“[I]ts starting point, and its ultimate aim, is the practice of divine, unconditional love.” That, in a sentence, is how Jim Burklo sums up progressive Christianity, this in his brand new book, Tenderly Calling: An Invitation to the Way of Jesus. A couple pages before, he points to this passage in the first letter of John: “God is love,” and adds, “These three words sum up the meaning and purpose of human existence, and the essence and aim of the Christian faith.”
Practice what’s being preached, he urges. Progressive Christians “don’t have an orthodoxy, with magic words that one must repeat,” Burklo remarked, this in a sermon he delivered in June at First Congregational Church in Long Beach, California. “Instead, we have an ‘otherdoxy’—following Jesus is living for others.”
In recommending this book, biblical scholar Eric Elnes explains, “Tenderly Calling distills the essence and implications of Jesus’ visionary message into an easily accessible form, without losing its transformative power.”
Ordained in America’s United Church of Christ, Burklo is senior associate dean of religious life, and chaplain, at the University of Southern California. On the board of directors of Progressive Christians Uniting, he served previously as campus minister at Stanford.
Tenderly Calling: An Invitation to the Way of Jesus
By Jim Burklo
St. Johann Press, 2021