For as long as there have been Christians, there has been considerable debate about what it means to be a Christian. From the authority of the Bible and the believability of its stories, to the meaning of Jesus, to what difference Christianity really makes, essential Christian ideas have evolved and been interpreted in various ways.
Yet the twenty-first century has seen even more dramatic change for Christianity. Old assumptions about and images of God no longer hold. Christianity is no longer considered essential for “salvation.” It no longer provides an unambiguous moral compass. And the United States, “a Christian country,” is now the most religiously diverse country in the world. As W. B. Yeats wrote in “Second Coming,” we are in a post-Christian era; and what “rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.”
So just how important is Christianity to the twenty-first century? What does it mean to follow Jesus across terrain that is both trampled and uncharted? Does being Christian really matter anymore?
I suggest the angst among many Christians and the increasing number of “nones” on the religious affiliation line is good news. And it couldn’t come at a more opportune time.
As poet Yehuda Amichai writes:
From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard,
but doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
Our doubts and loves are shaking our foundations, readying the ground for new life. Christianity is being born again.
Marcus Borg’s journey reveals the fruit and labor of doubts and loves. In this collection of thoughts and ideas taken from a diversity of sources, from his dissertation written at age twenty-seven to his final book written at age seventy, you will find a companion for your doubts and loves. And you may just discover what it means to be a Christian in the twenty-first century.
A quick word about Marcus. Marcus was asked to preach on a Sunday morning as part of a lecture weekend. A children’s sermon preceding Marcus’s featured two darling dog puppets. To introduce Marcus to their young audience, one puppet exclaimed how excited he was to hear him speak. The other dog puppet paused and then shyly asked, “Who is Marcus Borg?”
Some of you know of Marcus Borg. Others of you are like the pup. Who is Marcus Borg? He is arguably one of the clearest, most accessible, insightful Jesus scholars and voices for Christianity in this century. He addressed many of our current questions and helped us fall in love with Christianity again, as if for the first time.
This volume is an opportunity to meet Marcus. For some, it will be a chance to read Marcus again as if for the first time, and for others it will truly be for the first time.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Days of Awe and Wonder.