Interview with Alisa Childers, March 2024

interviews Mar 02, 2024

Here are the notes from my interview with Alisa Childers. 


I'm going to be filling in all the quotes and stuffs over time, as I have time to go back through the episode.


I want to add some clarification regarding the numbers at the beginning:

  • I asked ChatGPT and got roughly 10k page windows, which I then rounded to the nearest 5k for the following numbers:
    • Bachelor's degree: 15,000 pages read per program, on average. 
    • Master's: 20,000 pages
    • PhD/Doctoral: 30,000 pages
  • I typically read 40,000 pages per year.
  • Since October, I've read over 50 Progressive Christian books by over 30 Progressive Christian authors, totaling over 10,000 pages.
  • I've also consumed about the same amount of the 3P's: pages, posts, and podcasts. 
  • So, all told, I've studied roughly a Master's worth of PC material.
  • This does NOT include any supplemental or non-PC material. No Alisa Childers, no John Lennox, no Bart Ehrman... I'm talking about:
    • Richard Rohr, Briah McLaren, Pete Enns, Rachel Held Evans, Sarah Bessey.



Definitions of Progressive Christianity:

  • Mine:
    • The current Western spiritual zeitgeist
    • wrapped in moralistic therapeutic panentheism
    • openly rejecting the theological authority and accuracy of the Bible
    • while identifying as Christian and followers of Jesus.
  • Austin Molt's definition



Brian McLaren's article presenting a basic "beginner-intermediate-advanced" progression.

3. You can share books or other recommendations. Most Evangelicals won’t be ready for Jack Spong or even Marcus Borg, but they might listen to Rachel Held Evans or Pete Enns or Brian Zahnd, or perhaps even some of my books. There are some tremendous podcasts out there to recommend too, geared especially for questioning Evangelicals. Pete Enns’ “The Bible for Normal People” and Tripp Fuller’s “Homebrewed Christianity” and Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love” are among my favorites.

As you can, it's not an explicit 'beginner, intermediate, advanced,' but it does present some as more advanced than others, some more accessible to evangelicals, which is the idea I'm describing as 'beginner, intermediate, advanced.'

Of particular note, though, see the creeds here. 


 Five Sample Progressive Christian Teaches:

From Caleb Lines:

No photo description available.


From Mark Sandlin:

"In terms of “prayer,” that has lead to a time that I introduce as “A time to be more introspective. Consider it a prayer, a meditation, or just an opportunity to hold on to the words that you might need in this moment.” For awhile, however, I was still beginning it with “Good and gracious God,” which sounds very much like a prayer, not a meditation.

That did not go unnoticed by an atheist member of of the church. Vance asked me why I start my prayers with those words. I told him that it helps center me and focus me to lead that part of the service. Then he asked a very simple question, “Do you need to do it out loud to center yourself?”

That, my friends, is why there are brackets around “[Good and queering God,]” at the beginning of every prayer/meditation. I no longer speak those words out loud. The interesting thing is that in the half a year that I've been doing it that way, no one has noticed it to be missing or, at least, didn't find it to matter enough to mention it. What a beautiful way to make a prayer more inclusive right from the beginning."

Mark Sandlin

Progressive Prayers for Progressive People


From Robin Meyers:

“Consider this remarkable fact: In the Sermon on the Mount, there is not a single word about what to believe, only words about what to do and how to be. By the time the Nicene Creed is written, only three centuries later, there is not a single word in it about what to do and how to be—only words about what to believe.

It often comes as a surprise to people in the church to learn that the first followers of Jesus “survived brutal persecution and flourished for generations—even centuries—before Christians formulated what they believed into creeds.””

Robin Meyers

Saving God From Religion