For nearly three decades, journalists and pundits have focused on the views and beliefs of the Religious Right and basically ignored members of America's mainline and liberal Protestant establishment. Whenever debates have arisen on hot cultural or political topics, those asked to speak for Christianity have been members of the Christian Coalition and others with a fundamentalist perspective. Unitarian Universalist minister James Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker, president and professor of theology at Starr King School for the Ministry, have set out to reintroduce people to the riches and bounties of progressive religion in northern America. The book uses a theological house as a metaphor to explicate the six "frames that give our dreams shape and meaning." They are:
• The Garden. Progressives see Earth as home and seek to shape it into a paradise.
• The Sheltering Walls. The communities of religious liberals must be refashioned to meet the spiritual challenges of the times.
• The Roof. Progressive believers offer the grace of God and shelter to all who are seeking peace, justice, equality, and sanctuary.
• The Foundations. God is growing and changing and so is our perception and devotion to Her.
• The Welcoming Rooms. Progressive Christianity must re-energize the spiritual practices of openness and hospitality.
• The Threshold. Progressive believers challenge us to respect diversity and pluralism as we work for the common good.
In alternating chapters, Buehrens and Parker discuss many different topics including the viability of the old Social Gospel interpretation of the faith; radically realized eschatology; the prospect of covenanted religious communities; the value of interfaith cooperation; the divisiveness manifested in sexism, racism, militarism, and the exploitation of the Earth; the meanings manifested in process theology; the activities of Reconciling Congregations; and the prospect of progressive believers partnering with others and creating new possibilities for study, service, and spiritual transformation.