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The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith Paperback – August 17, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the second book that I can remember reading by a liberal Christian. The first book, which I also read this year and read before this one, was "A New Christianity For A New World" by Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. I found that book to be heretical, turning Christianity into something completely unrecognizable in light of the Bible. I feared that "The Heart Of Christianity" would get me worked up, too, especially coming from an author of The Jesus Seminar. I was surprised that I found some things in this book that I really liked, and overall, I got more out of this book than McLaren's "A Generous Orthodoxy," even though I was most excited about reading that book.
You know how some CDs you buy have some really great songs and some songs that you find either boring or you can't stand them, so you always skip them? Yet, overall the CD is worth buying because the good songs are so good. Well, that's how I feel about this book. Some chapters I was mesmerized by the incredibly enlightening message; other chapters I found to be way off the mark.
The first chapter that impressed me was chapter 2, "Faith: The Way Of The Heart.Read more ›
Borg talks about the "earlier paradigm" of Christianity and an "emerging paradigm". He discusses the history of the "earlier paradigm" and provides useful insights such as the rather recent notions of Biblical infallibility (post-Enlightenment) and Papal infallibility (1870) which many may assume have ALWAYS been a big part of the Christian tradition.
Borg makes quite clear early on in the book that the "earlier paradigm" can and does WORK, insofar as bringing people into fuller communion with God and can certainly produce lives which work for compassion and justice. However, for various reasons (institutional, scientific, and cultural - for example), many in the modern Western world find the "earlier paradigm" to be uncompelling and "unbelievable".
Borg attempts to show throughout the book how much more deep and wonderful the Christian tradition is than merely "believing" certain doctrines or defending the literalness of certain events (creation, the flood, the Exodus, walking on water etc...) in order to "prove" the strength of our faith. Did the Exodus really happen? Maybe not. Is it a true story of the human need for liberation from bondage - certainly. Confusing "did it really happen - could I have videotaped it?" with "Is that story true?" is a big issue.
Borg argues that we diminish our faith stories by making them merely literal. He pushes for the "more-than-literal" meanings in the Christian scripture.Read more ›
There are any number of reasons why evangelicals need to be aware of what Borg believes and what he has written, not the least of which is his tremendous influence on non-evangelicals, particularly those who have left mainstream denominations but still long for a way to express what faith they have left. Borg offers them a way of returning to the church that does not require them to adhere to a rigid set of beliefs that they have long considered suspect. And he's very good at what he does and how he does it; his books always sell well, and he is constantly in demand as a speaker. He has a knack for welcoming people "home" --- to mainline churches --- in a warm and compassionate way.
In THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY, Borg lays down a welcome mat that has already proven attractive to those who have been disenchanted with what they perceive as an anti-intellectual faith. His welcome mat encourages people to give Christianity another chance because the times have changed, and from those changes a new, inclusive paradigm has emerged. Christianity, he holds, is no longer about a belief in a set of doctrines but about "loving God and loving what God loves."
That said, Borg never demeans those who do hold to a strong doctrinal stance and a literal interpretation of the Bible, much of which he considers to be metaphorical.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A brilliant reflection on the transition in thinking in religion today. It honors traditional thinking while inviting readers to consider transforming their understanding based on... Read morePublished 20 days ago by K. T. Connor, PhD
I'd only been exposed to one "version" of Christian belief - a somewhat conservative one. Borg does an excellent job of presenting a credible, cohesive alternative. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sarah B.
Amazing book. I'm dipping my toes in the water with religion and this is a fantastic resource for anyone who feels like they have to take huge logic leaps or even turn off parts of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alex Tyler
Marco Borg is an excellent scholar who is able to illustrate the questions that many of us have about our faith in a way that allows the reader to explore further their faith... Read morePublished 4 months ago by RKanenaka
My Christian faith of several decades has undergone not a little deconstruction and reconstruction these past few years. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lionel Cartwright
This is a must-read for anyone interested in progressive Christianity. Marcus Borg can't be beat!Published 5 months ago by Island Girl
I have tried to be a Liberal Christian, but I have found that Liberal Christian theologians, after deconstructing the Evangelical perspective, do not provide a genuinely viable... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Adrian