Progressive Theology

“There is more light and truth yet to break forth from God’s Holy word.”

These words, spoken in a sermon by John Robinson to our Pilgrim forebears before they set sail for the New World, point to a conviction at the heart of Plymouth Church: there is more to come! We do not believe that everything was settled centuries ago, or that all of the important questions have already been answered. We believe that the living God always reserves the right to surprise us. We believe that God is still speaking.

So Plymouth Church embraces progressive theology. What does that mean for us? Several things:

  • All are welcome. We believe that the love of God extends to every last person, regardless of race, gender, creed, class, orientation or identity. When we set the table, everyone has a place. Everyone is welcome here.
  • We take the Bible seriously, not literally. The Bible is a big and baffling book –beautiful and boring, comforting and confusing. At Plymouth, we read the Bible carefully. Sometimes—the best times—we wrestle with it together until it blesses us. But we do not believe that every single word is equally inspired. For us, the Bible is a human book in which we hear the voice of our still-speaking God.
  • We don’t check our brains at the door. God speaks to us in many ways–not only in Scripture and Christian tradition, but also through science, history and human reason. All truth is God’s truth, and so we embrace the truth wherever we can find it.
  • We don’t do dogma. At Plymouth Church, we believe lots of things–about God, about Jesus, about the work God has for us to do together. But we respect the role of doubt in the life of faith. We don’t claim to have all the answers; we’re just trying to live with the right set of questions.
  • We agree to differ; We resolve to love; We unite to serve. The motto of Plymouth Church reminds us that relationships matter most. We don’t have to wait to see eye-to-eye before we can start doing some good together. We are committed to being a community of many different perspectives united around a common purpose: growing in love of God and neighbor.

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