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Paperback Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith Book

ISBN: 0060609176

ISBN13: 9780060609177

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

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Book Overview

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 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...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings


I'm so thankful that I've discovered Marcus Borg and I look forward to reading more, if not, all of his books.This book opens with the author reflecting/reviewing his childhood, adolescent and young adult memories of Jesus. Eventually discussing college courses that brought him to the point of reassessing his understanding of Jesus and the Christian faith.One of the important new concepts that I particularly appreciate is Borg's description or identification of a Pre-Easter Jesus contrasted with a Post-Easter Jesus. This highly illuminating and thought-provoking view of the historical Jesus has been (is) an important revelation.While not answering all of my questions, the author is the first Jesus scholar I've read that tackles many of the critical questions that tend to create doubt in the minds of many "believing" Christians.I particularly appreciated the book's format, use of "white" space, section headings, large print and extensive annotated notes at the end of each chapter.This would be an excellent book for a religious study group, far better and more rewarding than the typical fundamentalist retelling of biblical themes.

A new faith - for after the shipwreck!

Conservative and evangelical Christians often attack the audacity and impiety of the Jesus Seminar. Just imagine - a collection of scholars proposing to vote on the authenticity of the New Testament record of Jesus life and words! As one once anchored in contemporary fundamentalism, I find it easy to understand this offense. Borg challenges this reaction. He writes with a sensitivity, honesty and spirituality that is much to be admired. Like so many others, he found traditional and conservative beliefs about Jesus unsatisfying in early adulthood. His personal hold on traditional Christian beliefs waned as he embraced a modern worldview and liberal religious scholarship. He became a closet agnostic, then a closet atheist. Yet, Borg was somehow drawn to always keep searching. This book is a record of his search; a moving description of Truth as Borg has found it; a very personal answer to the question, "Who is this Jesus?"His essential premise involves the importance, even primacy, of our personal image of Jesus. Is Jesus the savior who requires faith? Or, is Jesus a great teacher of moral ideals? Borg rejects both in chapter one. Borg imagines Jesus as one to whom spirit, and the experience of spirit, was foundational. Accordingly, Borg does not understand the Christian life to be "about believing or about being good .... It is about a relationship with God that involves us in a journey of transformation."Reconstructing the pre-Easter life of Jesus with historical criticism, Borg explains that Jesus was a spirit person (chapter two), a social prophet and movement founder (chapter three), and a teacher of wisdom (chapter four). In these chapters he does not heed the consensus opinion of the Jesus Seminar, but provides his personal conclusions with sensitivity to their implications for the Church and Christian life. The concluding chapters (five and six) deal with the metaphorical use of language in Christology and the macro-stories of Scripture as imaginal material for contemporary living of the meaning of Scripture. In 1 Timothy 1:18-19, two are mentioned by name, Hymenaeous and Alexander. Their faith had become a "shipwreck" (KJV). Today their name is legion. I recommend this book for anyone who feels the water leaking in. There is more to the experience of God than conformity to denominational patterns and the exaltation of obedience. Let Borg point the way for you, too.

Buy this book! The thinking person's Jesus

Say what you will, Borg's Meeting Jesus Again is a great book if you want to build your faith on something other than blindness. Although this book did not answer all my questions, when added to other books (i.e. Robert Funk's Honest to Jesus and several of Shebly Spong's books and John Dominic Crossan) you arrive at a complete and satisfying understanding of Jesus & of Christ and through that develop a mature and intelligent faith. Borg's message is simple - we see in Jesus a model of a relationship with the divine and eternal that we call God. Through our understanding of Jesus, we can enter into a relationship with that eternal.To understand Borg's book, you must be willing to ask real questions about not only the bible, but about God and Jesus; if you refuse to abandon the belief that the Bible is literal and inerrant truth, you will hate this book.

A Jesus for Tomorrow's Christian

This is a remarkable book. It is relatively short, very approachable and mercifully short on jargon. But most of all it speaks with a refreshing directness and sincerity. Marcus Borg has walked the path of many of us, from the comfortable church beliefs of childhood, to open questioning, agnosticism, and then back again to confront the figure of Jesus once more, this time with eyes wide open. I suspect that, if Christianity is not to fade away, like the smile on the Cheshire cat, over the course of the Third Millennium, it will be because of the courage of Christians like Borg, who are not afraid to confront the inadequate theological models of the past and deal with them honestly. Fundamentalists will not enjoy this book, but it is none the less a profoundly Christian testimony.
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