ACLU’s National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to apply the “soul force” principles of Gandhi and King to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities. Mel is a former ghostwriter for fellow evangelicals, including Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, and Jerry Falwell. He is the author of over 16 books, including Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America and Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right.

Themes


Invitation to Journey

1. An Invitation to Journey
2. Taking the Bible Seriously
3. Thinking Theologically
4. Stories of Creation
5. Lives of Jesus
6. A Passion for Christ: Paul
7. Out into the World: Challenges Facing Progressive Christians

Honoring Creation

8. Restoring Relationships
9. The Prophetic Jesus
10. Evil, Suffering & A God of Love
11. The Myth of Redemptive Violence
12. Practicing Resurrection
13. Debunking the Rapture
14. Honoring Creation

Call to Covenant

15. A Kingdom without Walls
16. Social Justice: Realizing God’s Vision
17. Incarnation: Divinely Human
18. Prayer: Intimacy with God
19. Compassion: The Heart of Jesus’ Ministry
20. Creative Transformation
21. Embracing Mystery

Testimonials


While LtQ2 does not provide pat answers to pressing questions about God and faith, it does more than just ask questions. In conversation with a wide variety of biblical scholars, theologians and other scholars in the field of religion, LtQ offers participants a broader context in which to formulate their own answers. It is a gift to all Christians desiring to explore progressive Christian faith and practice. Some of us have been waiting for decades for just such a resource!

– Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., Co-Founder, CrossWalk America, Countryside Community Church (UCC), Omaha, NE

I’ve seen no tool that matches LTQ2 for in-depth discussion 1) demonstrating how “progressive theology” takes scripture and tradition seriously without making idols of either; 2) pulling together in one curriculum resource authors, teachers, preachers and story tellers – each one an exponent of one the various progressive theologies – liberation, process, experiential, existential, Feminist, Hispanic, Asian, African; 3) dignifying lay people as being intelligent and capable of handling the biblical and theological truths and tools being taught in every responsible seminary. Our folks love LTQ2 and can’t wait to start the next series.

– Rev Dr Steve Wayles, Pastor, 1st Congregational UCC, Phoenix

I am a chaplain at a retirement community of approximately 500 residents, ages 62-103. We are using Living the Questions2 in our Spiritual Growth Program and our residents are loving it. It is challenging, eye opening and soul opening! One resident told me “This study is enriching my life, like never before!” Of course there are those who cry “heresy!” but they still come and share their opinions–wonderful discussion tool! Thanks, for all your work on this project!

– Dennis F. McKee, Chaplain, Serving Friendship Village of Bloomington, MN

Congratulations on a job well done. [LtQ2] is a marvelous resource for the promotion of justice as well as renewal for the Church.

– George W. Baldwin, Author of A Political Reading of the Life of Jesus

Living the Questions is the most extraordinary adult education material I have ever used. Life changing – personally and collectively! Thank you and may you never stop putting out such marvelous and deeply important products.

– Rev. John White, First Cong. UCC, Dudley, MA

We have had several students comment that they have waited 50 years for something like this since they had felt like heretics when they went to church. It has opened the eyes of many in our church. Thanks.

– William Hicks-Caskey, St. Marks UMC, Murfreesboro, TN

We have finished our first flight of LtQ2.0. It is a huge success. We are ALL learning a lot about the role of Christianity in the 21st century… I can’t begin to tell you how professional your product is and the excellence with which you have chosen your people for the video sessions… The video sessions are crisp, to the point, and nothing tiresome about them. The photography and audio are as good as I have ever seen.

– Pastor (ret) Dave Reid,Desert Hills Lutheran Church (ELCA) Green Valley, AZ

By the way, and as you probably already know, LTQ 2 is great. We have only had two sessions so far, but they have been two of the more meaningful, challenging and enjoyable classes I have had the pleasure to facilitate. Thanks.

– Anthony Russo, Sand Point Community UMC, Seattle, WA

This is the most greatly appreciated video series I could have imagined someone could’ve created at this time. I’ve been teaching Borg and Spong for years – but to have this series with their colleagues as well dealing with the core topics – profound! and life-changing! I can imagine – you know the looks on people’s faces after some of the stories and the tears that flow! I am so thankful to have the privilege of walking with people through the “classes” and witnessing how they very eagerly choose to go deeper in their faith and want others to experience it as well.

– Orange Congregational Church, Orange, CT