Why is the universal message of the Course delivered in Christian language?

Though the Course's message certainly is universal, we believe it uses Christian language because its main target audience is a group whom well-known author John Shelby Spong has called "the church alumni association": people who have a history with Christianity and still find aspects of it attractive, yet who have become disillusioned with traditional Christian teachings and churches. Course scribe Helen Schucman herself, while ethnically Jewish and a self-professed atheist, had a lifelong fascination with Christianity. During her childhood, she explored Catholicism and the Baptist church, and embarked on a "failed" quest for God that actually led to her later profession of atheism. In retrospect, her "militant atheism" seems more like anger at God than actual belief that there is no God.

Therefore, a major task of the Course's author—who claimed to be Jesus—was to help Helen see God, Jesus, and Christianity in a whole new way. And we at the Circle believe that a major purpose of the Course is to reinterpret Christianity for everyone—to present Jesus' message once again, stripped of the distortions that have been added to it by Christian tradition, yet retaining the positive aspects and emotional resonance of that tradition. So, in the Course, Jesus uses the old Christian terms, but imbues them with radical new meanings. For instance, the term "hell," which Christian tradition has used to refer to an abode of eternal damnation for unbelievers, is reinterpreted in the Course to mean our current condition of illusory separation from God. No one is damned, and we can undo the illusory condition of hell simply by changing our minds. By reinterpreting Christian terms, Jesus hopes to heal our wounds associated with those terms and help us to see them in a fresh new way.

For more on this topic, you may want to order Allen Watson's book
Seeing the Bible Differently: How 'A Course in Miracles' Views the Bible.

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