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Why not emphasize the afterlife as the best reason for becoming a Christian?

When the afterlife is emphasized as the primary reason [for being a Christian], it inevitably turns Christianity into a religion of requirements and rewards: [With this type of thinking] if there is an afterlife, it doesn't seem fair to most people that everybody gets to go there regardless. One must have to do or believe something [in order to experience life after death]. Suddenly we're focusing on requirements and rewards.

Secondly, when the afterlife is emphasized, it tends to divide the world into those who are saved and those who are not. An emphasis on the afterlife also directs our attention to the other world or the next world rather than to transformation within this world. I see transformation within this world to be the primary meaning of the Christian gospel. An invitation to relationship with God is what begins to transform our lives in the here and now, and as that relationship deepens, it also leads us to become concerned about the transformation of society and the world itself.

I see Christianity, and its roots in Judaism and the Hebrew Bible, as very much a this-worldly religion. There's no denial of an afterlife in my saying that. But it's a way of saying that we leave the afterlife up to God. Our task is the transformation of ourselves and of the world this side of death.

--Dr. Marcus Borg



What proof is there that Christianity is not a myth created to assuage our feelings about death?

Born Again, Part II:
The Transformation of our World

by Marcus Borg

MORE from Marcus Borg

Excerpt from Lost Christianities
by Bart Ehrman

All traditions enjoin the divine to bless and protect the departed. From "Prayers & Essays: A World of Prayers"


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