What is a Christian?

by Elias Blum

‘What is a Christian?‘ by Marcus Borg is excellent short summary of the essence of Christianity. I understand it, Christianity is not about ‘believing six impossible things before breakfast’, but about being committed to a certain way of living in Christ – a way that transforms us and repairs the world.

That’s why modern science and a critical interpretation of scripture do not harm my faith. I can accept the fact that much of the old testament is made up of myths and legends, not narrative history and certainly not science, and I can understand that the bible speaks with a plurality of sometimes contradictory voices, and none of that detracts from the centrality of Jesus, his message or his mission.

Those who think that Christianity is about ‘believing the bible’, even to the point of talking snakes and virgin births, and who make such ahistorical fundamentalism the shibboleths of membership in the community of the followers of Jesus, are rather missing the point, and they push people like me – radical, critical, nonconformist, progressive Christians – to the margins. And that’s a pity.