My friend and one of my pastors, Hunter Ruch, sat me down after lunch not too long ago to record two sessions for the Williamsburg Community Chapel Institute. The Chapel Institute is a ministry of the Williamsburg Community Chapel, in my hometown, Williamsburg, Virginia.
During this interview, Hunter and I talk about some very important topics. First, we briefly share about another ministry that he and I are very much excited about, the Cambridge House, at the College of William and Mary. The Cambridge House is a Christian Study Center located within walking distance of the College, where I work. Just a week or so before my interview, another friend and new director of the Cambridge House, Jon Thompson, was interviewed by Hunter about what it means to be human. Read more about the Cambridge House here!
After that, in the first session, we launch into a conversation about what is “progressive Christianity“, how it differs from “historic orthodox Christianity,” and some of the history behind the movement, offering a few examples of what “progressive Christianity” might look like in certain expressions of the church. We talk about how the “progressive Christianity” of the 20th century has morphed into the “progressive Christianity” of the 21st century.
In the second session, we drill down on one particular example of “progressive Christianity,” the idea of “Christian universalism,” which contends everyone will ultimately be saved and reconciled to God in the end, through Jesus. At first, ideas like this look attractive, but it can lead to warped understandings of what the Bible actually teaches. It is very sad and disconcerting when certain evangelical influencers drift off in this direction. We wrap up our conversation talking about ways that we can help others who are wrestling with “progressive Christianity,” and trends like “deconstruction,” and how we can avoid drifting into “progressive Christianity” ourselves.
Just a few comments about what you will see and hear. First, Hunter introduced me as the senior networking “director” of IT at the College, which is not accurate. I am more properly a “senior network engineer,” part of a team of IT staff, though my main responsibility is in the area of architecture and design. Secondly, I got a little lost halfway through the second segment, explaining some of the problems associated with “Christian universalism,” but hopefully I got back on track!! Please let me know what you think in the comment section below.