A Spirited Book Club discussion of Marcus J. Borg’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.”
Of the many recent books on the historical Jesus, none has explored what the latest biblical scholarship means for personal faith. Now, in Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg addresses the yearnings of those who want a fully contemporary faith that welcomes rather than oppresses our critical intelligence and openness to the best of historical scholarship. Borg shows how a rigorous examination of historical findings can lead to a new faith in Christ, one that is critical and, at the same time, sustaining.Drawing on his own journey from a naïve, unquestioning belief in Christ through collegiate skepticism to a mature and contemporary Christian faith, Borg illustrates how an understanding of the historical Jesus can actually lead to a more authentic Christian life—one not rooted in creed or dogma, but in a life of spiritual challenge, compassion, and community.In straightforward, accessible prose, Borg looks at the major findings of modern Jesus scholarship from the perspective of faith, bringing alive the many levels of Jesus’s character: spirit person, teacher of alternative wisdom, social prophet, and movement founder. He also reexamines the major stories of the Old Testament vital to an authentic understanding of Jesus, showing how an enriched understanding of these stories can uncover new truths and new pathways to faith.
Reviews for Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time
“Just the sort of book on Jesus that we really need–a classy wedding of first-rate biblical research and solid spirituality in beautiful, clear English that makes it a pleasure to read.” — Sandra M. Schneiders, Graduate Theological Union, author of The Relevatory Text
“For many contemporary Christians, Biblical scholarship is seen as the enemy of faith. In a personal and highly readable account, Marcus Borg shows how Christians can explore contemporary scholarship as a way toward a far more dynamic and meaningful faith.” — Rosemary Radford Ruether, author of Gaia and God
“It is impossible to read this beautifully written book and remain unenlightened by the results of Jesus research, or untouched by the power of Jesus’ way.” — Elizabeth A. Johnson, author of She Who Is
“In this small but eloquent and learned book, Borg… directs his readers, especially those who have found no meaningful image of Jesus, away from confessed doctrines about Jesus (what the gospels and the churches say about Him) and toward a relationship with the Spirit of God.” — Publishers Weekly
FIRST BOOK CLUB MEETING for May 6: Read Chapters 1-3
SECOND BOOK CLUB MEETING for May 20: Read Chapters 4 – 6
- What is your image of Jesus?
- How has your image of Jesus changed over the years?
- What is the difference between the post-Easter Jesus and the pre-easter Jesus?
- What are your thoughts on the two negative claims and four positive strokes when it comes to talking about Jesus?
- How do you understand Jesus as “Spirit person”?
- How has the purity system impacted your life?
- How is Jesus’ wisdom an alternative wisdom?
- What is subversive about Jesus?
- How is Jesus the wisdom of God?
- How has your image of Jesus changed from reading this book?
Book discussion facilitated by Rev. “Bro. Jim” Hanson, faith mentor at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona.
Marcus Joel Borg (1942–2015) was an American New Testament scholar and theologian. He was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity.
Borg was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and raised in a Lutheran family in North Dakota. After high school he attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Initially planning to be an astrophysicist, he decided to major in math and physics. He later changed his major to political science and philosophy. Though plagued by doubt as a young adult, after his undergraduate studies Borg accepted a Rockefeller Brothers Theological Fellowship to study at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he became familiarized with liberal theology. A profound influence on Borg during his seminary years was the theologian W. D. Davies. After his studies at Union, he matriculated at Mansfield College, Oxford, where he earned his Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
Borg was professor emeritus in the philosophy department at Oregon State University, where he held the Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture, and author of the New York Times bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, The Last Week, and Jesus. He was an active member of the Jesus Seminar when it focused on the historical Jesus and he has been chair of the historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature.