Friday, March 20, 2009


I recently read “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time” by Marcus Borg, and it was like coming home. Borg reads the Bible in a “historical-metaphorical” way, rather than literally, and manages to find great meaning and power in it without saying that it’s God’s instruction-book for our lives. What to do with the Bible has been one of the major challenges in my faith venture in the last several years – I didn’t take it literally, so I didn’t know how to, as Borg says, use another framework to “take it seriously”. The method that Borg offers makes sense to me, and actually made me feel like the Bible might have something to offer for the first time in a long time.

One of the things I also realized was that Borg often stated that the theological interpretation he was advancing was accepted by most mainline churches, and it made me miss my mainline roots. Ecclesiax is an amazing community, and I can’t imagine going to church anywhere else right now, but ideologically, I feel like the United Church is my home. Which is interesting, because while I’ve always had great affection for the United Church, there was definitely a period in my time when I thought that many of the positions I now long for were dead wrong. And this, coupled with all of this buzz about “Christian hipsters” (see my last post) has made me think about the fact that I truly in a “post-evangelical” space (an interesting realization, since even at my most “Christian”, if you want to call it that, I never really wore the term evangelical completely comfortably).

I am also uncomfortable with the term “post-evangelical”, though, because it suggests that I am at some higher stage of growth that evangelical Christians, and I don’t like saying that. I used to think that I was right and people who thought the way I now do were wrong. My experiences, study, and self-examination have led me to another point of view, but I don’t want to fall into the same trap, and consider that I was initially mistaken, and NOW I am “right”. I know that there are people of the faith who will start praying for my soul when they read these words, but I am becoming more and more comfortable without certainties as time goes on. I don’t know if that’s “growth”, but it’s “change”, and it feels right.


Tarasview said...

this sounds like a book I should read! :)

el Maggie said...

It's a great book - I also read "the Sins of Scripture" by J.S. Spong a few years ago. He comes from the same theological framework, and examines things that point to why the Bible probably isn't the literal word of God, but he doesn't really address what it IS, if not that. What I liked about Borg was that he still values the Bible as the most important text in Christianity, and gives his readers tools on how to still "take it seriously" if they find they don't take it literally.