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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Under three headings?thinking about God, imaging God, and living with God?Borg (religion and culture, Oregon State Univ.; Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, LJ 1/94) examines what belief entails today. Borg holds that traditional Christianity emphasizes God's transcendence too much; he makes a case for pantheism, that is, God as spirit present in the world. Borg argues that how we think about God matters, and that the Christian tradition makes sense if understood at a deeper level. He seems not to believe in the divinity of Jesus, nor even necessarily in a transcendent God, but comes across as an honest seeker after meaning. While not all readers will agree with him, Borg offers a compelling reflection on what it means to believe today, and his discussion of the politics of compassion and of images of salvation are noteworthy. For both general readers and scholars.?Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In the companion to Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994), Borg argues for panentheism the conception of God as being both transcendent (God is more than everything) and immanent (God is in everything). The ancient Jews and the early Christians, he says, understood God in this way, as being "right here," at the same time that God was also thought to be supernatural and transcendent, the all-knowing king-judge "out there." Panentheism entails imaging God, not as a monarch to whom we owe fealty, but as a lover with whom we have a relationship. Borg ultimately maintains that living in relationship with God enjoins an open heart; a politics based in compassion and, especially for Christians, just communalism rather than a system of individualistic competition; and the understanding that salvation is an ideal for this world, not any afterlife. The many enthusiastic readers of Borg's Jesus book will be further cheered by his God book. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (August 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060610352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060610357
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marcus J. Borg is professor emeritus in the philosophy department at Oregon State University, where he held the Hundere Chair in Religion and Culture, and author of the New York Times bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, The Last Week, and Jesus. He was an active member of the Jesus Seminar when it focused on the historical Jesus and he has been chair of the historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 172 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Marcus Borg, a distinguished scholar who has devoted himself to studies of the "historical Jesus," has written from his own experiences as a Christian, informed by a lifetime of scholarship, about our need to develop a personal relationship to God. In clear, precise, down-to-earth language, he manages to explain difficult concepts while outlining a reasoned, convincing approach to Christian faith. Every page conveys a sense of deep respect for, and faith in, a continuing and vital relationship to God. His theology can liberate us from magical thinking and narrow-minded literalism, and points the way to a continuing, ever-deepening relationship to God.
In a thoughtful, non-defensive manner, he describes a basis for deep religious faith fully consistent with our contemporary world view. I have never found a book on religious faith so helpful, so clear, and so inspiring for a modern reader. By liberating us from a "requirement-based" faith in a "monarchical" God, he has shown the way to a meaningful, day-to-day relationship to God as the foundation of our lives, the "ground of being" described by Paul Tillich.
His book is a gift to us that I am glad to have found, and I will follow the advice of William Wink, who wrote about another book of Borg's that we should read everything he writes. I wish everyone could read and reflect on the message of this book.
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383 of 421 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book confims so much I first learned from An Encounter With A Prophet Spirituality is the answer.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is possibly the best book on spirituality I have ever read. A must for anyone who has dismissed as "bunk" the beliefs they were taught as a child and found him or herself with nothing to replace the "bunk." Borg calls on his own experiences to suggest ways of viewing God and religion in general that make sense. Even if one doesn't agree with Borg's thoughts, at least he gives the reader something to consider. Marcus Borg has a unique ability to write about complex, scholarly issues in a simple, straightforward style that is easy to understand.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is definitely a must-read book for open-minded people who have been brought up in the traditional Protestant Church setting. I for one, grew up that way and have been either a member of or have attended just about every denomination of Christian church at sometime in my life. This was because I was on a quest; a quest to find a Christian church that I, a strong follower and avid reader of the natural sciences could feel comfortable attending. It was in vain however, because of all my doubts, questions and alternate points of view to what the churches were traditionally teaching. Reading Borg's book was like looking into the mirror of my own life and my religious quest. We followed a very similar path (until he went to seminary). His 'new' view of God and of Jesus is revitalizing, unless you happen to be a Christian fundamentalist. In which case, you will probably find the book quite disturbing and perhaps even bordering on what you would consider sacrilege. However for the many 'liberal' Christians out there like me, Borg is a writer who is able to explain why we have the questions, the doubts and disbeliefs; from whence they originate and how we got ourselves into the 'dying faith' situation that many of us in main-line churches are now experiencing. With a vast amount of study and Bible scholarship at his command, Prof. Borg arrives at a very credible view of God and a faith 'system' that makes belief in God and the 'Christ' a real possibility for the 21st century faith seeker. I also highly recommend two other books by Borg; " Meeting Jesus Again For The First Time" and "Reading The Bible Again For The First Time". This trio of religious writings gives a fairly complete and comprehensive view of Borg's look at the fundamentals of Christian belief.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Peter Kenney on July 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
THE GOD WE NEVER KNEW introduces us to a God that we never met during childhood.
Most of us as Christians were taught about a supernatural being out there who created the world a long time ago and sometimes intervened - especially during biblical times. After death we might be with Him if we were good on earth and believed the right things.
Instead of believing in a supernatural being out there, Borg suggests we will find it more satisfying to be in relationship with a sacred reality right here. God is not the sum total of things. God is more than everything. He is all around us and within us and we are within God.
The Christian life is not about beliefs and requirements. It is not about believing in a God out there for the sake of an afterlife later. The Christian life is about entering into a relationship with God as known in Jesus Christ. This is the God who is out there but also right here. This God is real and is the God we never knew. A relationship with this God will prove to be a life-changing experience.
Borg shows how this God has really been in the Bible all along but has been largely ignored by mainline Christianity. For anyone struggling with Christian beliefs, THE GOD WE NEVER KNEW may well lead to the start of an unforgettable journey with the sacred.
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