The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg

The Heart of Christianity

Marcus Borg’s fastest selling book ever, now in paperback. An engaging and inspiring guide to Christian living, this shows that the essential ingredients of a Christian life—faith, being born again, the kingdom of God, the gospel of love—make vital sense today.

Details The Heart of Christianity

TitleThe Heart of Christianity
Release DateMar 17th, 2009
GenreReligion, Theology, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Christianity, Christian

Reviews The Heart of Christianity

  • Mary
    This really is an amazing book. Borg offers a vision of Christianity that doesn't require us to check our intellect at the door and that rejects the Christian exclusivism that so many of us find distasteful and irrelevant today. Borg offers a way of seeing the Bible, Jesus, and Christian practices that transcends the literal-factual interpretation that most people in my demographic can't swallow. My favorite thing about this book is Borg's reject...
  • Nate
    Interesting. I guess liberal Jesus-seminar-types do have faith after all....I don't necessarily agree with everything, but I can see that Borg is really trying to forge a way of Christian living based on the historic faith. He is especially helpful in understanding that the biblical meaning of "belief" is not simply mental assent. It's not a checklist of right doctrines, but living faithfully, trusting God through Christ in the power of the Holy ...
  • Linda
    I loved this book. Loved it. It may not appeal to people who are pretty content with their current understanding of Christianity, especially if it's very narrow or conservative understanding. But if you feel like Christianity has lost it's appeal (or that it never had much) I highly recommend this book. It made sense to me on a very deep level. My reaction to almost everything I read was "this is what I've always thought myself, but could never r...
  • Katy Benway
    Four years ago I read Borg's "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time," and the result was destructive. I loved and hated the book, not because of Borg but because I felt the Christian church had betrayed me. Borg's language about Jesus rang true--true to my thoughts and meditations, true to the reality I experienced, and true to history. But his language also complicated and even contradicted most Christian teachings I had encountered throughout ...
  • Sam
    I can't even begin to explain how bizarre it feels to me to have willingly read and now review a book of Christian theology, but, well, here I am. I was raised Protestant, but since about the age of eighteen have considered myself a pragmatic agnostic. I still do, actually, but have been... meandering my way back to wrestling directly with my upbringing for years. There were many reasons why I stopped identifying as Christian, but broadly speakin...
  • Andrea
    Ive seen this guy talk a few times, and read a number of his books. A Jesus scholar, really, and this is probably the one most important book in convincing me that following a "christian" faith, apart from connection to any particular religion, is still valuable to me. I dont know how to explain my complete lack of interest in the Bible as anything more than a literary/political work yet my continued membership in an Episcopalian church and my ab...
  • Roben
    I'm so glad I read this. Our new minister told me that this book was singularly inspiring.The following are lines from The Heart of Christianity that I reread and treasure:Of course, the earlier paradigm uses the language of God's grace and compassion and love, but its own internal logic turns being Christian into a life of requirement and rewards, thereby compromising the notion of grace. Indeed it nullifies grace, for grace that has condition a...
  • Ian
    This is a must read for anyone trying to be a Christian in the 21st Century and hasn't been able to adequately describe his or her beliefs.And you have to read the Kingdom of God chapter twice - its what its all about - living it on the Earth now! Its not so much about salvation as picking up the cross and doing what is right in your time - economically, socially, fraternally, etc.Awesome, a way to be Catholic and progressive - a must read.
  • Ellen
    I haven't read anything by Marcus Borg before, but wanted to give him a try, so I picked this randomly from what the library had on hand. It was a good read, and I found it very affirming of my style of faith. I know that Borg's ideas are challenging to Christians of a certain mindset, but they don't feel like anything new or revolutionary to me as a liberal Christian. I'm writing this from my perspective as a new-ish member of the United Church ...
  • John Lucy
    Borg is probably not the best writer in the world, he makes lots of assumptions about the theology and positions of his reader. If only I had $100 for every time he says, "Obviously," "impossible," "makes no sense," "no one can think that way," about something that many people believe and think, sometimes including myself.He does make some good points. But the points he makes aren't exactly arguments so much as simple descriptions of his viewpoin...
  • Mark
    If you want one book to help you find a strong foundation for being a liberal Christian in today's society, this one is it. Borg, a Lutheran who at one point left the church entirely and is now back and reinvested in his faith, provides a strong basis for how someone can embrace the lessons of science and modern life and still accept the Bible, the church, a spiritual life and hope for the future. And there's the added bonus that he's a thelogian...
  • Christopher Endress
    What I learned from this book was not to read anything else by Borg.
  • Shane
    I kept hoping to find something to hang onto . . . never did.
  • Tom M
    Borg shared his emerging paradigm way of explaining how Christianity is just one of several mainline religions that are equal in their quest to find God.The old literalist way of thinking is now replaced by a metaphorical way of interpreting the Bible. I enjoyed this detour of my 2018 reading with some more Religious ammo for my new way of thinking. Who says old people are too hard headed to change.
  • Sean Mcdermott
    In this volume he will indirectly take a swipe at C.S. Lewis, evangelical Christians and anyone who truly, truly believes in the resurrection of Our Lord.He will give many kudos to Jim Wallis, social justice, Vida Scudder and the book "Nickel and Dimed" (refers to reading this book in the context of a book group as a consciousness raising event).Excuse me, we're supposed to read a leftist's diatribe on the horrors of the free market and have our ...
  • Brandon Stewart
    Marcus Borg presents an alternative vision of Christianity that has, frankly, reinvented my faith. He presents a vision of Christianity that involves my head and my heart. He affirms that faith is about an ever-deepening relationship with God, and that God is all around us, not "out there." All in all, a great book, and a strong vision. I would recommend this to anyone who is seeking to live out an authentic Christian faith in today's world.
  • Megan
    I absolutely will not delve into a thick review here because Marcus Borg gets SUPER deep in this one. I will argue that if you are a Christian and you are alive today you ought to read this and consider the diversity and openness amongst believers. It should be required reading and if it were maybe Christians would co-exist more peacefully considering varying denominations and factions within those denoms.
  • Beth
    Wow, an amazing book... a new way of living my faith that I will cherish for lifetimes to come. Currently attending a Unitarian Universalist Congregation, but am not fulfilled in my connection to the spirit through this practice... Marcus Borgs writings take me one step further and help my soul to grow and stretch, and become who it is I'm suppose to be. If anyone in Orlando wants to do the course that goes along with the book, contact me!
  • Laura
    I was extremely disappointed in this book, and not only because it was not what I expected. I disagree with much of the author's theology and found it hard to get into the book as soon as I realized that. I do agree that we as Christians are to reach out to the world and be active participants in justice.
  • Matt
    A sane, beautiful vision of Christianity that manages to be postmodern and deeply traditional at the same time.
  • Micke Goteman
    Best book I've read so far this year. Borg writes about faith in a way that I find incredibly helpful to critical thinkers who still have a longing to find their way to some form of faith. There were a few arguments where I felt that Borg's reasoning -and generally more critically based approach- weren't as strong as I thought he claimed them to be. It felt like he is still gravitating strongly towards wanting to uphold the wonderful mystery in s...
  • Ann
    As always, Marcus Borg presents an interpretation of Christianity that is believable and appealing to me. I highly recommend it to anyone who has become disillusioned with a traditional, literal interpretation of Christianity or to anyone who appreciates the "emerging paradigm" of Christianity.
  • Kris
    This book gets at the heart of what I believe. It nourished me and helped me to remember the thin places I have experienced. It nudged me back to a community of faith.
  • Rory
    I'm two chapters from the end and like a lot of theology books, the first half that outlines the basis of the second half was more engaging. The second half is less ideas and more practise (see also: "How (Not) to Speak of God"). This is not criticism, of course; this is merely justification for writing a review before I've finished the book. I always find the ideas more compelling to read than the consequences of them. As I suspected he would, B...
  • Ann
    I'd like to see every Christian (and everyone else too for that matter) read Borg. His research and descriptions and conclusions allow all current major religions to be "correct" and, at the same time, he gives clear reasons for being Christian .. and what that means. This book certainly helped me along on that path.On the other hand, his ideas of the "emerging paradigm" of Christianity today are something I heard about years ago and have felt an...
  • Diane
    Through this book I made my acquaintance with the concepts of "Earlier Christianity" and "Emerging Christianity," and it helped me think clearly about where I fit on a spectrum from one to the other. Also, Borg distinguishes between the American social and political value of personal independence versus the Christian value of communal participation and action. In addition, he makes a good case for the value and similarity of all major religions b...
  • Ellyn
    I loved this book! The author is a contemporary Christian scholar who lives in Oregon. He contrasts a more traditional way of viewing Christianity (the "earlier paradigm") with a newer "emerging paradigm", which sees the Bible more historically and metaphorically and focuses on transformation in this life through relationship with God. God is not a person out there, but a "more", a presence, an encompassing spirit, a dimension of reality. My reac...
  • Jean-Pierre
    The book is organized into two parts. The first part is promising: it rids Christianity of all the useless superstition that it has been burdened with since its very origins, recognizes scripture as an inspired, but human book (metaphorical "stories we live by"), to be read with critical and historical insight. In this sense, it is liberating reading.The second part tries to reconstruct the elements for a life of faith, but is (to me) disappointi...
  • Sandy
    This is another 3.5 (to the 3 side). Much like Spong's "Why Christianity must die," this book leaves me with the feeling that Borg's God is too small. His emerging paradigm seems like a halfway house for people who can't quite make the leap to a really new paradigm.I bumped him up a half star, though, because of chapter 9, the sin chapter. It was much better than I expected. It touched on something that's been bothering me for a while -- how we s...
  • Kate Ditzler
    When I identified Love and Compassion as two of my values earlier this summer, I knew I wanted to express them through my Christian faith. I knew that my passion for justice is one of my gifts, but ultimately, I was not sure how to go about encountering the Divine. This book answered these questions for me. It answered questions I didn't even have on a conscious level, about sin and salvation, amongst others. It presents Christianity through a po...