October 20, 2006

Rethinking Jesus??? All week I've been putting off blogging about last Sunday's class discussion on Marcus Borg's book The Heart of Christianity. The chapter we tackled was "Jesus: The Heart of God." I have to say up front, I wasn't quite as put off by this chapter as I expected to be, but it has certainly required some time to process. Borg divides his examination of Jesus between the "Pre-Easter Jesus" and the "Post-Easter Jesus." He describes the Pre-Easter Jesus as: a Jewish mystic--he had vivid and frequent experiences of God. a healer--he performed paranormal healings. a wisdom teacher--he taught a "way" of dying to our old identity and being born into a new way of being. a social prophet--he spoke against the economic and political injustices of his day. a movement initiator--he developed a strong following based on his vision of the Kingdom of God. I can't disagree with any of these points. In fact, I came away from this discussion with a deeper appreciation for how Jesus always reached out to the disenfranchised--the "sinners and tax collectors," the children, the elderly, the poor, the sick, the dying, the grieving. Compassion and concern were the cornerstones of his earthly ministry. I can see where Borg is coming from when he suggests many Christians (mainly those of the earlier paradigm) downplay Jesus' social activism and focus mainly (or only) on his death as payment for our sins. But Jesus' sacrificial death can't be so easily glossed over, and I struggle with Borg...


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