...from Alton Brown, when asked if he was a "born-again" Christian:
Yeah, "born-again" is kind of an odd term because that's like saying a see-through window. But yes, I am a Christian.
I love this for two reasons:
1) it's so "Alton" in its dry approach.
2) it's true.
He's absolutely right. If you're a Christian, you are "born again (as many people understand it)," by definition. But it's much more true to Scripture, and more accurate, to say you are "born of the spirit." Notice that when Nicodemus asks Jesus how a man can be "born again," Jesus corrects him: He does not tell Nicodemus, "You must be born again." (Despite what you may have been taught in Bible class, even when Nicodemus presses that point, Jesus answers in different words. Allowing for Jesus always saying what He means, that is worth noting.) He says, "You must be born of the Spirit (or, in some translations, 'from above.')." This does not at all convey the same meaning as the "second birth" that some folks talk about. And I think that by continuing to use incorrect and/or unclear terminology, we unduly separate ourselves one from the other and continue to perpetuate some interesting misunderstandings about who is, and who is not, a "Christian."
If you're trusting Jesus Christ for your salvation, you're a Christian. If you're born of water and the spirit and confessing Jesus Christ every day of your life, you're a Christian. So I would submit that it's far better not to continue to confuse this issue and let jargon get in the way of acknowledging who we are and Whom we serve.
Alton says it extremely well. Calling someone a "born-again" Christian is like saying "see-through window"--it's simply putting in a redundancy, and one that's guaranteed to set people apart rather than to bring them together. In that context, I would maintain that--for many reasons--"born-again" is a term that probably needs to be retired...permanently.
I always knew there was more than one good reason to be a foodie. :-)