Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Salon ~ raging rain and new books


This is what downtown Chattanooga looked like after only a few minutes of heavy rain on Tuesday.  The photo comes from the Chattanooga Times Free Press.  Best of all, the rain cooled the high temperatures.

UPS delivered three books this week.

Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power — and How They Can Be Restored ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 2011

Modern Christians are steeped in a language so distorted that it has become a stumbling block to the religion.  Christianity’s important words, and the sacred texts and stories in which those words are embedded, have been narrowed by a modern framework for the faith that emphasizes sin, forgiveness, Jesus dying for our sins, and the afterlife.  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.
Borg delivers a language for twenty-first-century Christians that grounds the faith in its deep and rich original roots and allows it once again to transform our lives.

Embracing an Adult Faith: Marcus Borg on What it Means to Be Christian ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 2010

Author and Bible scholar Marcus Borg invites us to join him in revisiting Christianity's most fundamental questions:  Who is God?  What does salvation mean?   What place does Jesus hold in contemporary Christian faith?  The study addresses fundamental questions that adults struggle with as faith matures.  It can be used as a resource for personal reflection as well as small group experience.  The five sessions include:
* God
* Jesus
* Salvation
* Community
* Practice

If this video quits working, view it here.
If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus ~ by Philip Gulley, 2010
The largest group in American religious life may be the disillusioned — people who have been involved in the church, respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become. In If the Church Were Christian Philip Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church could look like if it refocused on the priorities of Jesus.
UPDATE (20 minutes later)

My sister Ann had a stroke on Friday, the 13th.  (Yes, I wrote it that way on purpose.)  She had a blood clot on the right side of her brain, which her doctor said could be treated easily with medicine.  She went home the next day, and we talked for quite a while on Saturday night.  Ann claims to be "99.8 % recovered" with only a little weakness in her upper left arm.  She has gone to stay with her youngest (her daughter Amy) and plans to go to church with Amy's family this morning.  The doctor attributes the mildness of the full-blown stroke to the fact that Ann was on aspirins and took a couple more when she realized something strange was happening.

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Beth said...

Oh sorry about your sister's stroke, but so glad she came through so well! Thank goodness for aspirin...they really are a sort of wonder drug, aren't they? Prayers for Ann that her quick recovery may continue...

We got rain, as well, and are so grateful for it. There was a brief problem with flooding in some of the surrounding areas, but the waters subsided quickly.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I am so glad to hear that Ann is doing better and how smart of her to take aspirins and to be aware enough that something wasn't right! That must be quite a relief to you all.

I am just starting to think about the fact that I really am leaving for England on Friday! Talk about rain, the last thing I want to do is pack clothes for rain

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm glad your sister is okay. Looks like she was very proactive and God was watching over her.