I am new to the Course and am struggling with its Christian language. Can you help?

Q. I am a fairly new Course student and I find myself struggling with (even angry at) the Christian language. I have little or no Christian background or familiarity with the Bible. I was raised in a (non-observant) Jewish family. Can you help?

A. The Course claims to be written by a Jew (Jesus) to a militant Jewish (Baptist/Catholic) atheist and an agnostic. So all three of them had reasons to not be happy with the Christian language! There is clearly something in the Course that transcends the Christian terminology, that speaks to something universal in us.

And that’s the point—the content of the Course transcends Christianity. That content is merely being placed within familiar Christian terms. This is not because it agrees with those terms. It is actually correcting those terms, giving them new meaning. Quite often, that new meaning is a profoundly different one than the traditional meaning.

It does this same thing with terms from psychology and from education (have you ever encountered a “text” like the Course’s?). In all cases, it takes familiar forms and fills them with new content.

For this reason, what I repeatedly see is that the language concerns that students have at the beginning inevitably iron themselves out and eventually become a non-issue. In time, the words become more associated with the Course’s new meaning than with the traditional Christian connotations. So don’t worry—that will happen in time. It will sneak up on you bit by bit, until one day you realize that you are entirely comfortable with the Course’s language.

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