Tag Archives: Marcus Borg

Why read the Bible? … Good Question!

Overview of Christian Scriptures begins tomorrow, Thursday Aug 27.  As I’ve been preparing for the course, an unexpected bonus gift has been a new way of seeing the Sacredness of Sacred Scriptures.

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One of the topics we’ll discuss is “Why read the Bible? This is question that many people have been asking lately – say in the past couple hundred years, and increasingly more in the past 50 years. Today’s modern/post-modern population is rapidly exiting the church, and closing their Bibles for the last time. I closed mine for many years because as I grew intellectually and became aware of a global spirituality, I became less and less able to read the Bible as I had been taught to read it. I could no longer see it as “God’s Word” which would have any significant message for me.

The text for this course is by beloved, brilliant Marcus Borg:  “Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously, But Not Literally.”  The most  significant word in that title is Again. He explains a new way to see the Bible, using the lens of the Post-Modern world-view.

Borg suggests that we see it as “Sacred Scripture,” meaning several things: the first is that it has molded our cultural-linguistic world. He says a “sacred writing” is the “Word” even if read metaphorically. It’s all about the Divine-Human relationship.

He points out that it is used as a sacramental vehicle: many people over many years have used it for guidance, or for devotional, meditative inspiration. (“I lift my eyes into the hills, from whence comes my help.” (not literally, but spiritually: when we’re in the muck and mess of life/ego, our help/clarity comes through the action of “lifting our eyes” into a higher level of thinking/being).

And, if only from a cultural-anthropology standpoint, we could value knowing the Bible because it is a base from which we engage in dialogue. Many people didn’t grow up learning about the Bible. They don’t know the storiestriumphal-entry and their characters. Others know them only from their moralistic Sunday-School lessons. Others know the stories only from brief exposure to them, but really don’t know the message they bring. If we know the Bible’s stories and metaphors, we can engage in conversation. If we don’t know them, we’ve lost out on a big element of Western culture.

This course gives a look at the cultural background, the language and culture, the message and targeted readers of each book, as well as the canonization process that resulted in 27 books of the Christian Scriptures. (We have called it the New Testament, but in the desire to be more inclusive, many are converting to “The Hebrew Scriptures” and The Christian Scriptures.”)

Register now and  join the six already registered in our virtual classroom for the next 4 Thursdays, 7 -9:30 pm, (eastern time) Beginning tomorrow night!

And if not this time, check out the other newly listed courses at Unity SEE classes

What Does Unity Teach about Jesus’ Teachings?

Can we rely on what the Gospels say about Jesus?  Why do the books of the Bible tell different stories about him? How do we know what is historical and what is myth? How can we know what Jesus really said? What about the other gospels that didn’t make it into the Bible? Many scholars haJesus-Teachingve wondered about these things, and a lot is written about this topic.

The facts about the search for the historical Jesus often don’t filter to the people through the Sunday Sermon. The message is too complicated to communicate in twenty minutes time. And since the audience is varied, many ministers don’t bother getting into it on Sundays. But with today’s information age, people’s brains are engaged. We expect to hear facts, and want clarity between what is fact and what is myth.

It’s time for everyone to take an honest look at Jesus’ teachings. Unity offers a course that does just this. It’s a newly revised course which provides updates from the scholarly search for the historical Jesus. We’ll answer these questions and much more: How do some scholars evaluate of the validity of Jesus words; what is the significance of the Nag Hammadi discovery; and what valuable insights do they bring to the study of the historical and mythological Jesus?

Learn about the historical events and cultural influences that inspired the myth.  Why was 70 AD a critical year?  How did it impact the development of Christianity?  Curtain3

With the help of Bart Erhman, Marcus Borg, Paul Alan Laughlin, John Shelby Spong and John Dominic Crossan, we’ll take a frank look at the Jesus myth. Allow yourself to rage or grieve or explore whatever feelings come up. I provide a safe place to do that in this unique virtual class platform.

What did Jesus really say? We’ll move into a heart-centered look at the one-liners Jesus might have actually said, and gain insights about his message.  We’ll  explore Jesus’ parables at the heart-level. Students will feel a balance in this class: it’s a head-and-heart approach to Jesus’ teachings.

After debunking the myth and connecting with the heart, we’ll ask reflective, reconstructive questions about the implications upon the future of Christianity, seeing it through the lens of the evolution of consciousness.

I offer this course with great enthusiasm, as I am very familiar with the gospels and am thrilled to share the latest insights about Jesus. It’s exciting to see Jesus a little more clearly, one which makes sense to my intellect and understanding, and rediscover his message of unconditional love and radical acceptance.  Previous students comments:  “very informative and enlightening” …  “I loved the combination of readings, videos, conversation and meditation!”   …  “great energy, enthusiasm, teaching and facilitating!”

Enroll now! First class is August 10. Details at Unity SEE classes