SARcasm











The above is a catchphrase of Marcus J. Borg. In the insanity of the last couple of weeks of adjusting to the new school year, job interviews, getting the house back in shape after having been away, it has also been time to prepare for a book group I am participating at church this year, which begins Monday. The theme of this book study is “Beloving the Bible”, and how we see this central text of our faith. The anchor book (well … ahem … one of them), is “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time”, by the above author. I was supposed to read 3 chapters of it for Monday. I have so enjoyed this book that I went well beyond those chapters, finishing it today, and have to say it served as an amazing reminder that Borg has, over the last few years that I have experienced his theology, had an amazing way of putting into understandable, readable words, thoughts I have had a hard time grasping and expressing for some time in my Christian journey.

As a progressive Christian, it can sometimes feel lonely out there – the non-religious in my network struggle to understand how I, a good solid liberal/left-wing progressive, can be a Christian. Some Christians, however, might question how I can be a passionate, praying, church-going Christian while still believing in marriage equality, women’s bodily autonomy, and disbelieving the factual, historical accuracy of some (OK, much) of the Good Book. Borg not only helped me understand that there were others like me out there, he helped me find language to express it – the understanding that stories can be ‘true’ – deeply, powerfully true – whether ‘factual or not’, and that in fact to narrow our view of the Bible so rigidly that it only has value insofar as it’s factual actually robs it of some of its most richest meanings … that despite Christianity having been an entrenched power in many ways for centuries, it actually started out, and is at its core, an egalitarian, power-challenging, anti-Imperial movement in favour of radical democracy. That there is, in short, more than one way out there to be a Christian, and to read the Bible.

On that note, I wanted to take the time and share my “Goodreads” review of this book, and add preface it by saying again what I can’t emphasize enough at the end of this review: that anyone who wishes to understand Christianity in particular or religion in general – for better or worse, good or ill, admiration or critique – should read this book, as it is accessible, not a hard read despite the thorny subject matter, and important in forming ANY understanding of the Bible, and Christianity in general, be it to critique or to praise … beginning with the reality that, just as there is no one way to understand the Bible, there is no ONE Christianity. Thus, my review:

“I absolutely love Marcus Borg, as he’s able to take some complicated concepts that have made Christianity in particular (and, probably, religion in general) either a damaging stumbling block, or a compulsive mania, for so many, and demonstrate how it can make sense, be tolerant – beyond tolerant, even radically inclusive and compassionate – and still meaningful. The subheading for this book, “Taking the Bible seriously, but not literally” sums it up in as pithy a nutshell as I can manage.

Looking at both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, at the Law, Prophets and Wisdom, at the Gospels, Epistles and Revelation, not only does Borg show how these can hold deep and guiding wisdom and truth, even if at times their imagery is more metaphorical than factual history, Borg makes sense of the deep history of the Christian faith while bringing it in line with up to date understandings of the world, realizing that some truths and realities are timeless, while contextualizing others in their thousands-of-years-ago history.

And best of all – incredibly readable. Don’t let the dense and (perhaps – yawn – boring-sounding?) subject matter overwhelm or deter you. Borg is accessible, readable, funny and intelligent, and I very much believe there is much to be learned for anyone – secular or religious, atheist or “True Believer” to glean and learn from this book. It might not change anyone’s mind – in my case, it didn’t so much change my thinking as provide me a foundation, a basis, context and language for where I’m already at in my faith journey – but it will provide a perspective that perhaps goes under-heard and under-represented in terms of the voices speaking loudest on behalf of “Christianity” today. While it might not change your thinking, it will inform it, both about the Bible itself, and your understanding of how you and others think about it.”

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{September 4, 2013}   PEI Trip – Mini Photo Journal

What a couple of weeks! On August 22 we got in our car and headed East. We went through Quebec City, Quebec …

Us in front of the Assemblee Nationale

Us in front of the Assemblee Nationale

Where we got to check out the Plains of Abraham …

Boys on the Plains of Abraham

Boys on the Plains of Abraham

And les Chutes Montmorency …

Montmorency Waterfall.

Montmorency Waterfall.

Before heading to Fredericton, New Brunswick …

View from our hotel window in Fredericton

View from our hotel window in Fredericton

Where we met up with my in-laws ..

Ari and his folks outside the New Brunswick Provincial Legislature.

Ari and his folks outside the New Brunswick Provincial Legislature.

On our way to Prince Edward Island.

Confederation Bridge.

Confederation Bridge.

Which meant a cute cottage …

#2 at Island Living Cottages.

#2 at Island Living Cottages.

And sea food …

The Lobster's Claw - in the Brackley Beach/Rustico etc. area.

The Lobster’s Claw – in the Brackley Beach/Rustico etc. area.

Avonlea Village …

Little Tyke with the Avonlea gang (L to R) - Gilbert, Anne, Diana and Josie.

Little Tyke with the Avonlea gang (L to R) – Gilbert, Anne, Diana and Josie.

Cavendish Beach …

Little J on his way to the beach.

Little J on his way to the beach.

Green Gables House …

The hubby and me at Green Gables.

The hubby and me at Green Gables.

The Anne of Green Gables Musical …

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical at Confederation Theatre.

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical at Confederation Theatre.

Province House (which means we got our photo taken in front of three – count ’em, three! – provincial legislatures on this holiday) …

The gang, including sleepy Little J, outside Province House.

The gang, including sleepy Little J, outside Province House.

And lots of fun in Charlottetown at a neat restaurant named Pedro’s …

Pedro's neat place mat!

Pedro’s neat place mat!

And on a lobster boat.

Little Tyke and the lobster.

Little Tyke and the lobster.

Before coming home and getting our little monsters ready for a new ‘year’ at school and the sitters.

The kiddos, ready to return to school and the sitter's.

The kiddos, ready to return to school and the sitter’s.

An amazing and busy time … the moments you live for. I’m glad to be back and ready to dive back into ministry and teaching, but I’ve got to say … I’ve brought a bit of the Island back with me (literally! check out the inside of my purse I took to Cavendish Beach!) …

Check a big item, 25 years and a lifetime of love for all things “Anne of Green Gables”, off the Bucket List.



et cetera