Progressive Theology Book Club

At the end of 2017, I started an online Theology Book Club by creating a Facebook group and inviting people I thought might be interested. This group is intended to be a safe space to discuss books and theology from more of a "Progressive Christian" point of view. We are a community of readers who have decided we can no longer be “that kind of Christian”.

We encourage members to discuss any and all books they are interested in, but the core of what we do is centered around a structured book club. We study books together as a community at a rate of one book each month. We value the unique voice of every person and want to make ways for everyone to contribute at whatever level of commitment they desire.

We have spent some time in August and September discussing An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Schedule for 2019:

- January/February 2019: Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne by Wilda C. Gafney

- March/April 2019: A) How the Bible Actually Works by Peter Enns -- and/or
          B) Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith by Marcus J. Borg.

John Weldy and I are also discussing Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus J. Borg on John's podcast, Reclaiming Christianity.

Past Schedule of Books

December 2017: What is the Bible? by Rob Bell
January: Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd
February: Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Deborah Jian Lee
March: Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found it Again Through Science by Mike McHargue
April: The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns
May: Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son by Tony Campolo and‎ Bart Campolo
June: Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
July: Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans (I am REALLY excited to read Rachel's new book!)
August: I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
September: A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community by John Pavlovitz
October: BREAK
November: A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace by Brian Zahnd
December: BREAK


This is a link to an Amazon list of the books we have been reading/will be reading in the book club.

What We Do

Facebook Group: All are welcome to post discussion threads based on the book of the month.

Sometimes we have had discussion groups using Zoom or Google Meet to talk about the books we read.

Join Us

This Theology Book Club is a closed Facebook group, and we value member privacy because we know that not everyone wants others to know they are questioning the beliefs they've been told not to question.

If you would like to join the Facebook Group you can click here to email me. Or submit this contact form below:


During the first half of 2018, John Weldy recorded the group he was involved in and posted those discussions as an extension of his podcast Reclaiming Christianity. (Subscribe on iTunes)

Podcasts related to What is the Bible? by Rob Bell:

Week 1: Anakephalaiossathai
John Weldy, Nathan Jennings, Thad Crews, and I discuss how God is bringing all things into unity. What does it mean to bring all things into unity? How are we seeing that? How are we not seeing that? And what does this have to do with the Bible?
Week 2: God and the American Empire
John Weldy, Beckett Hanan, Jason Armold, Angela Armold, and I discuss how we interpret the Bible through the American lens. What is different in our society that makes is so easy for us to completely miss the point of large sections of the Bible? How have we so lost the plot?
Week 3: Living Through a Faith Shift
John Weldy, Beckett Hanan, Robert Donahue, and I discuss going through a faith shift. What causes faith shifts? What are the costs? How do you navigate through a faith shift in a healthy way? 
Podcasts related to Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd:

Week 1: Hell No! 
Panelists: myself, Nathan Jennings (Posse of Online Spiritual Misfits Facebook Group), Lee O’Hare (Posse of Online Spiritual Misfits Facebook Group)
Week 2: Calvinism (spoiler alert, we are not fans!)
Panelists: myself, Wendy Francisco (Love Heretic Facebook Group), Beckett Hanan (BrazenChurch.com)
Podcasts related to Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Deborah Jian Lee:

Week 1: People of Color and Evangelicalism 
John Weldy, Eli Nichols, and Chari Deconstruie discuss the relationship between people of color and evangelicalism through the lens of Deborah Jian Lee’s Rescuing Jesus. Why is there such a divide between whites and people of color in the Church? Where did it come from? What can we do about it? How does it affect our theology? 
Week 2: Women and Evangelicalism
John Weldy, Tiffany Earle, and I discuss the relationship between women and evangelicalism through the lens of Deborah Jian Lee’s Rescuing Jesus. How have women been shaped by evangelicalism? Why is there such a disparity in gender equality? What is the effect of purity culture? And how can we address these issues? (Show Notes)
Week 3: LGBTQ+ and Evangelicalism (Episode 28)
John Weldy, Mary Lokers, Doug Rice, and Beckett Hanan discuss the relationship between women & evangelicalism through the lens of Deborah Jian Lee’s Rescuing Jesus. Is being gay a sin? How has the church abused people who don’t fit into neatly-defined gender roles? 

Bonus episode: The Cosmic Christ (Episode 29)
John Weldy, Jennifer Neyhart, and Greg Reynolds discuss the ideas of inclusivity and exclusivity. How big is God? Who gets to define who is “in” and who is “out”? Must Christianity be exclusive, or is there a broader picture we may be missing? John and the panel discuss a Christ who is much grander than we have ever been allowed to imagine through the lens of Love Wins by Rob Bell.

Podcasts related to Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue

Week 1: Axioms of Faith (Episode 30)
A broader faith. - John Weldy, Jennifer Neyhart, and Beckett Hanan discuss “Science” Mike McHargue’s Axioms of Faith as presented in his book Finding God in the Waves. Can God and science coexist? Can God be experienced without certainty? Is there a framework by which a rational person can believe in God?
Week 2: This is Your Brain on God (Episode 32)
God and the Brain. - John Weldy, Thad Crews, and Jason Armold discuss Christianity, Atheism, and Buddhism as through the lens of Finding God in the Waves by “Science” Mike McHargue. How does God affect your brain? Does an angry God affect the brain differently from a loving God? Can doubt and faith coexist in the same skull?
Week 3: Deconstruction and Community (Episode 33)
Finding other sojourners. - John Weldy, Michelle Collins, and Nathan Jennings discuss finding community while you’re going through deconstruction through the lens of Finding God in the Waves by “Science” Mike McHargue. What’s the most important thing for someone going through a faith shift? What can you do when you’ve been hurt by the church? Now that you’re a “heretic”, where can you find community?

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