Marcus Borg 1942-2015

There have been several notable blog posts written in reflection of the life and death of Marcus Borg, the influential New Testament scholar and progressive Christian theologian (e.g., F. Schmidt, Remembering Marcus; B. Thompson, My friend, Marcus Borg). I have very little to add, but I do want to say a few things. I've read several of Dr. Borg's books, mostly back during the transition from undergraduate to seminarian, and I've found him to be insightful, challenging, and articulate. I met him in Portland, OR, a few years ago and he was truly a gentleman and a scholar. As one whose formative years were spent in fanatical Pentecostal* and conservative Evangelical circles, where disagreement is often followed by shunning, I echo James McGrath (Marcus Borg 1942-2015) when he writes that one of the important lessons Dr. Borg taught us was how "to disagree in pronounced and fundamental ways with one another" while remaining friends, as his friendship with N.T. Wright and others displayed for me.  Similarly, while I affirm the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead I disagree with those who demonize him for his view on this subject. In reality, I "know" as much about life-after-death as Dr. Borg—nothing. I don't begrudge him for honestly admitting this and questioning the doctrine. Though I myself do believe in both life-after-death and a future resurrection, I realize this is a leap of faith, not something easily believed. I hope there is a resurrection where someday we can meet again. If so, I'm sure he'll be happy to change his views on the subject.

* By no means are all (even most) Pentecostals fanatical, but most of those I knew as a young man were.