Thursday, January 29, 2009

wabi sabi: reclaiming the term "born again"

via a link on Twitter (thanks, shawna!) a cool (read: provocative) piece on reclaiming the term 'born again'.

"because we now tend to interpret "kingdom of G-d" to mean "heaven"
we have interpreted this passage to mean
"becoming born again is how you get to heaven".
because we put accepting the atonement of Jesus
at the absolute core of "becoming a Christian"
and we equate "becoming a Christian" with "going to heaven"
we have created a scenario whereby we assume
if A implies B and B implies C then A must imply C.
becoming born again must be synonymous with becoming a Christian
because both are described as the gateway to entrance to heaven.
thus "being born again" must be a catch phrase to mean
that we have accepted the atonement of Jesus.

i believe this is flawed logic..."


Molly Malone said...

i was raised with that A to B to C understanding of the phrase "born again." but I agree, I don't think that necessarily means atonement in Jesus, or maybe, more specifically, full Christian maturity. i'm not sure what full Christian maturity is, but i'm pretty sure most of us who call ourselves Christians are not there.

ding said...

re: christian maturity - i know i'm not there.

because of my upbringing i'm torn between his reading of born again (radical new living of life) and what i understood (go to the front of the church, acceptjesusasyourpersonallordandsavior).

being 'born again' seems to represented by different buckets: 'living' a christian life, behaving like a christian, and believing a particular set of doctrine.

remember the early kerfuffle when Bush self-identified as 'born again' and folks tried to figure out just what that meant?

so i wonder: what does it mean?

ding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chels Blankinship said...

I tend to see the term, born again Christian, in the life altering way. To be born again to to radically alter your identity; to change the way your live. I don't view the kingdom of God to mean heaven, but an atmosphere of love and compassion that takes place on earth. To be a Christian does not necessarily imply to be born again.