Jan 312007
 
Authors: Emily Lance

Rev. Hal Chorpenning explained the fundamental beliefs of Progressive Christianity to a crowd of CSU students and community members Wednesday night.

“Progressive Christianity is a product of post-modernism,” Chorpenning told the group Wednesday night. “It is not about being saved from fire and brimstone but poverty and ignorance.”

In a room lavished in plants surrounded by walls of the same green color sat a circle of 17 students and community members focused on Chorpenning, a senior minister at Plymouth Congregational Church, as he described the fundamental beliefs of Progressive Christianity.

On Thursday night at 7 p.m. some Christian students will be taking a further step toward the progressive view of what the Bible teaches.

Peggy Christensen, Pastor for the Geller Center, helped facilitate the discussion for the speaker.

“(Progressive Christians) define themselves as believing Jesus Christ offers a way to God, as a teacher, mentor and guide,” Christiansen said. “It is not a message you hear from a lot of other Christian groups.”

The first meeting of the Progressive Christian Student Network will be held at the Geller Center, a non-profit student spiritual development center.

John Dodson, recent graduate of CSU, began the group after watching the United Campus Ministry change its name and mission to help people develop their spiritual selves.

As what is now called the Geller Center modified its goals, Dodson saw students who wanted to hold on to their Christian identity but become more progressive with those views.

” We are more interested in the historical Jesus, social justice and the Bible,” Dodson said.

The group will gather for dessert and a dialogue about the eight points of Progressive Christianity as well as “what it means to have faith in a pluralistic society,” Dodson said.

Part of that meaning is seeing the “kingdom of God” on earth and focusing on the salvation of all people socially in contrast to an individual faith, Chorpenning said.

McKenzie Simon, sophomore biomedical sciences major, listened intently as she surveyed her upraising in the Episcopalian church with this interpretation of the faith.

“A conversation in a group with diverse beliefs adds to my interpretation,” Simon said.

Emily Lance can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Who: Progressive Christian Student Network (PCSN)

What: Dessert and Discussion

Where: Geller Center, 629 South Howes

When: Thursday, Feb. 1; 7:30 p.m.

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