Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith

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Overview

In Putting Away Childish Things, Marcus Borg weaves his insightful teachings on Christianity into a new form—fiction. In this compelling tale, we meet Kate—a popular religion professor at a liberal arts college in a small midwestern town who thinks her life is right on track. She loves her job, is happy with her personal and spiritual life, and her guilty pleasure consists of passing her afternoons at the local pub with a pint of Guinness and a cigarette. Life is good.

Kate is ...

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Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith

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Overview

In Putting Away Childish Things, Marcus Borg weaves his insightful teachings on Christianity into a new form—fiction. In this compelling tale, we meet Kate—a popular religion professor at a liberal arts college in a small midwestern town who thinks her life is right on track. She loves her job, is happy with her personal and spiritual life, and her guilty pleasure consists of passing her afternoons at the local pub with a pint of Guinness and a cigarette. Life is good.

Kate is up for tenure when it all starts to go wrong. A colleague warns her that her books are too Christian and too popular. She is offered a visiting professor job at a prestigious seminary, which sounds like the perfect solution except for one complication—it is the same seminary that employs the professor she had an affair with years ago. Kate now has to face her past and watch as the ramifications unfold in ways she never imagined. In the classroom, students ask for her views on Jesus, the Bible, and homosexuality, controversial topics that Kate candidly addresses until outraged parents start campaigning for the school to get rid of her. Through it all, Kate faces the toughest challenge yet—a crisis of faith that leaves her questioning what she believed so strongly before.

Putting Away Childish Things is an engaging way for readers to learn about the important issues dividing Christians today. Along the way, we join with the characters to ask the hard questions such as what does the Bible really teach? Who is Jesus? What is the nature of faith today?

This is a story that promises to leave us different in the end than when we started, as we learn how even in the twenty-first century, God works in mysterious ways.

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Editorial Reviews

The Most Rev. - Katharine Jefferts Schori
"Professor Borg spins a fine yarn and teaches much in the process, yielding a whole cloth of integrated and inquiring Christianity. Let’s hope there is a second tapestry to come!"
Julia Spencer-Fleming
“Putting Away Childish Things is a page-turning tale grappling with issues of faith confronting today’s church. An inspiring and compelling story that will be treasured and revisited, Borg’s illuminating insights and all-too-human characters make theology accessible to all.”
Tom Krattenmaker
“The form is different with Marcus Borg’s insightful new novel, but the reader’s experience and payoff are the same as with his many excellent non-fiction books: this is a great read that leads to a deeper, more hopeful understanding of the meaning and possibilities of Christian faith today.”
Bill Dahl
“The story provokes ample opportunity for dialog on a personal and a group level. A wonderful novel.... You look forward to returning to digest more of this splendidly crafted tale.... Powerful, memorable and one that you can confidently recommend to others….as I now recommend it to you.”
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
“Professor Borg spins a fine yarn and teaches much in the process, yielding a whole cloth of integrated and inquiring Christianity. Let’s hope there is a second tapestry to come!”
Progression of Faith
“Can a world renowned biblical scholar really write an entertaining work of fiction? The answer is absolutely YES! I was hooked by the end of the first chapter.”
Beatitudes Review
“Borg takes advantage of [main character] Kate’s syllabus to teach readers what she teaches her students… The reader audits Prof. Riley’s class and, thereby, drinks from Marcus Borg’s font of knowledge about the Enlightenment, theology and religion…. [Borg] writes plainly, warmly, and with truth.”
Presbymergent-Musings
“I see this novel as an ingenious way to open up dialogue between Christians of differing points of view, and as a window into Borg’s understanding of what it means to be truly Christian in a world that has become rather inhospitable to Christianity and its claims.”
Treehouse Monastic
“Borg writes fiction with passion. While the book raises many questions about faith, religion, and relationships, it also functions by itself as [a] truly moving story. I highly recommend this book for skeptics and people of faith alike.”
Beliefnet Editors
“In the end, it’s the kind of novel where you underline teaching points that have been madeespecially well and dog-ear the pages in which the author has included poetry that speaks to urgent human questions.”
Spirituality & Practice
“In Putting Away Childish Things, Borg has chosen fiction as the best vehicle for exploringChristianity, important questions of career and vocation, and thorny issues within the churchsuch as fundamentalism and homosexuality. This imaginative excursion is handled with aplomb…A thought-provoking novel.”
Christian Century
“Borg offers up a didactic novel that explores some of the thorniest theological issues facing the Christian community. ... he is to be commended for taking up a new form of literature to share his theological perspective—a perspective that many have found to be generous, open and hopeful.”
A Wee Blether
“I thoroughly enjoyed the book and wholeheartedly recommend it…. Many a book group will enjoy discussing Putting Away Childish Things, and many a questioning Christian’s faith will be sustained by the story.”
Library Journal
Set in the Midwest, this evangelical story introduces Kate, a professor at a small liberal arts college whose tenure is threatened because her teaching and writing are considered too Christian. In her classes and out of them, she expounds on what the Bible has to say about major subjects of contention in the world today. VERDICT Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) is a distinguished professor of religion and culture at Oregon State University, so the setting of the novel reads realistically. That being said, the tale is too preachy, as if the author's only aim is to expound on his own personal beliefs. [Ebook: ISBN 978-0-06-199132-5.]
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061888168
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 269,558
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcus J. Borg is canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and was Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University. Described by the New York Times as "a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars," he has appeared on NBC's The Today Show and Dateline, ABC's World News, and NPR's Fresh Air. He is the author of the bestselling books Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew, Jesus, Speaking Christian, and The Evolution of the Word. His blog appears on the Progressive Christian Channel of Patheos.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Accurate

    I'm a Religious Studies major at the University of Oklahoma, and reading this book was a reminder of my first semester, freshman year. I connected with Erin and was reminded of the journey of thought that I took and am still on today. Being a Christian and asking the type of questions that the topics of this book address are frowned upon where I am in life. My friends and family do not appreciate my trying to understand. This book comforted me, reminded me of my passion for religion and gave me more things to think about and try to grasp. It is a must read for anyone wanting to understand Chrisitinity in the world today and every Christian should read it, even if it is to only stumble through the chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2010

    You Must Read this Book!

    Thought it would take a long time to read this book. Only took a couple of weeks and that was reading in the evenings only. Wonderful book! Excellent reading! Thoroughly enjoyed every page. It also made me want to be more disciplined in my own prayer life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Good for what it is

    This book was good for what it is - a work of fiction to convey thoughts and ideas of a non-fiction topic. Though the writing style was a bit sophmoric, it still helped discuss situations that many Christians find themselves in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Excellenr

    Good read.

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