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Meeting Jesus again

Marcus Borg writes in his book “Meeting Jesus Again,” that his experience in Christianity led him to understand that Christian faith is not based on believing in God but rather it’s about having a relationship with God. The relationship is guided by understanding of the Christian traditions upon which God the father, the son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit is the paramount figure. Borg bases his journey of understanding Christianity as a relationship through the life of Jesus Christ.
First and foremost, Borg concentrates on the life of Jesus as man. He elaborates various images of Jesus through his birth, childhood and adulthood. These images include the pre-Easter Jesus and Jesus as a spirit person. Relative to the pre-Easter Jesus image, Borg describes Jesus as having experience of God. This view is contemporary to the understanding the reality about Jesus. To date, majority of people believe Jesus is God, on the contrast to the Borg’s who elaborates that pre-Easter Jesus is not God. In addition, it portrays Jesus as one who does not totally believes in God as Borg thought earlier in his adulthood. By viewing the image of Jesus as a spiritual being clearly breaks the stalemate about beliefs. The spiritual Jesus is defined as a person with firm belief in God and above all one who have a relationship with God. According to the Jewish Christian traditions, a person with a relationship with God knows God directly and intimately far much than believing in him. Therefore, Christian faith/life should be based on a relationship with God not only believing in him through the spiritual experience. This will lead to the image of God as one always around and within us rather than the ultimate creator who is far from the world.
In regards to Jesus as a spiritual being, Borg defines a spirit person as one with divine awareness about the experiential reality of God. Apart from this definition, Borg describes several characteristics defining a spiritual being. To begin with, spirit person have cross cultural dimensions. This implies a person with frequent and varied experience regarding different levels of reality such as visionary experiences. For example, Jesus had a vision about his baptism. Secondly, spirit persons are divine mediators. Most notably, they have the ability to mediate spiritually through various ways. The most commonly known way is speaking the message/will of God. On the other hand, they mediate God’s power in forms like healing, exorcism and so forth. Furthermore, they act as rainmakers, warriors or leaders. However, in all of these mediation roles they signify God’s power into the world.
Another feature of a spiritual person is the ability to undergo spiritual practices like fasting and praying. Likewise, this is considered a form of divine mediation. Moreover, spirit persons have an intimate way to recognize and addressing God. Jesus, in most occasions addressed God as Abba meaning my father. Lastly, a spirit person ought to exert spiritual authority while speaking. Therefore, living as spiritual being simply means possessing and adhering to the above mentioned features of a spirit person. On the front of Jesus view as spirit person, has significance to the Christian early traditions. This is attributed to the fact that it is possible to locate Jesus spirituality amongst the Jewish Christian traditions during his time. The Jewish traditions mainly advocated for a relationship with God more than believing in him.
Besides, the spiritual personality, Borg identified Jesus with others forms of religious personalities like teaching, prophesying and founding movements. As far as teaching is concerned, Jesus taught using classical words of wisdom through memorable short stories and short verses (aphorism). In all of his teachings, Jesus used alternative wisdom as opposed to the convectional wisdom. The alternative or subversive wisdom employs a questioning and contradictory format. Additionally, it follows a path less traveled and calls for people to change their ways. Jesus questioned and contradicted most of the held beliefs and prejudices amongst the people and the teachers of law.
In this respect, Jesus’s alternative wisdom portrays God as gracious and compassionate thus He forgives those who repent and leaves bad ways (p. 82). On the basis of alternative wisdom, everyone is welcome into God’s kingdom regardless if one is sinner or not. On the contrary, convectional wisdom portrays God as punitive lawmaker and judge. Notably, this type of wisdom mainly focuses on rewards and punishments. Therefore, the primary goal for people during their lifetime is to meet God’s requirements where they will be rewarded or punished in the next life. Unlike in alternative wisdom, sinners are rejected and avoided on the basis of convectional wisdom. Next, alternative wisdom calls for people to abandon the lifestyle based on convectional wisdom to that which mainly relies on God-spiritual reality. By embracing alternative wisdom in Christian life, one will have a better relationship with God (Borg, p. 85-88). On the other hand, convectional wisdom affirms in the visible world realities through experiences. Most commonly, people tend to believe about God based on what they have heard. This wisdom portrays Christian life as based on beliefs regarding what the Bible or religious doctrines say.

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