Sunday, September 19, 2010

Putting Away Childish Things -- A Christian Century Review

Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern FaithMarcus Borg has many fans, and detractors, out there.  He has written many provocative and faith affirming books -- even if I don't agree with everything he writes, I have found him an intriguing dialog partner.  Well, I recently read and reviewed for the Christian Century his latest book, a novel entitled Putting Away Childish Things (Harper One, 2010). 

Since my review of the book is found at the Christian Century site, I'll need to send you to that site to read the entire review.  And when you get there you'll notice many changes to the site -- including the incorporation of the Theolog blog, for which I've been a regular contributor has been incorporated into the new Century site. 

To get you started reading, here is the opening of the review:

 
A review of Putting Away Childish Things,  Aug 26, 2010  Reviewed by Robert Cornwall
Being the Jesus scholar that he is, Marcus Borg certainly understands the power of a story. In Putting Away Childish Things he offers up a didactic novel that explores some of the thorniest theological issues facing the Christian community. Although it's not a page-turning thriller in the mode of The Da Vinci Code, it offers Borg an alternative way to offer up his theological vision. As a first novel it should be judged not for its literary grace or dramatic sense, but according to whether Borg is able to take us deeper into his vision of progressive Christianity.

The central character in this novel is Kate Riley, a fortyish, cigarette-smoking, Guin­­ness-drinking, red-shoe-wearing Epis­copalian biblical scholar who serves as an assistant professor of religious studies at a small liberal arts college in Wis­consin. Popular with many of her students, she's also controversial, especially since gaining notoriety for publishing a book exploring the two biblical infancy narratives.

To read the rest, and see my response to the book, click here. 

3 comments:

Brian said...

I know it makes me sound like a goofy kid, but I always feel pride when I see Disciples doing good things in public. Thanks for representing us well Bob.

I have not re-upped my subscription with the Christian Century the past few years. Not for theological reasons. Simply restricting periodicals. However, I may sign up for the green version(online version). It's about as good of a "go-to" resource for mainline Chrsitianity as one will find.

Below is a copy/paste of what I wrote on the CC site.
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Good Idea
Posted by Brian Morse on Sep 20, 2010 - 07:50 am.


It is interesting to consider who is intended audience is.

I think this could be very helpful for people in mainline and liberal congregations. I've seen book discussion groups take off in congregations. This one could really fit the bill.

Likewise, I could see people in college finding this to be a worthwhile read. (I've not read it.) With you, I'm glad there is an evangelical character wrestling with the impact that these ideas can have on their relationships. I certainly believe this is a common experience with students.

While the hardwiring in my brain has always made non-fiction easier for me to read than fiction, I'm going to read this. As a chaplain, I can imagine finding this to be a helpful recomendation for people that come to me for guidance.

Good review Bob!
Brian

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Brian, Thanks for the comments, both here and at CC.

I would say that for moderate to liberal Protestants, you can't find a better journal that CC. Of course, I review for them and write for their blog, so I'm a bit biased. But it is a very balanced journal! Very Thoughtful! (and no, I'm not getting paid for this testimonial).

Danny Bradfield said...

I more or less agree with your review. Borg certainly isn't a master of fiction, and the book will not be recommended to English classes on the basis of Borg's ability to craft beautiful phrases of prose. But still, it was interested to read his theology in this format, and I did finish the whole book, which is more than I can say for a lot of other books I pick up and start reading.

I do enjoy the Christian Century, but like Brian, I'm trying not to subscribe to many periodicals. Perhaps if the Century becomes available through kindle, I'll subscribe.