GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site
I take pleasure in writing and sharing special introductory
words about a post-humously published book by Marcus
Borg with a fine introduction by his partner, Episcopal priest
There is a lot of myself in this book notice, and I hope
you will grant me that, since Marcus was a friend, and
not only an author with whom I spent quality time in
my life. If you consider this name-dropping, so be it.
Please enjoy and value "Days of Awe and Wonder -
How to be a Christian in the Twenty-First Century."
Thanks to colleagues who contributed to this issue.
I hope you find my Net Notes, Wisdom of the Week,
and other items of help to you.
Book Notice -
DAYS OF AWE AND WONDER
How To be a Christian
in the 21st Century
by Marcus Borg
Preface by Marianne Borg
HarperOne, Toronto, ON
March, 2017. 271 pages. $29.55 CAD.
Showcasing some of his most enduring and insightful writings, including many previously unpublished works, a concise and illuminating introduction to Marcus J. Borg, the late spokesman for progressive Christianity and one of the most revered and influential theologians of our time.
In his acclaimed books, classics such as Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Speaking Christian, and Convictions, Marcus J. Borg helped shape an enlightened modernist view of Christianity. A leading scholar of the historical Jesus acclaimed for his ability to speak about Christianity in the context of contemporary society, Borg offered profound wisdom and inspiration - a new way of seeing and living the Christian life - for believers, students, and lay readers. Ultimately, he taught that by forming a deeper understanding of Jesus and the New Testament, we can discover a more authentic way of being.
Yet Borg himself was always conscious of a greater truth beyond
what he could explain: the wonder of God.
Now, two years after the liberal theologian’s death, comes
The Days of Awe and Wonder, a selection of his writing, including
many never before published works, that explores the Christian
faith and what it means to be a Christian in the twenty-first century. Provocative and uplifting, this anthology illuminates Borg’s explorations of the miraculous and wonderful, his understanding of conviction and fulfillment, and his contention that we must keep an open mind and question assumptions and certainties in all our religious journeys.
Marcus J. Borg (1942–2015) was a pioneering author and teacher whom the New York Times described as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars." He was the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, and heappeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. His books have sold over a million copies, including the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Jesus, The Heart of Christianity, Evolution of the Word, Speaking Christian, and Convictions
Wikipedia Bio With Publications List:
Foreword by Marianne Borg:
For as long as there have been Christians there has been
considerable debate about what it means to be a Christian...
... the twenty-first century has seen even more dramatic change
for Christianity. Old assumptions about, and images of God no
longer hold. Christianity is no longer considered essential for
"salvation." It no longer provides an unambiguous moral compass...
We are in a post-Christian era.
How important is Christianity in the twenty-first century. What
does it mean to follow Jesus across a terrain that is both trampled
and uncharted? Does being Christian really matter anymore? ...
(We live in a time of doubt and of love.)
(I believe that out of our doubts and loves) Christianity is being
Marcus Borg's journey reveals the fruit and labour of doubts and
loves. In this collection of thoughts and ideas, taken from a
diversity of sources - from his dissertation written at age twenty-
seven to his final book written at age seventy - you will find a
companion for your doubts and loves. And you may discover
what it means to be a Christian in the twenty-first century...
Marcus is arguably one of the clearest, most accessible, insightful
Jesus scholars and voices for Christianity in this century. He
addressed many of the current questions and helped us to fall
in love with Christianity again, as if for the first time.
This volume is an opportunity to meet Marcus. For some, it will
be chance to meet Marcus again, as if for the first time, and for
others it will truly be for the first time.
I would like to identify a few of the book's themes:
Given all of life's ambiguities... our existence is remarkable,
wondrous. It evokes awe and amazement... we need to pay
attention to the awe and wonder that fills our days...
Jesus is significant, then and now. He is the embodiment of
human possibility. He shows our capacity for "knowing God,"
our capacity for courage, loving-kindness and doing justice.
Context matters. (The first century world was fraught with
injustices) but Jesus dedicated his entire life to the welfare
of others... How do we respond to the complexities of the
context of our lives? What is real? How then shall we live?
There is a "way of life" that is sustainable... It is the way
of compassion. Compassion is at the heart of all the great
religious traditions. Each tradition is like a prism or lens
that gives us a distinctive perspective. We see only in part.
Together, we can find the way.
(Our age is a pivotal time... ours is one of awe and wonder,
of a magnitude not known before. But we also have an
unprecedented capacity for self-destruction. Not only of
humanity but also the planet.)
