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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Vision of Hope
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...
Published on 1 Feb. 2004 by Peter Kenney

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing emerging paradigm
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...
Published on 29 Oct. 2006 by Jeremy Bevan


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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 (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
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
By 
Peter Kenney (Birmingham, Alabama, USA) - See all my reviews
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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
This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
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. He contrasts the old literistic way of understanding the Bible and the problems of that approach with the new emerging way of interpreting the Bible metaphorically and thereby experience its ability to mediate the presence of the sacred.

The subtitle of the book is "Rediscovering a life of faith - How we can be passionate believers today". If this is what you want to rediscover and how to become a passionate believerThe Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, there is no better book to read.
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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
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Rev. J. P. Webb (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
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
This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book when you're ready for it, 15 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
Some of the reviews of Borg's work (including this one) accusing him of attacking the Christian faith, particularly "Traditional" or "Evangelical" beliefs. My experience is quite to the contrary; I can honestly say that Borg is among the writers who have most helped me cling onto my faith.

But I can see why some get upset. Borg shows us that the historical factuality of things like the virgin birth, a literal 6 day creation, the fall and the bodily resurrection of Jesus aren't central to the actual meaning of Christianity, even if they are central to many people's personal beliefs about it. What he shows us to be important more than anything is the meaning behind these events.

Borg even illustrates how Evangelical Christians use metaphor without even realising it, and does so very respectfully and sensitively, but I think the fact is that some people just aren't ready to understand their faith on this kind of a level.

For the rest of us Borg repaints the life of faith in the broad brushes of metaphor finding the true heart of Jesus and Christianity. His words have enabled me to shape my thoughts and unlearn a lot of what I thought I knew and have given me a much deeper understanding of my faith than I thought possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging and stimulating!, 17 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
Excellent and very readable, new insights to challenge and encourage people seeking to think through their approach to their Christian faith.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Christianity, 29 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
A timely reminder to re-think the gospel, taking our faith seriously, and re-finding the treasures hidden in it. Borg is an exciting writer - it's worth reading everything he has written, and really engaging with the text.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and intelligent, 9 April 2013
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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. Science poses no threat to faith, said Schweitzer, but there is no way literalism can measure up to this. So here is Christianity for today. Would like to hear Richard Dawkins discuss with Dr Borg - and Bishop Spong!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart of Marcus Borg, 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith (Paperback)
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! This is an excellent justification of having a panentheist god-concept while being a committed Christian in the mainstream. I wish I'd read it 10 years ago; even more I wish he'd written it 40 years ago.
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The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith
The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus J. Borg (Paperback - 6 Feb. 2011)
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