Review: Putting Away Childish Things by Marcus Borg

October 3, 2012 in Books · 0 comments

Borg, Marcus J. (2010). Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith. New York: HarperOne.

In this work of fiction Borg provides insights into the positions and difficulties of modern progressive Christianity. Although Putting Away Childish Things is overly didactic at times, Borg nevertheless manages to provide an insightful examination of the intersection of faith and modernity, framing theological, philosophical and social issues in an accessible and engaging way.

I’m not sure to what extent this story is a successful progressive Christian apologetic; it’s doubtful that Borg’s concise explanations of the liberal Christian understanding of miracles, Jesus, the Bible, Adam and Eve and homosexuality will be persuasive to those with already fully formed beliefs regarding these issues. But by weaving such topics into a work of fiction, Borg humanizes the subject matter and makes us empathize with the difficulties of maintaining faith and reason. He prudently positions characters on different sides of the issues, and most importantly, depicts them struggling to find a way forward. To that end, the book includes a generous amount of references to resources for further information, as well as thoughtful selections of poetry, hymns and prayers. This book isn’t a theological tour de force; rather, it’s a contemplative exploration of the struggles and beauty of progressive Christianity.

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