Item description for The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus J. Borg...
Overview Discusses the key concepts and values of the Christian faith, exploring how prayer, partaking of the sacraments, and raising Christian children can be life-affirming practices and explaining the difference between true Christianity and fundamentalism. Reprint. 40,000 first printing.
World-renowned Jesus scholar Marcus J. Borg shows how we can live passionately as Christians in today's world by practicing the vital elements of Christian faith.
For the millions of people who have turned away from many traditional beliefs about God, Jesus, and the Bible, but still long for a relevant, nourishing faith, Borg shows why the Christian life can remain a transforming relationship with God. Emphasizing the critical role of daily practice in living the Christian life, he explores how prayer, worship, Sabbath, pilgrimage, and more can be experienced as authentically life-giving practices.
Borg reclaims terms and ideas once thought to be the sole province of evangelicals and fundamentalists: he shows that terms such as "born again" have real meaning for all Christians; that the "Kingdom of God" is not a bulwark against secularism but is a means of transforming society into a world that values justice and love; and that the Christian life is essentially about opening one's heart to God and to others.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus J. Borg has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Century - 05/05/2009 page 29
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Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, he was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007.
He is the author of nineteen books, including Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994); The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003), both best-sellers. His newest books are Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), a New York Times Best-Seller; Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009), and three books co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).
His novel, Putting Away Childish Things, was published in April, 2010.
Described by The New York Times as “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars,” he has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and “Dateline,” PBS’s “Newshour,” ABC’s “Evening News” and “Prime Time” with Peter Jennings, NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and several National Geographic programs. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, he has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, and is past president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.
His work has been translated into eleven languages: German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French. His doctor’s degree is from Oxford University, and he has lectured widely overseas (England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel and South Africa) and in North America, including the Chautauqua and Smithsonian Institutions.
Marcus J. Borg currently resides in Portland, in the state of Oregon.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith?
Read everything this man writes! Mar 18, 2007
As I read this book, I kept feeling like light bulbs must be appearing over my head. Borg's incredibly deep scholarship paired with his thoughtful and right-hearted approach to Christianity make for a very readable, intelligent book that you can't put down. Let me make it personal. I was struggling with many parts of Christianity that seemed intellectually unpalatable until I read this book. My paradigm shifted, my heart was buoyed, and I'm excited again. Faith is not the same as blind belief in dogmas. That's the short summary. If you don't struggle intellectually with Evangelical Christianity, this book may not do much for you, but your brain is pulling away from your heart and you are praying, "Help me with my unbelief" then this book will surprise and amaze you. Borg communicates all this with the modest voice of a soul-searcher who has gone through the same struggles and done all the scholarly study required to come to the conclusions he has. If you're like me, you'll read this book with enthusiasm and start over as soon as you finish!
Boring Mar 15, 2007
This book was so boring and hard to read. I think it would have done better with more real life examples to explain what he means. He broke everything down to such small parts that I could not see it anymore.
We're Getting There Feb 6, 2007
Thank God for Marcus Borg. He reveals his insights on the "emerging paradigm" of Christianity which will let many know that they are not alone in the fact that the earlier paradigm of Christianity no longer works for them. Many Christians, myself included, have been "in the closet" and afraid to let others know that much of what they have been taught since childhood hardly makes sense to them as an adult. "The Heart of Christianity" is a phenomenal study of a mature and evolving faith that I pray continues to unfold for all of humanity!
the essence of faith and the faith Jan 17, 2007
Is it possible to speak of the core or essence of Christianity, its sine qua non? That question begs another, which is how two major ways of construing the basics of the faith have emerged. In a number of important books Borg has argued that the traditional, conservative way of understanding the faith has become less and less believable to many people. In a fascinating footnote, for example, he says that when he asks his unchurched university students to write a short essay about their impressions of Christianity, "they consistently use five adjectives: Christians are literalistic, anti-intellectual, self-righteous, judgmental, and bigoted" (p. 21).
Borg wants to change this, and so he offers a liberal or progressive alternative. His entire book is an apologetic for this "emergent" paradigm of faith. Although he is careful not to say either version is entirely right or wrong--he insists that we need the diversity and that we should hew to what helps us most in loving God and neighbor---there is no doubt about where he stands.
In successive chapters, Part One explores how the new paradigm Borg prescribes understands four key theological matters: faith, the Bible, God and Jesus. In Part Two, six chapters describe the life of Christian discipleship, covering themes such as what it means to be born again, the kingdom of God, the realities of sin and salvation, spiritual disciplines, and so forth.
Borg is one of a very few prominent New Testament scholars who writes for the everyday Christian, who is unashamed to declare his passion for a life of faith, who shares examples from his own life, who is both unapologetic but irenic in presenting his views, and on top of it all is an excellent writer. Although I have my disagreements with him at any number of places, I have previously enjoyed his other popular books, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994), and Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001). The heart of the matter, wherever we stand, is as Borg says evangelistic: to love God and be loved by Him so that we can help our neighbor enter that same love.
A solid, heartfelt, restatment of prior works Jan 9, 2007
Marcus Borg is a bona fide scholar. He writes with conviction - even passion - about Christianity and its importance to our modern world. The writing is measured, paced, and geared to a wide general audience. I can't help thinking I really like this man and would love to spend a few hours talking with him. The problem with this book for me is that it is so slow-paced that it might be better described as a slow crawl. It seemed quite repetitious - as though Borg is speaking to the slowest of his students, making sure they get the point (over and over again). Other works, esp. Reading The Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew, Meeting Jesus Again For The First Time - present or anticipate the material of this book, and they do so in a more challenging way. All in all, Borg is always worth the read, especially for first time readers - for those familiar with his work this book is a rehash of prior books.