Politically Engaged Spirituality

I’m currently teaching a six week study on Marcus Borg’s The Heart of Christianity and have been having a wonderful time with it.

Saturday evening, as I was flying back from a quick trip to Kansas, I rediscovered a term that Borg uses that really speaks to me: Politically Engaged Spirituality.

He describes it as follows:

This phrase combines the two transformations, personal and political, at the center of the Christian vision of life as we see it in the Bible and in Jesus.

If we emphasize only one, we miss half of the biblical message, half of the gospel. The strength of much of conservative Christianity is that it has emphasized the first, personal transformation. Its weakness is that it has often neglected the Kingdom of God. The strength of much of liberal Christianity has been that it has often emphasized the second. Its weakness is that it has often neglected being born again. A politically engaged spirituality affirms both the spiritual transofrmation and politcal transformation. The message of Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, is about both. What we see in Jesus and the Bible answers our deepedst personal longing, to beborn again, and the world’s greatest need, the Kingdom of God.

This is the life I seek to live, and in which I seek to lead others as a pastor; a life of politically engaged spirituality. Borg has helped me to do this a great deal as have Rob Bell, Tony Campolo, Brian McLaren, and Jim Wallis.

What do you think of Borg’s vision for the Christian life?

Who are others that have helped shape and form you in your Christian life?


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