I’m hoping that this blog is meant to be just what it says on the tin, but for those who need more, this tells a bit about the site and what it covers. It also doubles as an explanation for our lovely logo, which illustrates each of the four words of the title:
Friendly: Treating people with respect, especially when coming from different backgrounds and beliefs, is key in communication (plus, Jesus did it all the time), and I hope that my blog maintains a friendly tone throughout. Plus, it’s a deliberate nod to the license plate slogan of where I live: Friendly Manitoba. A smiling face is used to represent “Friendly”, as is the nice warm yellow colour.
Neighbourhood: This is a reference to my favourite Bible passage – it appears many, many times in the Bible, but possibly most famously in Luke 10:25-37, where Jesus talks about loving your neighbour as yourself. (And, yes, Jesus spelled it with a “u”. Jesus is Canadian. 😉 ). You all are my neighbourhood – the whole world is. The green house represents the “Neighbourhood”.
It’s also a shoutout to your Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman because Spiderman is awesome. No explanation needed.
Progressive: The form of Christianity I most identify with is progressive Christianity, that has its focus more on caring and acceptance for all people, environmental stewardship, a willingness to question everything, and social justice over proselytizing. The arrow is a representation of progressiveness – while progressiveness is often aligned with left-wing politics, and left-wing politics are usually coloured red, the arrow is pointing right to represent forward progress; the light blue is a soothing colour (and the colour and right-arrow together I suppose is evocative of the campaign logo of Hillary Clinton, who has several progressive ideas). However, progressive Christianity, and this blog, is ideally politically neutral, as we owe allegiance more to Jesus and His teachings than politics, though we should get involved in politics as well, and those holding conservative ideas are more than welcome in progressive Christianity
Christian: Above all, that’s what I am. I may use the same label as others whose beliefs and policies I am completely against, and may even consider non-Christian. But, at the core, if you truly care about doing what Jesus wants us to do, you can identify as a Christian, like me. I hope that my blog at least explains why us progressive Christians believe what we do, and how we use the Bible to justify our beliefs, rather than being considered not Christian merely for being progressive. “You are all my disciples if you do what I teach.” (John 15:14). A heart (coloured red with sin) and a white cross (the purity of Jesus) represents Christianity in the logo, our love for Jesus is what makes us Christian.
Basically, this blog will be my view, from the viewpoint of one who identifies as a progressive Christian, on spiritual issues in the world today. Hopefully presented in an entertaining enough way to at least make you stay. Aside from some Biblical study courses at (a secular) university (as well as a lifelong love of learning, including learning about the Bible) I don’t have any sort of divinity degree or formal study in the area of Biblical study; I view that as a plus, just speaking as an ordinary Christian. I also may disagree with your views – in fact, I’m almost guaranteeing I will disagree with your views, I know when I’ve given my opinion on some issues both my liberal and conservative Christian friends disagree with my statements – as of this writing my comment section is active and I welcome any discussion and debate on the views I express, as long as the discussion and debate is civil and polite. (I market myself as “Friendly” here, I trust my visitors are too). However, the Internet, being what it is, can get nasty, especially in anonymous comments, that’s what the Internet does well. And with such a controversial topic (religion) where I take a stand that may very well be antithetical to your own, if discussion does get nasty, I do reserve the right to erase comments and/or disable commenting altogether. With great power comes great responsibility. (OK, last Spiderman reference, I promise.)