Sunday, Apr 03, 2005: “The Heart of Christianity… Chapter 1”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, by Marcus Borg
Preface and Chapter 1 (pages xi-21):
“What Does it Mean to Be Christian Today?” and
“The Heart of Christianity in a Time of Change”
>  Learn more about Marcus Borg:  click HERE

Discussion Led By Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, April 03, 2005



The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus Borg
(San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2004)

Session 1, April 3 and 6, 2005

xi earlier (still dominant) form of Christianity; “emerging vision”

“In this time of change and conflict within the Church, what is the heart of Christianity? What is most central to an authentic Christianity and Christian life today?”

3 “The differences between the earlier and emerging ways of seeing Christianity and being Christian involve specific conflicts as well as more foundational issues.”; 3 examples given

4-5 paradigm change; “A paradigm is a comprehensive way of seeing, a way of seeing a “whole.”
observe same phenomena, but see differently; the difference “between two comprehensive ways of seeing Christianity as a whole”

6 Christian life and Christian tradition

9-11 The Earlier Paradigm:
sees the Bible as a divine product; infallibility and inerrancy (harder and softer forms); literalism; applied to creeds as well [see the John J. Collins article]
Faith as believing is central.
The afterlife is central.
The Christian life is about requirements and rewards.
Summary (page 11): “it sees the Christian life as believing in Christianity now for the sake of salvation later. It sees the Bible as God’s message of salvation (meaning a blessed afterlife), and sees the Christina life as believing in the message and seeking to live accordingly. And believing is the central requirement: it is believing that will save you.”
This “earlier paradigm” is a modern phenomenon.

13-14 The Emerging Paradigm
sees the Bible as Historical, Metaphorical and Sacramental
“The emerging paradigm sees the Christian life as a life of relationship and transformation.”

15 chart comparing the two paradigms

16 -18 “Bridging the Differences”
Christian Diversity
What the Paradigms Share in Common

“Being Christian isn’t about getting our beliefs (or our paradigm) ‘right.'”