Marcus. May You Rest in Light Perpetual

          This past Sunday, I was saddened to learn the biblical scholar and theologian, Marcus Borg, had recently passed away. There are not many things that can get me out of my house on a very, very cold winter's evening, but several years ago the opportunity to go hear Marcus speak did just that. I was not disappointed. The timing was perfect. I was in my second year of EFM and up to my ears in reading about Paul's letters to the churches. Along came Marcus Borg with the invitation to take a closer look at the historical Jesus, to look past the words and into the historical context of his life and times.

          To say that Marcus Borg was a liberal theologian is to put it mildly. Born a Lutheran, he gravitated to the Episcopal faith. He taught, he wrote some 20 books, he lectured across the country and in the UK. He believed Jesus was a Jewish prophet who was a product of the times, not the divine Son of God. Marcus Borg questioned not only the validity of the many miracles Jesus worked, but also Christ's resurrection. He wrote, "Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine its not about the self and its concerns, about "What's in it for me", whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life." He pondered, what if life is not about being a Christian but about loving God? Yet, even with his liberal views, Borg collaborated with N.T. Wright, whose theological views are conservative in nature and other less liberal thinking biblical scholars.

          My simple theology of Christianity clashes with Borg's in many respects. But, his writings continue to make me think and ponder. His commentary on the Book of Revelation helped me make sense of that book of the New Testament that so often causes fear and trepidation rather than showing a glimpse of God's heavenly kingdom.

          May you rest in the holy perpetual light of God, Marcus Borg. Thank you for urging me to think and take into consideration the daily life and times in which Jesus lived. You shall certainly be missed.

         

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