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Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power - And How They Can Be Restored | [Marcus J. Borg]

Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power - And How They Can Be Restored

Modern Christians are steeped in a language so distorted that it has become a stumbling block to the religion, says internationally renowned Bible scholar Marcus J. Borg. Borg argues that Christianity';s important words, and the sacred texts and stories in which those words are embedded, have been narrowed by a modern framework for the faith that emphasizes sin, forgiveness, Jesus dying for our sins, and the afterlife. Here, Borg employs the "historical-metaphorical" method for understanding Christian language that can restore for us thesewords of power and transformation.
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Publisher's Summary

Modern Christians are steeped in a language so distorted that it has become a stumbling block to the religion, says internationally renowned Bible scholar Marcus J. Borg. Borg argues that Christianity's important words, and the sacred texts and stories in which those words are embedded, have been narrowed by a modern framework for the faith that emphasizes sin, forgiveness, Jesus dying for our sins, and the afterlife. Here, Borg employs the "historical-metaphorical" method for understanding Christian language that can restore for us these words of power and transformation. For example:

  • Redemption: now narrowly understood as Jesus saving us from sins so we can go to heaven, but in the Bible it refers to being set free from slavery.
  • Savior: now refers to Jesus as the one who saves us from our sins, but in the Bible it has a rich and wonderful variety of meanings having nothing to do with the afterlife.
  • Sacrifice: now refers to Jesus's death on the cross as payment for our sins, but in the Bible it is never about substitutionary payment for sin.

In Speaking Christian, Borg delivers a language for 21st-century Christians that grounds the faith in its deep and rich original roots and allows it once again to transform our lives.

©2011 Marcus J. Borg (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

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    Donna ROCK HILL, SC, United States 10-21-12
    Donna ROCK HILL, SC, United States 10-21-12
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    "Say That Again With Different Words"

    Often I have wondered,"How did we get here from there?". We make the "Good News" very complicated and fear based, needing to escape the "fires of Hell". It doesn't seem that our message to a suffering world is the same as Jesus'. My silent questions were openly discussed in this book and answered even with the scripture passages for explanation. Over the recent years I have learned the filter of belief we hold in our own minds influence what we think a phrase means. This book identifies the filters and gently challenges the listener to be willing to listen without the old filter. I have listened to this book four times in the past week, removing more of the filter each time and going back to scripture with an open mind and a prayerful heart. I highly recommend listening to this book. I hoped I could find a way of telling others from a different culture about my faith and found many of my own questions answered along the way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Michael SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States 12-05-11
    Michael SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Book, OK Presentation"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A good book that would be a good read for someone already familiar with the Christian story who is struggling with questions of Christianity's relevancy in the 21st century.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the fresh take on the meaning of the language of faith and the ways in which Borg roots his understanding in the cultural and linguistic context of the Bible.


    Have you listened to any of John Pruden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Haven't heard John Pruden before, but felt that his reading did not always capture the wry wit of Marcus Borg. I have heard Borg speak and sometimes I imagined passages having a different tone or nuance than the one that Pruden put on it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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