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

Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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 twenty-first-century Christians that grounds the faith in its deep and rich original roots and allows it once again to transform our lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062078681
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 151,167
  • File size: 684 KB

Meet the Author

Marcus J. Borg is canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and was Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University. Described by the New York Times as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars," he has appeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. He is the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew, Jesus, Speaking Christian, and The Evolution of the Word. His blog appears on the Progressive Christian Channel of Patheos.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2011

    A truly "must read" book!

    Anyone who THINKS they are a Christian, and also those who may think they are NOT, should read this book.

    Language is dynamic and always changing. Words get old and overused, and sometimes hijacked by groups for their own agenda, and thus end up with different meanings than in their original usage. Translations of ancient languages must be made in the context of ancient people's lives to understand word usage and meaning.

    Christian thinking should be a fresh, creative approach to living and this book helps restore a freshness to Christianity.

    Marcus Borg has given us an honest, historically correct viewpoint that could change everything you thought you knew about Christianity.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Great read!

    If you want help unpacking your Christianity, this is a great tool! God bless.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Quite disappointed after reading this book, I remain confused about its purpose.

    Expository writing should have a discernible thesis;this piece pretends to but ultimately fails in the end. When reaching the end we discover the literal-fundamentalists are appropriating the world's mightiest military and are in fact a tremendous threat to those of correct method and understanding; we liberals. However, if this is so, as I believe he intends, there is no clear direction for redemption of our former status save scholarship which has not worked in the past. I would spend my time reading something with hope and instruction rather than this.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2014

    wonderful discussion of how modern Christians misconstrue the bible.

    Great insights into the meaning of the original authors of the New Testament, as taken from history and other writings, and how these sayings and portions of the bible are used to make personal points that become commonly accepted, even though greatly different or just the opposite of the original thinking. Good read for the more free thinking Christian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    Read, if you've nothing else to do

    A series of wordy comments on the REAL meaning of the descriptive words in the Bible. Somewhat elementary, I must say, actually a flashback to grade school age Sunday School lessons.

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  • Posted April 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A few years ago, I would have been quite taken with this book. N

    A few years ago, I would have been quite taken with this book. Now, I realise that I am no longer within the Christian orbit. I have somehow left at least the expressions of it that would have once made this work meaningful to me.

    Professor Borg is a good teacher and a popular writer who does clarify basic words and concepts about Christian experience.

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    Posted July 9, 2011

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