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.
About the Author
Marcus J. Borg (1942 2015) was a pioneering author and teacher whom the New York Times described as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars." He was the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, and he appeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. His books have sold over a million copies, including the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Jesus, The Heart of Christianity, Evolution of the Word, Speaking Christian, and Convictions.
“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
Speaking Christian correctly may seem like it’s just a fuss over semantics, but it’s ultimately about something bigger: defining Christianity… When Christians forget what their words mean, they forget what their faith means.
“Ranks with his earlier volumes as efforts to renew and rebuild Christianity by healing long-standing wounds and welcoming millions of alienated men and women.”
-Read the Spirit
“A primer to help correct misunderstandings and help those unfamiliar with Christian language become fluent. . . . An important figure on topics from the historical Jesus to religion and culture, he challenges Christians to live for God’s justice in the world and not just focus on the next world.”
-Englewood Review of Books