On the occasion of his seventieth birthday, the renowned scholar Marcus J. Borg shares how he formed his bedrock religious beliefs, contending that Christians in America are at their best when they focus on hope and transformation and so shows how we can return to what really matters most. The result is a manifesto for all progressive Christians who seek the best path for following Jesus today.
With each chapter embodying a distinct conviction, Borg writes provocatively and compellingly on the beliefs that can deeply ground us and guide us, such as: God is real and a mystery; salvation is more about this life than an afterlife; the Bible can be true without being literally true; Jesus's death on the cross matters—but not because he paid for our sins; God is passionate about justice and the poor; and to love God is to love like God.
Borg calls all American Christians to reject divisiveness and exclusivity and create communities that celebrate joy, possibility, and renewal. Throughout, he reflects on what matters most, bringing to earth the kingdom of God Jesus talked about and transforming our relationships with one another. Rich in wisdom and insight, Convictions is sure to become a classic of contemporary Christianity.
Because "context matters," religion scholar Borg (The Heart of Christianity) reviews the itinerary of his spiritual journey toward his life's convictions. An expert on the historical Jesus who has written 14 books (including a fine novel), Borg bases his biblical exegeses in scripture, reason and tradition; another three-legged stool memories, conversations, and convictions shapes this forthright book. He explores how he came to his opinions, from boy to man to elder of 70, beginning with his birth in Minnesota to conservative, Republican, Lutheran parents in a mixed marriage (his mother was descended from Norwegians; his father, Swedes). He became a scholar, a liberal Episcopalian in Oregon, the husband of a priest. He intertwines his considerable knowledge of the Bible and of Christianity with exploration of his life at lectern and in pulpit. He writes honestly and clearly, defining as he goes, always educating. He does not shy from laying out controversies among contemporary Christians, especially progressives v. conservatives, and he analyzes Jesus, the Bible, and the Cross. He closes with wonder: "Imagine that Christianity is about loving God."