Nancy Bean didn’t have a wish list for her birthday this year; she issued a birthday decree. All five Beans were to purchase a copy of Marcus Borg’s The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith and read at least the first five chapters. We would then meet at our daughter Lydia’s home in Waco to discuss the book over birthday cake.
The discussion was loud, lively and long. Sons Adam and Amos suspected that Borg’s version of Christianity existed primarily inside his own head. Lydia gave the book thumbs up, but said she favored the more evangelical theology of NT Wright.
Marcus Borg is part of an emerging cadre of Christian intellectuals calling for a new understanding of Christian theology, spirituality and ethics. Anglican Bishop NT Wright, Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, Roman Catholic theologian John Dominic Crossan and the “emerging church” writer Brian McLaren have also contributed to this project.
They don’t agree on all points, of course, but Borg’s The Heart of Christianity comes as close to a consensus statement as you are likely to find. Conservative scholars may quibble with Borg’s assertion that the Bible is “a human product;” but, increasingly, leading Christian thinkers are being drawn to similar conclusions. (more…)