Why be a Christian in the twenty-first century? Because it
gives us a vision. And a hope. And a way... Transformation -
individually and collectively - is the key ingredient for (our)
liberation. (Out of this) the kingdom of God will come. It
is up to us, and we are not alone.
This volume will explore the (above) themes and others.
May the discoveries give us hope, like the flowers of
spring that emerge from a season that looks to some
Marcus Borg's doubts and loves plowed ground. His life
and work helped him to rediscover the heart of Christianity.
For himself, and for us. With new eyes and yes, a new
heart, being Christian in the twenty-first century can make
the world a better place.
- Marianne Borg, the Last Sunday in Epiphany, 2017.
Marcus Borg was, and continues to be, through his example
and his books, a pastor and a theologian. My own life sought
to be both, and I lived for some decades before encountering
a soul-mate like Marcus. I discovered that even though he
never was ordained, he was always very pastoral. As a
professional theologian, however, he always tried to be a
good communicator. For the many students he taught, and
the congregations before whom he preached, he worked
hard to be both a good thinker and a person of the heart.
Those gifts are rare. I have not encountered many like him
in my life, and that is why our friendship meant so much. I
believe that our mutual early formation in the Lutheran
Church played an important part. For both of us, theology
and the Bible were important. But applying the truths of
Holy Scripture (from cover to cover, and not selectively)
was something we both cherished.
We were both 'former Lutherans', as well. We found
community in other Christian churches. Marcus was a great
help in supporting me through a life-changing transition from
the community that nourished and formed me to the community
that give me a place to stand and to serve.
As a pastor, he helped me move past resentments to a new
place and an acceptance of how my life evolved. As a teacher,
he kept me challenged to continue growing as a Christian when
I was tempted to lose patience with new partners in faith. He
taught me that life is a series of transformations, not just
one big one! "Bloom where you are planted, and don't waste
time thinking about what might have been" - he would say.
Why am I making this introduction to his (last?) book so
personal? Because that is what I believe you will also
discover by reading "Days of Awe and Wonder" for yourself.
Each of you has your own story of transformation to tell.
I do not assume that your life is like mine. But I do believe
that you will encounter both a pastor and a theologian in
the late Marcus Borg by reading this book.
So I highly recommend that you secure a copy.
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
Borg Books Available from Amazon.ca:
March 27th, 2017
San Antonio TX
March 26th, 2017
"Doing Violence in God's Name"
March 29th, 2017
"Look Into My Eyes"
Mark Whittall Blog
March 26th, 2017
"Asking the Right Question"
LEARNING FROM EMBARRASSMENT
Moving Ahead in Christian Growth
Christian Week Online
March 26th, 2017
PAGANS IN ICELAND
ENJOY DRAMATIC RISE
Return to Spiritual Roots
March 28th, 2017
OJIBWAY AUTHOR FOUND
SALVATION IN STORIES
Richard Wagamese Dead at 61
Globe and Mail
March 24th, 2017
HOW MARTIN LUTHER HELPED
TO INVENT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM
He Opposed Church Corruption
March 29th, 2017
PETERBOROUGH CHURCH MERGER
TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER
Anglicans and Lutherans
to Form New Parish
Mach 27th, 2017
POLL - MAJORITY OF CANADIANS
WANT CHANGES TO REFUGEE RULES
A Growing Concern About Illegal Immigration
March 28th, 2017
ANGLICAN VICAR OF BAGHDAD SAYS
CHRISTIANS SHOULD LOVE MUSLIMS
99.9% Not Terrorists, He Declares in
Spite of Threats to His Own Life
The Christian Post
March 29th, 2017
AMERICAN MUSLIM PUBLISHERS SEEK
TO BUILD COMMUNICATION BRIDGES
Strongly Focused on Understanding Islam
Publishers Weekly Online
March 22nd. 2017
MEXICANS WHO HELP BUILD TRUMP WALL
ARE TRAITORS, SAY THEIR CHURCH LEADERS
"They are Not Loyal to Their Own People"
Religion News Service
March 28th, 2017
RABBI JONATHAN SACKS ON CLEARING
SCRIPTURAL MINDFIELDS AND BUILDING
Winner of Templeton Prize in Religion
Former Chief UK Rabbi Speaks at Duke U.
Religion News Service
March 28th, 2017
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
One of the principle rules of religion is to lose no occasion of
serving God. And since [God] is invisible to our eyes, we are
to serve [God] in our neighbor; which [God] receives as if
done to [themselves] in person, standing visibly before us.
