Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power-And How They Can Be Restored Paperback – Large Print, 20 Apr 2012
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"This book could start a revolution. Borg cracks open the encrusted words of faith and pops them into fresh language that people can understand and trust. The last time this happened, we got the Reformation."--Anne Sutherland Howard, Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society
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Although he covers similar ground to other books he has written, Borg provides useful insights into some commonly misunderstood terms like "salvation", "sin" "heaven". His stated aim is to reclaim "heaven and hell" christianity and re-define many basic concepts in ways which make emminently more sense in the 21st century. I found this book very helpful and find myself re-reading many of the chapters.
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In arguing for the restoration of earlier meanings of key words and phrases in the Christian language, Borg does not invite people torecreate an idealized version of the early church. Instead, he pictures a postmodern faith that is more closely aligned with the premodern than the modern, focused on this life rather than any life beyond this life, and communal rather than individualistic. Writing in a postmodern style, Borg shares both the views of others as well as his own experiences of and preference for certain perspectives.
Speaking Christian is a must read for any progressive who is wondering if Christian language can be restored and/or who is seeking to better understand the historical richness of their Christian vocabulary.
Scholars like Marcus Borg and his colleagues in the Jesus Seminar have done and continue to do the church great service by expanding the concepts and shedding new meaning on our understanding of the traditions we have inherited. Far from "destroying faith" as they have been recklessly accused, they nurture a belief that yearns for the original message of Jesus and his early followers. That is the message they seek to uncover for us and that is the message Borg promotes by his diligent research into the words we use to shape our Christian culture.