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The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith [Kindle Edition]

Marcus J. Borg
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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“Marcus Borg brings expert knowledge, insight, and warmth to this revisiting of Christianity’s heart and soul. He makes absolute sense.” (Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul's Religion)

“Highly readable ... a valuable glimpse into the essence of Christianity... Borg writes with clarity and precision.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A winsome, accessible, pastoral offering ... Borg provides a way for an important, positive, and serious rethinking of the gospel.” (Walter Brueggemann, Christian Century)

“This ambitious, substantive, and boldly political resource establishes the terms for a conversation that will no doubt continue for years…. [A] watershed work.” (Spirituality and Practice)


"This ambitious, substantive, and boldly political resource establishes the terms for a conversation that will no doubt continue for years.... [A] watershed work."--Spirituality and Practice

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing emerging paradigm 29 Oct. 2006
By Jeremy Bevan TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Marcus Borg's earlier works, I approached this more recent offering with considerable eagerness. In general, I wasn't disappointed, though I'm not persuaded that the 'emerging' paradigm whose Christianity he describes is as recognisably coherent a movement this side of the Atlantic as it apparently is in the US. Nonetheless, I appreciated his efforts to recover an understanding of faith as being beyond the merely (or predominantly) propositional - beliefs about God/Jesus and so on - and as being more properly relational. I found his presentation of Jesus as insightful as ever, and his attempt to move our understanding of sin away from the atonement/sacrifice nexus timely and helpful. His emphasis on life as sacramental was as new and surprising to me as it was refreshing. Where he was less than clear was in his presentation of God as 'beyond personal' - as ultimate reality - and yet still very much referred to as personal in the sacramental activities that infuse our daily living (or should do). This is an area that clearly needs a bit more work, as do aspects of his thinking about Christianity in a pluralist world. If, as he seems to be saying, one's Christianity is in large part about 'fit' with a 'cultural-linguistic community' or 'story', how is it that people across the world change their faith allegiance to 'fit' with a different cultural-linguistic community ? Some unanswered questions for me here, then - but perhaps that's inevitable with a paradigm that's still emerging...
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Vision of Hope 1 Feb. 2004
In THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY Marcus Borg describes the challenges facing many people who are trying to remain Christians today. It is no longer possible for great numbers of the followers to believe for instance that the Bible or the creeds are literally or factually true. It is still possible, however, to find much that is true if one views them metaphorically.
Borg explains why he chooses to be a Christian and he makes several practical suggestions on such topics as worship and meditation based on a metaphorical, historical and sacramental approach to Christianity.
For me Borg is one of the most inspiring writers associated with the Jesus Seminar. This is especially true because of his ability to take the reader beyond the spiritually dry places one may find after deciding that Christianity no longer makes much sense.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Christianity - Author Marcus J Borg 17 Sept. 2011
By Chris
I would rank this book as the best Christian book that I have ever read.

Most people today, whether they are aware of it or not, have been strongly influenced by the rationalism of the Enlightenment of the 17th & 18th centuries and the scientific discoveries made in the 19th & 20th centuries. As a result many Christian struggle to reconcile their Bible-based faith with today's understanding of reality in all its complexity. Indeed many educated and knowledgeable Chrisians could be said to live at the same time in two irreconcilable universes. This makes them uncomfortable. To rid themselves of the inner conflict some choose to become fundamentalists and reject the rationalism of the Enlightenment and refuse to accept the findings of modern science. However, even more come to reject the Christian faith as an irrational superstition of a bygone era.

Marcus Borg writes as one who knew what it was to have this inner struggle but far from rejecting the Christian faith or becoming a fundamentalist he discovered that he could accept both the truths of the Bible and also accept the necessity of being a rational being and believe the findings of modern scientific discoveries. He discovered that by understanding the Bible not in a naively literal sense but in a way that is "more-than-literal", "more than factual" and not so much concerned with the historicity of the Biblical narratives but rather with the meanings of the narratives themselves (ie the theological truths embedded in the stories) he could in all sincerity and honesty both believe and practise the historical Christian faith.

In his book "The Heart of Christianity" he shares his new understanding of the Christian faith and his new way of reading the Scriptures.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Hope 18 Aug. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book while on retreat earlier this year. Having gone through something of a crisis of faith and vocation, particularly in the area of the person of Jesus and the relevance of the Bible to the 21st Century, I found this book a compelling and refreshing read. It helped get me back on the journey and I have since read several other Marcus Borg books. Although his other books go into more depth about God, Jesus and the Bible, The Heart of Christianity gives an excellent overview of his teaching which resonates with my desire to be a Christian in a post Christian age. I can wholeheartedly recommend it but only if you are willing to read it with your mind and heart open.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Christianity - Marcus Borg 15 Jan. 2011
A gentle, easy to read book which helped me to put my already held beliefs in order.

A good book for somebody wanting a new angle on Christianity other than the traditional one.

A helpful book for somebody who finds some traditional beliefs such as, the heaven and hell system of the next world, and that God punishes people, a stumbling block to becoming a Christian.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Review -brief comment
This is an excellent review book giving comparison of the development and status of different perspectives of Christian understanding in 20-21st centuries.
Published 9 months ago by Dr allan R Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and stimulating!
Excellent and very readable, new insights to challenge and encourage people seeking to think through their approach to their Christian faith.
Published 16 months ago by Ruth from England
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and intelligent
This is a book for the person who, like me, finds much of traditional evangelical christianity unbelievable and who has moved away from church as a result. Read more
Published 22 months ago by DR NORMAN M HOW
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart of Marcus Borg
Having read a few other books by the author, I've thought for years that he was a closet panentheist. He's not in the closet any more, he's loud and proud! Read more
Published on 29 Jan. 2013 by xrseyre
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book when you're ready for it
Some of the reviews of Borg's work (including this one) accusing him of attacking the Christian faith, particularly "Traditional" or "Evangelical" beliefs. Read more
Published on 15 Aug. 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Christianity
A timely reminder to re-think the gospel, taking our faith seriously, and re-finding the treasures hidden in it. Read more
Published on 29 Nov. 2010 by Joy
1.0 out of 5 stars A book to avoid
I was given this dreadful book as a present. It is a viscious attack on those who take the word of God seriously based on prejudice rather than reason.
Published on 11 Nov. 2010 by Colin Strong
1.0 out of 5 stars Emerging or diverging paradigms
Borg is clearly popular with his fans but a traditional Christian who believes, with Paul, that "if Christ be not risen, then is (Paul's) preaching vain, and (our) faith is also... Read more
Published on 22 Feb. 2008 by K. J. Version
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