In this trenchant theological work, Marcus J. Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) challenges us to re-imagine God, spiritual practice, justice, and salvation. It is a subtle, flexible, intelligent, and mature reframing of Christianity for this age of heated-up religious pluralism. The author has chucked the supernatural theism he grew up with for panentheism (everything in God and God in everything).
Borg celebrates the diverse images of God in the Bible and discovers bounties in the Spirit model of God as mother, as wisdom, and as journey companion. After summarizing his previous work on Jesus, he explicates the dream of God as the politics of compassion and the kingdom of God as a world order free of domination. We're always on the lookout for fresh definitions of spirituality. Here is Borg's:
"Spirituality is thus for the hatching of the heart. Whatever helps to open our hearts to the reality of the sacred is what we should be engaged in. This awareness leads to an image of the Christian life very different from the one with which I grew up. The Christian life is not about pleasing God the finger-shaker and judge. It is not about believing now or being good now for the sake of heaven later. It is about entering a relationship in the present that begins to change everything now. Spirituality is about this process: the opening of the heart to the God who is already here."
Protestants will stand up and cheer after reading Borg's critique of the cult of individualism and his affirmation of justice as a communitarian effort involving structural change. He ends with a stirring explanation of salvation as a wholing and healing experience of God that encompasses liberation, reconciliation, enlightenment, and forgiveness.