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Extended Audio Sample Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power—And How They Can Be Restored, by Marcus J. Borg Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (259 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marcus J. Borg Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Modern Christians are steeped in a language so distorted that it has become a stumbling block to the religion, says internationally renowned Bible scholar Marcus J. Borg. Borg argues that Christianity’s important words, and the sacred texts and stories in which those words are embedded, have been narrowed by a modern frame work for the faith that emphasizes sin, forgiveness, Jesus dying for our sins, and the after life. Here, Borg employs the “historical-metaphorical”method for understanding Christian language that can restore for us these words of power and transformation. For example,

–Redemption: now narrowly understood as Jesus saving us from sins so we can go to heaven, but in the Bible it refers to being set free from slavery.

–Savior: now refers to Jesus as the one who saves us from our sins, but in the Bible it has a rich and wonderful variety of meanings having nothing to do with the afterlife.

–Sacrifice: now refers to Jesus’s death on the cross as payment for our sins, but in the Bible it is never about substitutionary payment for sin.

In Speaking Christian, Borg delivers a languagefor twenty-first-century Christians that grounds the faith in its deep and rich original roots and allows it once again to transform our lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What would we do without Marcus Borg? If he did not exist, we would have to invent him for we have no better guide to the recovery of an authentic Christian faith for these difficult times than this articulate and prolific public theologian.”

    Peter J. Gomes, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Book

  • Speaking Christian correctly may seem like it’s just a fuss over semantics, but it’s ultimately about something bigger: defining Christianity…When Christians forget what their words mean, they forget what their faith means.”


  • Convincing…Borg’s approach makes the complexity of his ideas transparent; his ideas will appeal strongly to individual Christians, as well as the unchurched.”

    Library Journal

  • “This book could start a revolution. Borg cracks open the encrusted words of faith and pops them into fresh language that people can understand and trust. The last time this happened, we got the Reformation.”

    Anne Sutherland Howard, executive director of the Beatitudes Society

  • “In every generation, there is a handful of writers of whom it can be said, ‘Read everything they write.’ Marcus Borg is one of these today.”

    Walter Wink, author of Engaging the Powers

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Laura | 2/17/2014

    " Loved this book. I don't resonate with the heaven-and-hell flavor of Christianity, so it was wonderful to discover terms like "salvation" and "born again" in the context of their original meanings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sharon | 2/11/2014

    " Should be read by every pastor, Sunday School teacher, person interested in Christianity. Borg does a great job elucidating the historical meanings of many words that the christian churches throw out so casually without really knowing what they mean; then he also helps the reader understand their meaning for today and how they may be redeemed. Wish he had written more in some of the latter chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Connie | 1/19/2014

    " Looking at the meaning of words in a different way makes the Bible take on a new meaning. A broader and more inclusive meaning. I keep this book handy to freshen my reading of Scripture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cynthia | 1/18/2014

    " Even if the meanings of the words can be restored, many Christians won't like or agree with the restored meanings. "

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