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Speaking Christian

 Harper One,
RRP $36.99

Reviewed by Karyl Davison.

AT A TIME when a huge percentage of people in our society know very little about the gospel story or our Christian faith, we need to be able to tell our story in language that people understand.

But do we really understand what key concepts in the Christian faith, such as salvation, sin and repentance

Most of us think we know what they mean, but do we?

In Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power – And How They Can Be Restored, New Testament scholar Marcus Borg argues that many of these key concepts in the Christian faith have been distorted to such
an extent that they no longer reflect their biblical or historical meanings.

He begins by critiquing two common understandings in Christian language – a “heaven and hell framework” and a literal
treatment of language – both of which have become a stumbling block for many.

Each subsequent chapter contains discussion and reflection upon a term important to the Christian faith including God,
Jesus, Easter, the creeds and the Trinity, and the Lord’s Supper.

The reader is reminded that salvation in scripture involves much more than fire insurance, for example, and sin is much
more than an individual problem.

In this very readable volume, Mr Borg sets out how to read, hear and digest our Christian language in its original context
and without preconceived or common usage understandings getting in the way.

It is also a timely reminder that if we are to share our faith with the people around us, and one of the critical modes is
through language, we need to restore the Christian language we use, thus restoring its power to transform us and our

This is an important book for all Christians to read – it could start a revolution!