I am pleased to announce my new book has just been released: The Ten Commandments of Progressive of Christianity (Cruciform Press, 2019).
As most readers will know, I did a blog series on this theme a couple of years ago. Tim Challies, who runs Cruciform Press, approached me about expanding the material into a small, introductory book, in hopes of getting the content into the hands of more people. Cruciform Press has done a good job publishing solid, accessible books by authors like John Piper, Tony Reinke, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, and others.
The fact that the book was essentially released over the Christmas season is fitting, I suppose, because it’s during that time of year that people get a heavy dose of progressive Christianity. This term (defined more in the book) captures a version of Christianity where we are told that people are inherently good, Christ is not a savior but a moral example, doctrine and theology are the problem not the solution, this life matters more than the next, and that our highest calling is to just be a good person.
Essentially, it’s the gospel according to Santa Claus.
Of course, I am not the first to critique this alternative version of Christianity. In 1923, J. Gresham Machen, then professor at Princeton Seminary, wrote the book, Christianity and Liberalism. The book was a response to the rise of liberalism in the mainline denominations of his own day.
In short, Machen argued that the liberal understanding of Christianity was, in fact, not just a variant version of the faith, nor did it represent simply a different denominational perspective, but was an entirely different religion altogether.
Put simply, liberal Christianity is not Christianity.
What is remarkable about Machen’s book was how prescient it was. His description of liberal Christianity–a moralistic, therapeutic version of the faith that values questions over answers and being “good” over being “right”–is still around today in basically the same form. For this reason alone, it should be required reading certainly for all seminary students, pastors, and Christian leaders.
Although its modern advocates present liberal Christianity as something new and revolutionary, it is nothing of the sort. It may have new names (e.g., “emerging” or “progressive” Christianity), but it is a rehash of the same well-worn system that has been around for generations.
In short, the problem hasn’t gone away. And it won’t go away. Every generation has to pick up the same battle as the one before.
My hope is that this new little book will help modern churches as they engage with an old foe. If you lead a Bible study, pastor a church, or run a Christian ministry, I hope you will consider using it to help your people. It is a short, quick read that anyone can enjoy. But, I think it would be particularly helpful for youth/college groups.
Here are some of the kind endorsements it has received:
It’s amazing just how many of these new ‘Ten Commandments’ are taken for granted in our culture and also roll easily off the tongue in Christian circles. As a highly gifted surgeon, Michael Kruger refuses to offer a light diagnosis or superficial cures. This is a timely and convicting analysis that we all need to hear.”
— Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California
“Don’t let the brevity of this book fool you. Mike Kruger has written a trenchant critique of the intellectual bankruptcy and theological deviancy of progressive Christianity. Churches, pastors, students, youth groups, Christian schools, and Christian colleges would do well to appropriate the wisdom in this short but devastating little book.”
— Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, Christ Covenant Church (Matthews, NC); Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte
“I recognize these Ten Commandments of Progressive Christianity from growing up in the Protestant mainline and from many churches in my community today. There’s nothing new in their message, even as such churches portray themselves as our future. Michael Kruger helps us see the internal inconsistencies of their teaching as they decry certainty with, well, certainty. We must be equipped to see why such attempts to revise Christianity will never turn the world upside down, as did the apostles with the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
— Collin Hansen, editorial director, The Gospel Coalition; author of Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church