From Publishers Weekly
Borg follows up two of his previous releases about the Bible and Jesus with a volume that could easily have played on those titles, because this highly readable book is essentially about looking at Christianity again for the first time. In that respect, it provides a valuable glimpse into the essence of Christianity for those who have left the faith because they no longer believe its doctrines and those who are trying to remain in the faith while questioning its doctrines. With those people in mind, Borg emphasizes the transformational aspect of Christianity by examining the "emerging paradigm" that is gradually replacing the belief-centered paradigm of the last several hundred years. The new paradigm, Borg writes, is about loving God and loving what God loves, rather than rigidly adhering to a specific set of beliefs. In exploring this new way of "being Christian," Borg offers a middle ground for conservative and liberal Christians, though it's unlikely conservatives will conclude, as he does, that Jesus was not really the Son of God, nor are liberals likely to begin using the term "born again," as he advocates. Still, there's much here that both sides can agree on, possibly helping to bring them a step closer to the unity that has eluded them for centuries. As always, Borg writes with clarity and precision, which should also help the ongoing conversation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Christianity appears to be at a crossroads, and religious historian Borg draws a distinction between what he calls an emerging paradigm and an earlier paradigm. The distinction is important because Christianity, he says, still makes sense and is the most viable religious option for millions. He contends the earlier paradigm, based upon a punitive God and believing in Christianity now for the sake of salvation later, simply doesn't work for many people. It also doesn't take into account the sacramental nature of religious belief; that is, religion as a vessel wherein the sacred comes to the faithful. Borg's emerging paradigm is based upon the belief that one must be transformed in one's own lifetime, that salvation means one is healed and made whole with God. He feels the new paradigm allows more people to be and become Christians. In his compelling proposal Borg consistently aligns the emerging paradigm with God, Jesus, the Bible, tradition, and religious practice, which constitute the heart of Christianity. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved