Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus & the Heart of Contemporary Faith

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9780060609160: Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus & the Heart of Contemporary Faith

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In the first examination of the implications of the new historical Jesus research for contemporary faith, Marcus J. Borg "directs his readers away from confessed doctrines about Jesus (what the gospels and the churches say about Him) and toward a relationship with the Spirit of God." (Publishers Weekly)

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Review:

All Christianity is, to some extent, idolatrous. Christian worship is a response to a worshiper's image of Jesus, and all images of Jesus fall short of his reality--in the same way that all biographies and portraits fail to depict a whole person. In Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, New Testament scholar Marcus Borg attempts to understand how popular images of Jesus connect Christians to their savior and isolate them from him. Borg writes about his own evolving ideas of who Jesus was, considers the scholarly and popular religious evolution of Jesus' public image, and investigates with special care the effects of Historical Jesus research on contemporary images of Jesus. Meeting Jesus Again is written in an affable, gracious, and unflinchingly honest voice. Borg's description of his own faith particularly exemplifies these qualities, and gives the reader a simultaneously safe and unsettling new perspective on the peasant from Galilee: "[T]he central issue of the Christian life is not believing in God or believing in the Bible," he writes. "Rather, the Christian life is about entering into a relationship with that to which the Christian tradition points, which may be spoken of as God, the risen, living Christ, or the Spirit. And a Christian is one who lives out his or her relationship to God within the framework of the Christian tradition." --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Publisher:

Of the many recent books on the historical Jesus, none has explored what the latest biblical scholarship means for personal faith. Now, in Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Marcus J. Borg addresses the yearnings of those who want a fully contemporary faith that welcomes rather than oppresses our critical intelligence and openness to the best of historical scholarship. Borg shows how a rigorous examination of historical findings can lead to a new faith in Christ, one that is critical to and, at the same time, sustaining.

Drawing on his own journey from a nave, unquestioning belief in Christ through collegiate skepticism to a mature and contemporary Christian faith, Borg illustrates how an understanding of the historical Jesus can actually lead to a more authentic Christian life -- one not rooted in creeds or dogma, but in a life of spiritual challenge, compassion and community.

For questioning believers, doubters and reluctant unbelievers alike, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time frees our understanding of Jesus' life and message from popular misconceptions and outlines the way to a sound and contemporary faith: "For ultimately, Jesus is not simply a figure of the past, but a figure of the present. Meeting that Jesus -- the living one who comes to us even now -- will be like meeting Jesus again for the first time."

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