Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity, The heart of the matter
The last chapter of the rough summaries of my readings of the Heart of Christianity::
Borg asks the question what does it mean to 'love God with all your heart' the response is '"Practice". Loving God means paying attention to God and to what God loves"
Western Christianity has not made practice central as opposed to other religions. Borg gives two reasons
- The reformation: We are saved by "faith not works".
- Western Christianity has become more about belief than knowing God.
Purpose of Practice
Practice is about:
- Paying attention to God:: intentional and thoughtful
- The formation of Christian identity and character. The aim of deepening and transformation of character of self.
- Nourishment, it happens two ways often corporately as well as individually with devotional practices
- Compassion and Justice: "ethical fruits", becoming passionate about what God is passionate about
- living the way: "Being born again, opening the heart, dying to an old identity and being born into a new identity; and becoming passionate about God's passion, the life of compassion and justice in the world."
- (Gee I like this list, no mention of recruiting!)
The there are the practices "plural"
Being part of a Church,
- it nourishes you and stretches you. (There is some really good advice regarding choice of Church)
"Participation in worship is vital for Christian Formation. In worship, we internalize the tradition through liturgy, hyms, scripture readings, and preaching."
- Prayer is central,
Borg goes out of his way to explain how he prays for petition and intercession even though he does not belive in an interventionsist God. Very interesting!
- Intercessional and petitional language feel natural; a natural way to speak if caring.
- Borg believes that these prayers have an effect; he affirms paranormal healing
- Both petition and intercession have an underlying purpose of drawing one closer to God
"..reflecting on an image or phrase, sitting with it, holding it, remaining with it"
Internal silence. To sit with God. Usualy involves a mantra.
A daily practice for prayer or Christian reading. Time each day set aside for God
Practices in the Dailiness of Life.
Remembering God in the course of the day/week, prayers or rituals.
Practicing Compassion and Justice
Compassion and Justice are God's passion, In imitating God we also participate in compassion and justice.
"Justice askes"why are there so many victims" and then seeks to change the causes of victimisation" Thus the Church and Christians are to be political in seeking social transformation.
And thus here ends my book reading and rambling thoughts of 'The Heart of Christianity', great book, not many theological books I can say I've read twice 5/5.