Saturday, March 30, 2019

Discussing Marcus Borg's "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time" (Reclaiming Christianity Podcast)

My friend, John Weldy, and I have recorded 4 new episodes of Reclaiming Christianity. (Subscribe on iTunes.) The first one is an introductory episode as we launched the second season of the podcast. The other three are all spent discussing different parts of Marcus Borg's book, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.

I want to say up front that I don't agree with Marcus Borg on everything. For one thing, I can't go as far as he does with who he believes Jesus was/is and the strong distinction he makes between the "pre-Easter Jesus" and the "post-Easter Christ". Borg is operating from a skepticism that follows from the Jesus Seminar's take on the historical Jesus and historical accuracy of the Gospels. But aside from that, I would say that I still find 70-80% of the book really interesting, useful, helpful, and encouraging in various ways.

I think it is good and necessary for us to realize that we can (and should!) read books where we don't agree with the author on everything and we can still get something out of them. There is value in that.

So here is a brief rundown of the four new episodes:
  • 2.0: Season 2 Intro - in this episode John and I talk about how we got from "there" to "here" (conservative evangelicalism to progressive Christianity), and why we want to do a podcast called "Reclaiming Christianity".
  • 2:1: Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time... Again (Chapter 1)
    • Childhood image of Jesus often does not evolve
    • Your image of Jesus influences your Christianity
    • The historical Jesus
    • The influence of Christian tradition on the gospels
    • The nature of God
    • Pre-Easter and post-Easter Jesus
  • 2.2: Sophia Became Flesh (Chapter 5)
    • Jesus as the Son of God
    • Sophia, the Wisdom Woman
    • Sophia as a Personification of God
    • Sophia, Created with God in the beginning
    • Jesus, child of Sophia
    • Logos
    • Breaking patriarchal imagery
    • Reading of Psalm 23 that you can find at the end of this post
  • 2.3: Jesus, Compassion, and Politics (Chapter 3) - Yes, we recorded them out of order, John had his reasons. :-)
    • Compassion is the central quality of God and Jesus
    • Compassion as a sociopolitical paradigm
    • Compassion vs. mercy
    • God as "womblike"
    • Holiness vs. compassion
    • Purity system in the time of Jesus
    • Righteousness vs. sinners
    • Be compassionate as God is compassionate
    • Final thought from the end of the book in chapter 6:
“Believe did not originally mean believing a set of doctrines or teachings; in both Greek and Latin its roots mean “to give one’s heart to”. The “heart” is the self at its deepest level. Believing, therefore, does not consist of giving one’s mental assent to something, but involves a much deeper level of one’s self.” - Marcus Borg
John and I would love to interact with you and your thoughts about this book and/or these episodes where we were talking about the book. If you have a comment or question about something or want to tell us something that really resonated with you or something you disagreed with, and why, we want to hear it and would love to include it on our next episode. You can either leave a comment here or in my Progressive Theology Book Club group on Facebook. Or even better, you can email me (JenniferNeyhart [at] gmail [dot] com) a 30-90 second audio clip if you want to have your voice literally be on the podcast. You can also do that quite easily through Facebook Messenger.

The last thing is that alternate version of Psalm 23 which I read in episode 2.2 on the Borg book:

Psalm 23
The Divine is my Shepherd
I have all I need
She makes me lie down in green meadows
Beside the still waters, She will lead.

She restores my soul,
She rights my wrongs,
She leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with songs.

Even though I walk,
Through a dark and dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
She has said, She won't forsake me,
I'm in Her hand.

She sets a table before me,
In the presence of my foes,
She anoints my head with oil,
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I will live in Her house,
Forever and ever.

Glory be to our Mother, and Daughter
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning,
Is now and ever shall be,
World without end, Amen.

(Click here to listen to this version of Psalm 23 on youtube.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So appreciate what you are doing!