The Christian life is not about pleasing God the finger-shaker and judge. It is not about believing now or being good now for the sake of heaven later. It is about entering a relationship in the present that begins to change everything now. Spirituality is about this process: the opening of the heart to the God who is already here.— Marcus Borg
The most emotional Marcus Borg quotes that will transform you to a better person
So, is there an afterlife, and if so, what will it be like? I don't have a clue.
But I am confident that the one who has buoyed us up in life will also buoy us up through death. We die into God. What more that means, I do not know. But that is all I need to know.
Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.
When tradition is thought to state the way things really are, it becomes the director and judge of our lives; we are, in effect, imprisoned by it. On the other hand, tradition can be understood as a pointer to that which is beyond tradition: the sacred. Then it functions not as a prison but as a lens.
Reality is permeated, indeed flooded, with divine creativity, nourishment, and care.
God’s dream for us is not simply peace of mind, but peace on earth.
How can women be in the image of God if God cannot be imaged in female form?
To be Christian means to find the decisive revelation of God in Jesus.
To be Muslim means to find the decisive revelation of God in the Koran. To be Jewish means to find the decisive revelation of God in the Torah, and so forth.
The titles of Jesus (son of God, messiah, light of the world, etc.
) are not found in the earliest layer of tradition and are not part of self proclamation of Jesus. This does not make them wrong. Rather, they are the voice of the community, statements about what people around Jesus thought of him.
Imagine that Christianity is about loving God.
Jesus disclosed that God is compassionate.
Jesus spoke of God that way: "Be compassionate, as God is compassionate." Compassion is the primary quality of the central figures in two of his most famous parables: the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. And Jesus himself, as a manifestation of the sacred, is often spoken of as embodying compassion.
There are people who assume that Christianity is about the afterlife and that our chief problem in this life is that we are sinners who need to be punished and the point of Jesus life is that he took our punishment so we can go to heaven. I write about the problems we get ourselves into by misunderstanding and limiting the way we think about our faith.
Some people find the experience and practice of compassion as a spiritual discipline to be a more direct route to the transformation of the heart than prayer. It is not that prayer does not or should not play a role in their lives, but their way to the opening of the heart lies through deeds of compassion. "Just do it" summarizes this path of transformation.
Christianity's goal is not escape from this world.
It loves this world and seeks to change it for the better.
One of God's central qualities is compassion, a word that in Hebrew is related to the word for "womb." Not only is compassion a female image suggesting source of life and nourishment but it also has a feeling dimension: God as compassionate Spirit feels for us as a mother feels for the children of her womb. Spirit feels the suffering of the world and participates in it. . . .
The point is not that Jesus was a good guy who accepted everybody, and thus we should do the same (though that would be good). Rather, his teachings and behaviour reflect an alternative social vision. Jesus was not talking about how to be good and how to behave within the framework of a domination system. He was a critic of the domination system itself.
The image I have sketched views Jesus differently: rather than being the exclusive revelation of God, he is one of many mediators of the sacred.
The Bible is a human product: it tells us how our religious ancestors saw things, not how God sees things
Religion is much more than language, but to be Christian does mean speaking Christian for most people. The language many of us use has contributed to the crisis in Christianity in North America. Traditional Christian language is becoming less familiar to millions of people. The language is frequently misunderstood by people.
Seminary also introduced me to the historical study of Jesus and Christian origins. I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world. .. I also found the claim that Jesus and Christianity were the only way of salvation to be troublesome.
It is important to show people ways that we can reclaim Christianity from some of the misunderstandings of our time.
People remember stories much better than they remember a straight list of teachings.
Reading is not just about learning to recognize and pronounce words, but also about how to hear and understand them... It is wise to remember that when we are reading letters never intended for us, any problems of understanding are ours and not theirs.
The Bible is true, and some of it actually happened.
I affirm, along with many others, that the major enduring religions of the world are all valid and legitimate. I see them as the responses to the experience of God in the various cultures in which each originated. To be Christian means to find the decisive revelation of God in Jesus. To be Muslim means to find the decisive revelation of God in the Koran.
People who think of God as a warrior may become warriors themselves, whether in a Christian crusade, a Muslim jihad, or an apocalyptically oriented militia. People who think of God as righteous are likely to emphasize righteousness themselves, just as those who think of God as compassionate are likely to emphasize compassion. People who think God is angry at the world are likely to be angry at the world themselves.
God loves us already and has from our very beginning.
The Christian life is not about believing or doing what we need to believe or do so that we can be saved. Rather, it's about seeing what is already true that God loves us already and then beginning to live in this relationship. It is about becoming conscious of and intentional about a deepening relationship with God.