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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 4:06PM #1
steve220
Posts: 33
Hi all, Dr. Marcus Borg did a weekend lecture series at my church.  It was so amazing, I had never heard him speak before.  He said that his material mostly came from his book, The Heart of Christianity, which I have not read.  He started it off talking about the divide between conservative and progressive Christianity, and while he did use the term "progressive", he also called the movement, "neo-traditional" because the kind of fundamentalism we see today is, in his view, a relatively recent development starting the past 2-300 years.

After introducing progressive Christianity, Borg spoke of the need for personal transformation, and the need to really center our lives in God since we live east of the Eden of our childhood.  Using language I had not heard since my days as a Southern Baptist, he stressed the importance of deepening our relationship with God and being "born-again". 

He also spoke of the need for progressive congregations to have more engaging theological education for adults so people do not simply retain what they were taught when they were children, but learn to look at Scripture and theology with a new perspective.  He cited research showing that growing progressive churches actually asked their members for time commitments that went beyond showing up every Sunday. 

Aside from personal and congregational transformation (Im going out of order here), he spoke of the need for political transformation.  This was the part that surprised me most, but in a positive way.  He stressed the importance of social and economic justice and greater government support for social programs.  I knew that Borg mentioned more liberal political beliefs in some of his books but I didn't realize he felt it was so central to the Christian message.  It's also fairly controversial since I think a lot of mainline churches, while doing their own outreach, would like to stay apolitical so as not to drive members away. 

Of course, many fundamentalist churches formally or informally aligned themselves with the political right and I don't think their memberships are suffering for that reason (right now anyway).  Borg did say that when people realize the downside of our aggressive foreign policies and regressive economic policies, churches that supported them will be in danger of being discredited. 

So, I'm curious about what you all think about this.  Should churches be more politically active or should there be separate Christian organizations devoted to political action?  You may want to read Amos before you answer since it convinced Borg to abandon his right-wing political beliefs (I need to read it as well).

If there is a better forum for this question let me know but Im wondering if this is a debate we need to have within the progressive Christian paradigm.  Or maybe you all are already on board and Im just behind the times.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2007 - 11:40PM #2
grampawombat
Posts: 269
Marcus Borg is my favorite author on religious topics. I am particularly drawn to The Heart of Christianity. Actually, I had never found his work all that explicit in support of a particular political perspective. But I am glad to hear that is the case.

Most of my adult life I have been a member of liberal Protestant congregations. My present "church home" has a number of endeavors associated with peace and justice. I am a member of the congregation's More Light and Peacemaking Team (MLPT). We seek to keep the congregation informed about the issues of the day that are related to these areas of concern. Perhaps I should add that More Light congregations are Presbyterian congregations that support full membership of all people without regard to, among other things, sexual orientation.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2007 - 11:34AM #3
Merope
Posts: 9,608
[QUOTE=steve220;44492]Hi all, Dr. Marcus Borg did a weekend lecture series at my church.  It was so amazing, I had never heard him speak before.  He said that his material mostly came from his book, The Heart of Christianity, which I have not read.  He started it off talking about the divide between conservative and progressive Christianity, and while he did use the term "progressive", he also called the movement, "neo-traditional" because the kind of fundamentalism we see today is, in his view, a relatively recent development starting the past 2-300 years.

After introducing progressive Christianity, Borg spoke of the need for personal transformation, and the need to really center our lives in God since we live east of the Eden of our childhood.  Using language I had not heard since my days as a Southern Baptist, he stressed the importance of deepening our relationship with God and being "born-again".



[COLOR="Navy"]I think you posted this on the other Progressive board, yes?  I answered there, but I'll answer here, too.

Yes, I attended one of Borg's weekend seminars a few years ago. The Heart of Christianity had not yet been published, but the entire seminar was essentially an overview of the book. I enjoyed the seminar immensely, and I have since bought the book.

I like Borg's notion and nomenclature of the "traditional paradigm" and the "emerging paradigm" of Christianity.  I also like his discussion in the book about being "born again."  He really takes the phenomenon out of the conservative Christian context, deconstructs it, and puts it back together again in a way that seems to me to reflect classic elements of a conversion experience without a lot of denominational baggage.[/COLOR]


He also spoke of the need for progressive congregations to have more engaging theological education for adults so people do not simply retain what they were taught when they were children, but learn to look at Scripture and theology with a new perspective.



[COLOR="Navy"]The seminar I attended was actually sponsored by and held at an Episcopalian congregation in my neighborhood as part of that congregation's adult Christian ed program.  One thing I liked about Borg's seminar was its high quality.  I got the sense that he was giving us the same information - in content and depth - as well as the same amount of time that he would give to one of his classes at OSU.  You just don't always see that kind of high-quality material in congregation-based theological education.[/COLOR]


He cited research showing that growing progressive churches actually asked their members for time commitments that went beyond showing up every Sunday.



