and Global Faith
Free to Believe
Mysticism, Spirituality and Global Faith
A changing Christianity
In Christianity, a growing movement for change is occurring not just in liberal contexts, but through direct movement from evangelical and catholic positions. Ways of knowing or experiencing the divine, as the ‘ground of being’1 rather than a God ‘out there’, are increasingly capturing the interest of those leaving dogmatic religion, or exploring beyond ‘theism’2. Liberal reflection on the authority of the Bible has been underway for over 150 years, with the application of scientific analysis and ‘historical-critical’ methods to key sources.
The Implications for Christian Doctrine
So, of course, our Christology28 needs to be restated too, by utilising ‘historical-metaphorical’ ways of telling the Jesus story. The sources combine memory and testimony, while the language combines memory and metaphor. This leads to the distinction Marcus Borg particularly highlights under the terms, pre-Easter and post-Easter Jesus29. The exalted language of ‘Son of God, ‘Lord’ ‘Saviour’ is post-Easter metaphor, and can thus be recast. Our approach to Jesus then becomes ‘following him’, not ‘believing in’ him. And his challenge? To centre our lives in God and participate in God’s passion for the world – to change the world!
Thirdly, Borg explains what he calls Open hearts and Thin Places. Pointing out that the Christian life has an inner dimension and outer dimension. He endorses the phrase ‘Thin Places’, taken from Celtic Christianity, to mean “places” (times, practices) where the separation of ordinary consciousness from consciousness of God becomes “thin” and concludes by saying that the goal of the spiritual life (and the height of mysticism) is union with the will of God.