A revered theologian spent part of his life doubting God. Now 72, Marcus Borg recalls how his youthful convictions fell away and he ‘learned what matters most.’

By the time Marcus Borg turned 12, a particular understanding of what it meant to be Christian had formed in his mind. It went something like this: Jesus died to pay for our sins, so that we can be forgiven and go to Heaven–but only if we really believe in him. Now 72, he no longer thinks of Christianity as focused on belief, or thinks of Jesus as a kind of surrogate debt-payer. Today he says the heart of faith is transformation–of ourselves, and of the world.

The Old Gods. The Faith of the Seven. The Lord of Light. Fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones, based on the books by George R.R. Martin, know those are just a few of the dueling religions portrayed in this epic fantasy saga. Right now they exist only in the books and TV show. Could they one day be practiced by real people, like Jediism from Star Wars, or the Church of All Worlds from the novel A Stranger in a Strange Land? What makes these fictional spiritualities so compelling that they leap off the page or screen and cross over into the real world?

ON Interfaith Voices | June 17, 2014 | 12:00 pm

Marcus Borg’s ‘Conversion,’ When Invented Religions Become Real, and More

http://www.kkfi.org/wp-content/uploads/539b0fea3728cweb_1424_marcusborg_-wpcf_123x100.jpg

A revered theologian spent part of his life doubting God. Now 72, Marcus Borg recalls how his youthful convictions fell away and he ‘learned what matters most.’

By the time Marcus Borg turned 12, a particular understanding of what it meant to be Christian had formed in his mind. It went something like this: Jesus died to pay for our sins, so that we can be forgiven and go to Heaven–but only if we really believe in him. Now 72, he no longer thinks of Christianity as focused on belief, or thinks of Jesus as a kind of surrogate debt-payer. Today he says the heart of faith is transformation–of ourselves, and of the world.

The Old Gods. The Faith of the Seven. The Lord of Light. Fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones, based on the books by George R.R. Martin, know those are just a few of the dueling religions portrayed in this epic fantasy saga. Right now they exist only in the books and TV show. Could they one day be practiced by real people, like Jediism from Star Wars, or the Church of All Worlds from the novel A Stranger in a Strange Land? What makes these fictional spiritualities so compelling that they leap off the page or screen and cross over into the real world?

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