A few weeks ago, a http://www.pathwayschurch.ca I had the opportunity to have a DIALOGUE--It was not a debate--with an atheist/humanist. We agreed to the following
RULES OF THE DIALOGUE as we shared ideas:
1. Maintain our sense of humour througout the whole process
2. Express beliefs/opinions without putdowns, or flaming
3. Make no claim that we have THE Truth
4. No attempt to convert one another
5. Use respected sources--encyclopedias, dictionaries
6. Agree to disagree, agreeably

The following is a summary of what was said:
As I understand it, Christians who call themselves progressive thinkers can be found in most Christian denominations. They are the kind of Christians who want to embrace:

1. an affirmative and sighted faith, powered by hope and love, that affirms the sacredness and interconnectedness of all life. The affirm the inherent and equal worth of all persons, and the supremacy of love expressed actively in our lives as compassion and social justice. Progressive Christian thinkers are willing to communicate with others without

2. neglecting the roots of all Christian heritage and traditions. They are not afraid to

3. embrace the freedom and responsibility to examine all Christian traditions, practices and beliefs. They acknowledge that religions are very human organizations. In the light of conscience and contemporary philosophy, the sciences and the arts, they are willing, when it is needed, to be open to reform. In doing so, they are willing to

4. draw from diverse sources of knowledge and wisdom, accepting that all human expressions are fallible and need to be evaluated, constantly. Progressive thinkers look on life as a journey, not a destiny. Therefore, they

5. find more meaning in the search for understanding than in the arrival at certainty. They accept that any answers found probably will inspire more questions. What they hope to do is

6. encourage inclusive, non-discriminatory, non-hierarchical and democratic community building where our common humanity is honoured in a trusting atmosphere of mutual respect and support;

7. promote forms of individual and community celebration, study, meditation and affirmative prayer which use understandable, inclusive, holistic, non-dogmatic, value-based language by which people of religious, skeptical, or secular backgrounds may be nurtured and challenged to grow morally and ethically mature. Finally, using imagination as well as intellect, progressive thinkers are those who are willing to

8. commit to journeying together with honesty, integrity, openness, transparency, respect, intellectual rigor, courage, leading to on-going creativity.
Then Michael Schulman offered his point of view
MS's central point was, "Humanists have no interest whatsoever, in any philosophy which is NOT based on the hard evidence which the sciences can provide. Furthermore, we believe those who advocate any kind of supernatural god who lives in a supernatural heavenly kingdom aare wrong. However, we can respect those who believe in the supernatural, without having any respect for their beliefs in the supernatural.

"Having said this, we also believe that this does not mean that we are not willing to work with any philosophy, or religion, interested in working together for the greater good of society."

While we are open to any kind of new evidence, humanists believe that death of the physical body and brain means the death of consciousness. "I as an individual will not survive the death of my body and brain."
Of course, the above is but a summary. For more details:

Edited by Revlgking (11/13/07 08:31 PM)