[COLOR="Navy"]I don't think he mentioned anything like that in the seminar I attended.  But just FYI, it is the norm in most churches - progressive or otherwise -  for folks to commit time to their congregations above and beyond showing up every Sunday.  Most congregations depend on the volunteer time of their members to keep the congregation going.[/COLOR]


Aside from personal and congregational transformation (Im going out of order here), he spoke of the need for political transformation.  This was the part that surprised me most, but in a positive way.  He stressed the importance of social and economic justice and greater government support for social programs.  I knew that Borg mentioned more liberal political beliefs in some of his books but I didn't realize he felt it was so central to the Christian message.  It's also fairly controversial since I think a lot of mainline churches, while doing their own outreach, would like to stay apolitical so as not to drive members away. 

Of course, many fundamentalist churches formally or informally aligned themselves with the political right and I don't think their memberships are suffering for that reason (right now anyway).  Borg did say that when people realize the downside of our aggressive foreign policies and regressive economic policies, churches that supported them will be in danger of being discredited. 

So, I'm curious about what you all think about this.  Should churches be more politically active or should there be separate Christian organizations devoted to political action?  You may want to read Amos before you answer since it convinced Borg to abandon his right-wing political beliefs (I need to read it as well).




[COLOR="Navy"]I don't remember that, at the seminar I attended, Borg spoke particularly (or at all) about political action or engagement by churches. I'm kind of neutral on your question as to whether churches should be more or less engaged in the political process, partly because political activity by US non-profit entities such as churches is fairly circumscribed by tax laws. Also, my sense is that most of the larger Christian denominations are quite politically active, even if their activities don't get a lot of air time.[/COLOR]

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7 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2007 - 8:45AM #4
he-man
Posts: 3,869
[QUOTE=Merope;58799][COLOR="Navy"]I think you posted this on the other Progressive board, yes?  I answered there, but I'll answer here, too.

Yes, I attended one of Borg's weekend seminars a few years ago. The Heart of Christianity had not yet been published, but the entire seminar was essentially an overview of the book. I enjoyed the seminar immensely, and I have since bought the book.

I like Borg's notion and nomenclature of the "traditional paradigm" and the "emerging paradigm" of Christianity.  I also like his discussion in the book about being "born again."  He really takes the phenomenon out of the conservative Christian context, deconstructs it, and puts it back together again in a way that seems to me to reflect classic elements of a conversion experience without a lot of denominational baggage.[/COLOR]




[COLOR="Navy"]The seminar I attended was actually sponsored by and held at an Episcopalian congregation in my neighborhood as part of that congregation's adult Christian ed program.  One thing I liked about Borg's seminar was its high quality.  I got the sense that he was giving us the same information - in content and depth - as well as the same amount of time that he would give to one of his classes at OSU.  You just don't always see that kind of high-quality material in congregation-based theological education.[/COLOR]




[COLOR="Navy"]I don't think he mentioned anything like that in the seminar I attended.  But just FYI, it is the norm in most churches - progressive or otherwise -  for folks to commit time to their congregations above and beyond showing up every Sunday.  Most congregations depend on the volunteer time of their members to keep the congregation going.[/COLOR]





[COLOR="Navy"]I don't remember that, at the seminar I attended, Borg spoke particularly (or at all) about political action or engagement by churches. I'm kind of neutral on your question as to whether churches should be more or less engaged in the political process, partly because political activity by US non-profit entities such as churches is fairly circumscribed by tax laws. Also, my sense is that most of the larger Christian denominations are quite politically active, even if their activities don't get a lot of air time.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Just hold down the CTRL key or click on the following to see Joel


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IuiU...FD94CE&index=0

Many, like Joel Olsteen, point out the “Good” things and lull people to sleep by failing to point out the need for repentance and why we need the deliverance of a Savior.
Even if a minister is not doing his job, pointing out the sins of the people for whom he is responsible to God, we still, individually, have the responsibility to obey God regardless.[\quote]

.] “From the words of your master I shall refute you, because even he introduces to all men a certain God who was known.