- John Wesley
The symbol of the cross in the church points to the God who
was crucified not between two candles on an altar, but between
two thieves in the place of the skull, where the outcasts belong,
outside the gates of the city. It does not invite thought, but a
change of mind. It is a symbol which therefore leads out of the
church and out of religious longing into the fellowship of the
oppressed and abandoned. On the other hand, it is a symbol
which calls the oppressed and godless into the church and
through the church into the fellowship of the crucified God.
- Jürgen Moltmann
For God does not give us anything in order that we should enjoy
its possession and rest content with it, nor has he ever done so.
All the gifts which he has ever granted us in heaven or on earth
were made solely in order to be able to give us the one gift,
which is himself. With all other gifts he simply wants to prepare
us for that gift which is himself. And all the works which God
has ever performed in heaven or on earth served solely to perform
the one work, that is to sanctify himself so that he can sanctify us.
And so I tell you that we should learn to see God in all gifts and
works, neither resting content with anything nor becoming
attached to anything. For us there can be no attachment to
a particular manner of behavior in this life, nor has this ever
been right, however successful we may have been.
- Meister Eckhart
There is little we can point to in our lives as deserving anything
but God’s wrath. Our best moments have been mostly grotesque
parodies. Our best loves have been almost always blurred with
selfishness and deceit. But there is something to which we can
point. Not anything that we ever did or were, but something that
was done for us by another. Not our own lives, but the life of one
who died in our behalf and yet is still alive. This is our only glory
and our only hope. And the sound that it makes is the sound of
excitement and gladness and laughter that floats through the
night air from a great banquet.
- Frederick Buechner
Be more zealous than you are now. Learn to understand
the times. Expect him to come who is above time, the timeless
one, the invisible one who became visible for our sake, the
untouched one, the one beyond suffering who came to suffer
for us, who in every way endured for our sake.
Toil together, fight, run, suffer, rest, and rise up together as
God’s stewards, companions of his table, and his servants!
Please him who is your warlord, him from whom you will also
receive your soldier’s pay. Let none of you desert the flag!
Let your baptism remain your armor, faith your helmet, love
your spear, patience your weapon.
- Ignatius, in a Letter to Polycarp, ca. AD 120,
ON THIS DAY
From the Archives of the New York Times
"Last US Troops Leave Vietnam"
"Begin and Sadat Sign Camp David Peace Treaty"
CLOSING THOUGHT - Anaïs Nin
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
For Those Interested -
ST. DAVID'S ACTS MONDAY NIGHT WINTER STUDY
A Ten Week Series January 23rd - 27th, 2017
Monday Evenings, TM Room 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
"How Jesus Became God -
The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee"
Author: Bart D. Ehrman
Registration/Hospitality and Book: $60.00.
Book only: $20.00
35 copies were secured for sale.
All copies have been sold.
THIS COURSE HAS BEEN COMPLETED
Our Evolving Course Design:
Here is the total course content from our
completed Monday Night Autumn 2016 Study:
"Reclaiming the Bible for a Non-Religious
World" by Bishop John S. Spong
Check our entire archives for all 48 books
studied since 2000:
During the 2016-2017 two session-term -
Total class registrations: 70
Total books sold: 75
Our best year ever, since 1998!
ST. DAVID'S ACTS THURSDAY MORNING STUDY
Ten Sessions February 2nd - April 6th, 2017
"Joshua and Judges" - Formative Hebrew History
Ten sessions 10-11 AM
Gathering at 9:30 AM
In the St. David's TM Room.
Study resource -
"The DK Complete Bible Handbook"
Edited by John Bowker
ST.DAVID'S SPIRITUAL TRAVELERS PROJECT, 2017
South Africa has been chosen as our destination!
We plan a nineteen-day tour that combines a focus
on faith, social justice, culture, and nature, and it
will begin October 21st 2017.
A beautiful brochure with trip cost, itinerary, and
many helpful travel hints has been published.
Our optimal group size for maximum trip meaning
and value is 28-29 persons.
Twenty-Six persons have either put down deposits
to claim a special saving (or intend to do so.)
WE ARE CLOSE TO REACHING OUR DEPARTURE GOAL.
YOU CAN STILL REGISTER. When we have 29 deposits
you will be added to a waiting list and still join us
in the event someone has to drop out.
Seven months from now we leave for South Africa!
Contact Rostad Tours: http://tinyurl.com/hucsaf7
Follow our notices for weekly updates.