Just read an interview with the ever-controversial author, Jesus Seminar theologian, and Episcopalian Marcus Borg discussing his new book “Speaking Christian” (http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/2011/7/13/interview-with-marcus-borg-on-speaking-christian.html) and it made me ask myself if I’m guilty of misusing or misunderstanding the concepts, words, and authority of what the Scripture says.
Unlike Mr. Borg I think we can trust in a majorly literalistic approach to the Scripture (as long as we understand the genre, type, and form of the literature) and have confidence that everything in the Bible is true. I do agree that Christians could learn how to better interpret and understand the depth of concepts and words but I think the only way that this will happen is if the majority of Christians would get past their biblical illiteracy. When someone claims the Bible isn’t fully true then why would I want to get to know how to read it “correctly” or understand it at all if what I’m reading has no bearing or meaning for me?
I agree that the “Heaven and Hell framework” that Borg is speaking against can be destructive because it encourages people to only be concerned about what you can get later, when you’re dead. The Gospel message is much more a message of hope for a restored relationship with God and being a part of His kingdom in the here and now and bringing others with us. Being truthful about separation from God and eternal judgment is good as long as the messages are not being used as a fear tactic to produce more converts. I don’t want to produce converts, I want to see people make a decision for Christ and become faithful Christ-followers as they mature and come to know more of who God is and what kingdom values we should be living out. Jesus doesn’t want us living in fear because part of salvation is freedom from fear and the bondage of the punishments for sin. Jesus has paid the price for our debt of sin, all we must do is accept his free gift of grace through his death and resurrection.
Stay controversial Marcus Borg…