For although both Adam knew the God who was his creator, and the maker of the world; and Enoch knew him, inasmuch as he was translated by him; and Noah, since he was ordered by him to construct the ark; and although Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and all, even every people and all nations, know the maker of the world, and confess him to be a God, yet your Jesus, who appeared long after the patriarchs, says:

‘No one knows the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son has been pleased to reveal Him.’659659 Matt. xi. 27. [Comp. Luke x. 22. This objection is given in Homilies XVII. 4, XVIII. 4.—R.] Thus, therefore, even your Jesus confesses that there is another God, incomprehensible and unknown to all.”
1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2007 - 3:45PM #5
he-man
Posts: 3,869
[QUOTE=he-man;62439]
Just hold down the CTRL key or click on the following to see Joel


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IuiU...FD94CE&index=0

Many, like Joel Olsteen, point out the “Good” things and lull people to sleep by failing to point out the need for repentance and why we need the deliverance of a Savior.
Even if a minister is not doing his job, pointing out the sins of the people for whom he is responsible to God, we still, individually, have the responsibility to obey God regardless.[\quote]

.] “From the words of your master I shall refute you, because even he introduces to all men a certain God who was known.

For although both Adam knew the God who was his creator, and the maker of the world; and Enoch knew him, inasmuch as he was translated by him; and Noah, since he was ordered by him to construct the ark; and although Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and all, even every people and all nations, know the maker of the world, and confess him to be a God, yet your Jesus, who appeared long after the patriarchs, says:

‘No one knows the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son has been pleased to reveal Him.’659659 Matt. xi. 27. [Comp. Luke x. 22. This objection is given in Homilies XVII. 4, XVIII. 4.—R.] Thus, therefore, even your Jesus confesses that there is another God, incomprehensible and unknown to all.”
[/QUOTE]

hold down the CTRL key or click on the following to see Joel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IuiU...FD94CE&index=0
Many, like Joel Olsteen, point out the “Good” things and lull people to sleep by failing to point out the need for repentance and why we need the deliverance of a Savior.
Even if a minister is not doing his job, pointing out the sins of the people for whom he is responsible to God, we still, individually, have the responsibility to obey God regardless.[\quote]

.] “From the words of your master I shall refute you, because even he introduces to all men a certain God who was known.

For although both Adam knew the God who was his creator, and the maker of the world; and Enoch knew him, inasmuch as he was translated by him; and Noah, since he was ordered by him to construct the ark; and although Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, and all, even every people and all nations, know the maker of the world, and confess him to be a God, yet your Jesus, who appeared long after the patriarchs, says:

‘No one knows the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son has been pleased to reveal Him.’659659 Matt. xi. 27. [Comp. Luke x. 22. This objection is given in Homilies XVII. 4, XVIII. 4.—R.] Thus, therefore, even your Jesus confesses that there is another God, incomprehensible and unknown to all.”
1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2007 - 4:41PM #6
Geocorona
Posts: 302
I think if Borg is pointing out that the conventional notions of "godliness" are selfish and mean-spirited, he is doing the minister's job, as you define it.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2007 - 10:26PM #7
steve220
Posts: 33
Yes, Geocorona.  Marcus Borg did point out that people use their theology to divide and demean others, instead of inspiring us to love one another.  That's a serious sin in my book. 

One of the funniest things he said was that even though homosexuality is listed as a sin in the Old Testament, so is wearing clothing woven of 2 different fabrics.  However, you don't hear conservatives on TV talking about the "Blend Agenda".  He then suggested that instead of focusing our political energy and time keeping certain people from marrying other certain people, we should actually put the government to work feeding the poor and caring for the sick.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2007 - 11:08PM #8
Starcomet
Posts: 414
Only form of homosexuality that I know of listed in the Pentateuch is the no anal sex between men one.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 8:46AM #9
he-man
Posts: 3,869
[QUOTE=steve220;101822]Yes, Geocorona.  Marcus Borg did point out that people use their theology to divide and demean others, instead of inspiring us to love one another.  That's a serious sin in my book. 

One of the funniest things he said was that even though homosexuality is listed as a sin in the Old Testament, so is wearing clothing woven of 2 different fabrics.  However, you don't hear conservatives on TV talking about the "Blend Agenda".  He then suggested that instead of focusing our political energy and time keeping certain people from marrying other certain people, we should actually put the government to work feeding the poor and caring for the sick.[/QUOTE]

Ro 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 29, 2007 - 8:46AM #10
he-man
Posts: 3,869
[QUOTE=steve220;101822]Yes, Geocorona.  Marcus Borg did point out that people use their theology to divide and demean others, instead of inspiring us to love one another.  That's a serious sin in my book. 

One of the funniest things he said was that even though homosexuality is listed as a sin in the Old Testament, so is wearing clothing woven of 2 different fabrics.  However, you don't hear conservatives on TV talking about the "Blend Agenda".  He then suggested that instead of focusing our political energy and time keeping certain people from marrying other certain people, we should actually put the government to work feeding the poor and caring for the sick.[/QUOTE]

Ro 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1Ch 25:5  All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer (chozeh= to see) in the words of God, to lift up the horn.
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