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Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

4.5 4
by Marcus J. Borg

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On the occasion of his 70th birthday, the renowned Marcus J. Borg shares his "convictions" about Christianity and America, contending that they are both at their best when they focus on hope and transformation, and shares his thoughts on how American Christians can return to what matters most

Reflecting on what matters most, both for the church and for Americans,


On the occasion of his 70th birthday, the renowned Marcus J. Borg shares his "convictions" about Christianity and America, contending that they are both at their best when they focus on hope and transformation, and shares his thoughts on how American Christians can return to what matters most

Reflecting on what matters most, both for the church and for Americans, leading biblical scholar and premiere teacher for Protestant churches, Marcus Borg surveys the most significant conversations and personalities that shaped his life, and presents his convictions about the faith and it's role in the twenty-first century.

Meditating on what makes us feel at home, he calls all American Christians to reject divisiveness and exclusivity and create communities that celebrate joy, possibility, and renewal. Throughout, he reflects on what matters most, bringing to earth the kingdom of God Jesus talked about and transforming our relationships with one another.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Because "context matters," religion scholar Borg (The Heart of Christianity) reviews the itinerary of his spiritual journey toward his life's convictions. An expert on the historical Jesus who has written 14 books (including a fine novel), Borg bases his biblical exegeses in scripture, reason and tradition; another three-legged stool—memories, conversations, and convictions—shapes this forthright book. He explores how he came to his opinions, from boy to man to elder of 70, beginning with his birth in Minnesota to conservative, Republican, Lutheran parents in a mixed marriage (his mother was descended from Norwegians; his father, Swedes). He became a scholar, a liberal Episcopalian in Oregon, the husband of a priest. He intertwines his considerable knowledge of the Bible and of Christianity with exploration of his life at lectern and in pulpit. He writes honestly and clearly, defining as he goes, always educating. He does not shy from laying out controversies among contemporary Christians, especially progressives v. conservatives, and he analyzes Jesus, the Bible, and the Cross. He closes with wonder: "Imagine that Christianity is about loving God." (May)
Karen Armstrong
Both challenging and illuminating.
Frederick Buechner
Writing with a simplicity that never becomes simplistic, Borg manages to convey the essence of Christianity in a way that does justice to those who do not share his views and will greatly enrich the understanding of those who do.
Walter Brueggemann
Marcus Borg is a key force in the emerging “new paradigm” of Christian faith.
Walter Wink
“In every generation there are a handful of writers of whom it can be said, “Read everything they write.” Marcus Borg is one of these today.”
Thomas Moore
“All Christians and those interested in Christianity from a distance should read all his books.”
Read The Spirit
“Conveys an overall message that is both simple and urgently needed: Change is a good and natural part of Christian life.”
“An excellent introduction for general readers who stand outside the Christian tradition as well as those interested in considering how faith changes as they mature.”
Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice
One of those rare books . . . simply written [and] deep enough to inspire serious thought...Everyone would do well to pick it up, examine Dr. Borg’s personal convictions, and glean from a man with so much life experience and spiritual wisdom.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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8.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

MARCUS J. BORG is canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, emeritus, at Oregon State University. A Fellow of the Jesus Seminar, Borg has been national chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature and is the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Jesus, and Speaking Christian. Visit Borg online at www.marcusjborg.com.

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Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is as clear and honest an appology for Chrstianity and living a modern religios life as I'm aware of, It's written at a level accessable to all readers who are old enough to have begun to think critically, teenage years and up
MargoH More than 1 year ago
Uncomfortable for theological conservatives… Marcus Borg was a Protestant pastor and a university professor who, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, wrote this account describing his of his religious and political transformation during the course of his life. He died a couple of years after completing this book. Borg grew up as a theological and political conservative Lutheran and during his life eventually became a liberal/socialist politically and what he calls a "progressive" (very liberal) Christian theologically. He attempts to convince the reader such a transformation is in fact essential for being a true Christian and faithful to the teachings of the Bible. One of his assertions, with which I happen to disagree, is that it is impossible to be both a theological conservative and a social liberal at the same time. For Borg, a key to his transformation was his abandonment of a literal interpretation of the Bible. His arguments depend on viewing the Bible metaphorically, i.e., regarding the entire Bible like Jesus’ parables in the New Testament: stories that did not actually happen but which Jesus told in order to teach Christian principles. Although this is an unacceptable belief to conservative Christians, it does seem to me that learning the meaning and the lessons from Biblical stories ought to be far more important than spending time arguing about whether or not every fact in the Bible is literally true. Even more unacceptable to theological conservatives is Borg’s claim that the purpose of Jesus’ coming into the world was not to save us from our sins but rather to teach us how to live here and now. Borg even suspects that there is no life after death (although he remains uncertain). The final chapter is perhaps the most orthodox chapter of the book, titled What does it mean to love God? Surprisingly, here Borg sees God as a Being with personal qualities: capable of loving and feeling love, etc. This is surprising, because in an early chapter he sees God as real, but only a mystical force that he termed "The More" - something he occasionally perceived from time to time as an orange glow. If you are a staunch theological and political conservative, either don’t buy the book or prepare to be challenged.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book of the experience and learning of a humble Christian. This book is not preachy or judgmental. It is simply his understanding and experience shared . Great book easy to read and understand