Religious Pluralism: Seeing Religions Again with Marcus Borg

Posted By on May 24, 2019

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 29 comments

  1. Compassion is the essence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, not a drop of moral relativism 🙏🏼 to be found 🙏🏼

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  2. Reality, whatever it is, does not conform itself to what we think or believe. It is, what it is, whether we like it or not.

    This applies just as much to religious ideologies as it does to anything else. Truth (God) is, what it is, regardless of what we individually choose to think it is. We can all have our own opinion as to what we think it is, but that does not make the truth (God) to be what we believe it to be.

    Multiple mutually exclusive explanations of what we think truth is could in fact all be wrong, but they cannot all be true in the same way as the same time. The only ligament explanation of truth is the one that matches reality.

    This ideology that all roads lead to the truth despite the fact that all of the roads go in different directions is logically incoherent.

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  3. The problem with religious pluralism is that it acknowledges (1) That entities/forces strict philosophical materialists (arbitrarily) label "supernatural" exist (otherwise, it would argue against religion, not for many religions) and (2) That something fundamentally undesirable (i.e. evil) exists, in so far as it would oppose, for instance, what ISIS does in the name of its religion, yet fails to recognize that the only defensible conclusion from these premises is either (3) That evil spirits exist and could, at least in theory, deceive people into worshipping them in the name of religious pluralism OR (4) That evil exists only in the realm of matter (i.e. Gnostic beliefs). Since I doubt that many religious pluralists are Gnostics, they acknowledge #1 and #2 without recognizing that, unless Gnosticism were true, #3 must also be true.

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  4. It is extremely difficult for me to imagine Marcus Borg as a best selling author after listening to him speak on religions and religious pluralism.  When he spoke on his idea of Christianity he is/was spot on.  What was taught or preached  to him was/is the problem with Christians and traditional Christianity.  If self called Christians read their Bibles instead of listening to their pastor's sermon's believing that a degree from a prestigious divinity school gave a preacher a right to preach they would know if what they were hearing was the truth or an interpretation representative of the traditions of man.
         Marcus in my opinion on this particular subject was boring, predictable, and insincere.  I enjoyed John Huston's, The Religions of Man, when it was required reading for my major in college but I feel let down by Doctor Borg.  He is not a Bible scholar.  To be fair I will look into something else.

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  5. Marcus Borg is a great scholar and he is one of my references on religious pluralism. When we understand the real meaning of religious pluralism all foreign religions in indigenous lands would cease to exist in those lands. Religious pluralism paves a very bright future for native religions to write their own sacred texts and believe in their own Gods irrespective of foreign indoctrination to believe in foreign Gods and use foreign sacred texts. A bright future for mostly Africans who worship foreign Gods and use foreign texts and of course also for other cultures who do the same. In my view the moment we return to worshiping our native Gods as opposed to worshiping foreign Gods true spirituality will reign in the world. At that time "GOD" will no longer be on our side alone and we will not be striving to belong to the best religion because there is no "best religion". What is best for an individual depends on the individual and not on the religion and all cultures have the essential teachings for our spiritual development!

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  6.  A kind of  'Chomsky' of Religion. His interpretation of Jesus's message …. "I am the Way the Truth and the Life" ….  AS a Universal Way established in various World – Religions in one form or the other, is – subjectively from my point of view – SOUND. I like this man – Priests and Preachers could learn from him a lot. Problem with the divided masses of Religional majorities is that mostly they cannot understand what I call  'spiritual abstractism'  behind the "wax-cabinet" of doctrines, but only have 'vague presentiment' of it to a lesser degree.

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  7. Transformation= Kill a Jew go to paradise, Crusades Pope said kill go to Heaven, Spanish Inquisition killing everyone not Catholic, Pope supported Hitler`s Genocide, Muslims killing Christians in Egypt Now. So much for Religion.Propaganda was created by the church Torture taught by the church Lets get real.Shameful speech.

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  8. Interesting historical fact, Jews Calendar is 5772 years, Christianity 2013 and Islam 500 yrs less than Christians. In this world, Christians are 2 Billion, Islam has 1.3 Billion people and yet Jews with 3,600 yrs of more history has only 14 million people half in Israel other spread around. Ask yourself why, Jews like to make babies too.

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  9. USA per capita has the largest Prison Population 2.3 million people. 50,000 Long Term solitary confinement, out of that population 20,000 are children juveniles in prison for life. Now this is where one can study Religion Here Prison everyone asks for God`s Help.Prison Population is the Shadow of The Beast USA.

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  10. I am thinking from a postmodernist viewpoint; this scares a lot of Christians, but it really should not. I do believe there is universal truth that has been revealed through Jesus Christ; however, I believe that no man can interpret the Bible and get it right. Hence the need for grace.

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  11. I would argue that it is impossible for the bible to be understood separate from the culture in which it is being written.

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  12. We have to honor this due to our cultural situation; Otherwise, we will have people fighting over which religion is BEST or TRUE. Even my more liberal Buddhist friends get involved in these more ethnic arguements.

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  13. @ChuckMacDerwood "Cultural" Christianity may not be about spirituality. But, Christianity offers at least some form of spirituality I think. As does Buddhism and Islam. The mystical levels in those traditions, the level of actually experiencing God or Emptiness or Love and Compassion, definitely offer a spirituality…the more basic cultural levels may not. Hard to tell…

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  14. I like Prof. Borg and he has many insights here. I just wish he had addressed the rather obvious issue of proselytism. Many religions do it and you don't have to be a "fundamentalist" to recognize that it is an underlying theme throughout the Christian New Testament.

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  15. I have ttwo more reasons that it's not just Christianity that has God…1. I had experiences of God prior to any involvement in a tradition of any kind, 2. the Zen Buddhists I know seem more spiritually evolved than the Christians I know.

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  16. He is already well-grounded in Christian tradition first of all…after that, a pluralistic perspective is workable. Without that, being grounded in some tradition, pluralism just makes everything sort of random.

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  17. There are philosophical Christians who attempt to take their philosophy only from the humanistic teachings while leaving the rest behind as myths and it is those that I respect the most. I do not have issue with philosophy.
    Although, those people only identify as Christian due to heritage as similar philosophy can be attained elsewhere.

    "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

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  18. I've no doubt that some historical figures are romanticized myths. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't learn from such historical figures, only that we shouldn't take everything we learn from them as gospel truth. Neither should we respect our ancestors in any way that glorifies their barbarianism and ignorance. There is no reason to glorify ancient con artists whether or not mythological.

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  19. For me religion is something which is driving the cultural values and not the product of a culture.For me as a Christian God is beyond the collective cultural consciousness and it is this relation with the divine that is the source of religion. Religion according to human sciences is different from Christian understanding of religion.

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  20. What i aim is to save Christianity from the sociological categorisation of a phenomenon found in society. I don't consider that all religiouns are equal or the same. From a sociological point of view considering it may be advantageous for the harmony in the society. But here the problem lies in reducing Christianity into a sociological category known as religion which is a subset of culture.

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  21. rubilmk — what exactly are you aiming at with your comment? Are you suggesting that religious pluralism confuses sociological categories with religious ones? If so, I think that is blatantly false. It is the conviction that there is something deep and real that cuts accross cultural boundaries that leads to religious pluralism in the first place.

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  22. Christianity cannot be defined within the understanding of religion as "religion as coming from linguistic and cultural tradition."
    Religion, from a Christian understanding is just something that binds us to God. We need something beyond religion to call ourselves Christians.
    Many of the views on religious pluralism are coming out of a sociological understanding of the phenomenon of religions.

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