Borg! (Your beliefs don’t make sense)

11 Feb

My posts this week will be a series of reflections on a conversation I attended at Rolllins College between Marcus Borg and Charlie Holt concerning whether or not Jesus’ resurrection physically happened or not. Borg considers himself a Christian, but argues that the resurrection was a “spiritual” one. Holt takes the historical Christian position, asserting that Jesus bodily rose from the dead.
I must say that I was seething virtually the entire time at Borg, because he was spouting so much flaming heresy. I understand people having different beliefs but it matters so much more when someone is claiming to propagate Christianity but in fact is teaching therapeutic deism.
My first takeaway is that what you believe matters. It matters in a major way and will certainly impact how you life your live. This is true, even if you claim to have “no belief.” If you believe that we are undistinguished masses of cells that just happen to exist it will be hard for you to rationally care for people on an intrinsic level. You may care for them, but at the expense of your rationality.
I got so heated because Borg was arguing that his position is compatible with Christian belief. Because I am not Catholic, I do not believe that there is an ordained arbiter of truth to make judgment calls on what is “in” and what is “out” when it comes to doctrine. I find myself beholden to the old creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene) and trust that there is a basic form of discipleship that is clearly and plainly evident.
Borg rejects all of it. Jesus’ divinity, Jesus’ resurrection, Christian exclusivity. It doesn’t stop here, because it never does. Once you deny Jesus’ divinity you must allow for the possibility of all religions being true. When you reject the idea of transcendent truth you must be open to the reality of not only religious but moral pluralism. And of course, this is where Borg finds himself. Any religion is ok, (almost) any system of morals is ok, believe what you want about Jesus.
This is all well and good if you want to call yourself a religious pluralist, but you simply don’t get to claim “I am a Christian” and make the above assertions. At this point everything meaningful about the nature of Christianity has been stripped away and to make the assertion is an absurdity.
I am not saying I reject these ideas because they are heresy/unorthodox or because I’ve been taught that they’re wrong or I’m scared to question the authorities. I’ve asked the questions, I’ve investigated the propositions and weighed the evidence. I embrace Jesus’ divinity, his physical resurrection and his claim to be the only way to a reconciled relationship with God because I am convinced by what I think are good reasons that these statements accurately reflect the reality of our world. These beliefs too have consequences, and may God grant that I live into them.


3 Responses to “Borg! (Your beliefs don’t make sense)”

  1. The Rev. Charles L. Holt February 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    The discussion is now available online:

    • stevewimmer February 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      Thanks Rev. Holt! Readers, if you want to hear someone with a kindly old grandpa voice spinning yarns about Jesus go give a listen. My q comes in around 59:00 and Rev. Holt responds beautifully only to be dismissed by “Acts almost certainly wasn’t written before 90CE”…absurd. (in the background is my muffled scream of disgust – but it’s not audible on this recording). Thanks again Rev. Holt for serving in this way and for the link!


  1. Reflection pt. 3 – Borg and the ancients « What do I say to that? - February 14, 2013

    […] is my last post reflecting on the Marcus Borg conversation at Rollins. Links two the first two are Here, and here. (In other news, sorry this has nothing to do with Valentine’s day. Since the heart of […]

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