This essay, a conversation between a mother and a son, offers interesting food for thought and discussion: a dialog between two contrasting paradigms of Christianity. The opening:
Marcus Borg introduced his book, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering A Life of Faith, by describing “A Tale of Two Paradigms” where he juxaposed the basic elements of “the earlier paradigm” of the Christian tradition and life with what he labled “the emerging paradigm.” Many of us who promote an emerging paradigm and participate in the progressive Christian movement were once connected to traditional understandings and practices. The following conversation I had recently with my mother reveals how different these two versions of Christian faith are.
Once a month I visit with my mother who lives a couple of hours away. Typically, we talk for a couple of hours, I take her out to eat and we run some errands. Though I am a minister, spiritual teacher, and a writer, we rarely talk about religion. There is a reason for this.
On a recent visit, I took her a copy of my book, Being a Progressive Christian, as I have done with all my books, because she is my mother. And because I am her son, she reads them. She doesn’t read them quickly or easily, but she reads them.
She told me, “They’re deep.” What she really meant was, “How the hell did my son come to believe such nonsense?” She would never admit this. She would severely object to the way I just used “hell,” in her view a perfectly sound biblical teaching. I am joking of course . . . kind of.
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