Today's social and political climate often pits conservative or traditional Christianity against "progressive" Christianity. But what is progressive Christianity? What is a progressive Christian? What is a progressive church? Christianity in Blue answers these questions by drawing from biblical scholarship, Christian history, theology, popular culture, philosophy, and cultural anthropology. Kaden shows how socially liberal values and progressive attitudes can be the fruits of taking seriously both the Bible and Christian tradition. But rather than treating these sources as static authorities and the final word on every subject, Kaden argues that they are places to start one's exploration of how to be a Christian in the world. Being a progressive Christian is an ethical exhortation to "uplift human personality," as Martin Luther King Jr. once said. This exhortation structures how progressive Christians receive, interpret, and apply the Bible and Christian tradition to daily life. A robust tradition provides an anchor to avoid the illiberal trends in contemporary society, and a commitment to uplifting human personality provides a check against dehumanizing uses of Scripture and tradition. Christianity in Blue will help both progressive and conservative Christians better understand the importance of the Bible, theology, history, and philosophy for building a loving church for everyone.
David A. Kaden is senior minister of First Congregational Church of Ithaca, New York, where he also lives. He holds a PhD in religion from the University of Toronto and has taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, St. Olaf College, and the New York School of Ministry. His first book was Matthew, Paul, and the Anthropology of Law (Mohr Siebeck, 2016).