A progressive Christianity reading list

A progressive Christianity reading list

PCN Britain has resisted publishing a list of essential progressive Christian reading.  But our partner organisation in the USA has come up with one, and we are happy to pass it on

PCN Britain sometimes gets asked to suggest some book titles that a relative newcomer to progressive thinking might like to read.  So we were very interested when ProgressiveChristianity.org in America came up with just such a list recently.  We can recommend all these books.  Don’t expect them to coincide in their theology. (But then PCN members don’t all coincide in their theology either!).  There is a preponderance of American authors, but that might well be true of any list that we had prepared too.

ProgressiveChristianity.org writes:

A good place to start is a book by Paul Alan Laughlin with Glenna S. Jackson, Remedial Christianity: What Every Believer Should Know About the Faith but Probably Doesn’t (Polebridge Press). Although this book is ten years old, it is still one of the best books on raising the important questions about Christianity. 

Here’s what one reviewer wrote: Frustrated that his college students thought they understood Christianity because of dim memories of superficial platitudes from Sunday school, Laughlin wrote this book as an introductory text on Christianity. As an added bonus, it features cartoons and is often downright hilarious. I adore this book. Guaranteed to offend all traditional and mainstream Christians.

Other Book suggestions:

The Bible

  • Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, John Shelby Spong 
  • Who Wrote the Bible, Richard Elliott Freidman (this is primarily about the Hebrew Scriptures but the book demonstrates how the Bible was changed over the centuries)

  • Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why, Bart Ehrman (2005)


  • The Historical Jesus for Beginners, William M. Linden (2008)
  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg

  • Jesus a Revolutionary Biography, John Dominic Crossan



  • A History of God, Karen Armstrong
  • God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, Patrick Glynn (1997)
  • With or Without God, Gretta Vosper


A New (or rediscovered) Christianity

  • Beyond Belief, Elaine Pagels
  • A New Christianity for a New World, John Shelby Spong

  • Wisdom Jesus, Cynthia Bourgeault

  • Saving Jesus from The Church, Robin Meyers

What book would you add?  Give your suggestions in the comment column below


1 On 23/08/2018 Gill Winn wrote:

A Bad Christian’s Manifesto David Tomlinson…  it led me to seeking this site and looking desperately for progressive Christian thinkers!

2 On 07/09/2018 Brian Rostill wrote:

A book to read that I have found very liberating is:

Finding God Beyond Religion: A Guide for Skeptics, Agnostics & Unorthodox Believers Inside & Outside the Church

by Tom Stella

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