Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power -- And How They Can Be Restored
Marcus J. Borg
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Christianity has a problem -- we have let language define our Christianity instead of letting Christianity define our language. Most people in the Western world immediately recognize the words and phrases: "Our Father who art in Heaven," "Kingdom of God," or "Trinity," but ask what they mean and you'll get a variety of answers. Christianity, like any religion, is understood and defined by its language. Yet today, much of Christian language is poorly understood, leading to a religion that is quickly being stripped of its true meaning.
With his clear, accessible style that his fans have come to love, Marcus Borg illustrates how modern Christianity is perpetuating this problem in two ways: through a literalism that has impoverished the meaning of the Bible, and a misunderstanding of the core ideas of what Christianity is about. It is because of these that Borg says we need to redeem Christian language from the distorted meanings we have attributed to it over the years by instead reading through a historical-metaphorical lens. In this way, we can set Christian language in its ancient historical context and interpret the biblical text beyond a literal, factual understanding, an approach that will give the words a richer and more powerful meaning.
uses this historical-metaphorical approach to explore such words and phrases as salvation, redemption, grace, eternal life and the Lord's Supper. Only then will we discover the Biblical text can continue to be both persuasive and powerful, providing life-changing words for the 21st century.
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