In The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg describes “an earlier paradigm” of Christianity that typically viewed Christianity as the only true religion, which saw the Bible as a divine product to be interpreted literally, and which focused on believing, the afterlife and a life focused on requirements and rewards. From his mid-teens to his mid-thirties, “Christianity didn’t make much sense intellectually” and the faith he learned in childhood “ceased to be persuasive.”
However, Borg became convinced that “there are no serious intellectual threats to being Christian, and he rediscovered a life of faith “that makes persuasive and compelling sense of life in the broadest sense—a way of seeing reality and our lives in relationship to what is real; a way of seeing God, our relationship to God, and the path of transformation. The sacrifice that Christianity asks of us is not ultimately a sacrifice of the intellect.”
He wrote the book to share his personal attraction to an “emerging paradigm” of faith that has been developing for over 100 years, “to communicate this way of seeing to those for whom an earlier understanding of Christianity makes little or no sense. They number is in the millions.”
In these two sentences, Borg describes the importance of this emerging paradigm: …the earlier paradigm uses the language of God’s grace and compassion and love, but its own internal logic turns being Christian into a life of requirements and rewards, thereby compromising the notion of grace. Indeed, it nullifies grace, for grace that has conditions attached is no longer grace.