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

HarperOne / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

* Has the meaning of the Christian lexicon been distorted over the centuries? Using a historical-metaphorical approach, Borg explores words such as salvation, redemption, and other terms to put them in historical context; shows how literalism has impoverished the biblical text; and calls for a revolutionary change in how we understand the church's most cherished words. 256 pages, softcover from HarperOne.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)
ISBN: 006197658X
ISBN-13: 9780061976582
Availability: Available to ship on or about 09/15/14.
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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

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.

Editorial Reviews

“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.”
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.”
“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.”

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