Breaking: Marcus Borg has died

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Michelle Boorstein @mboorstein is reporting on Twitter

From the Rector’s Page The Very Rev. Barkley Thompson’s blog God in the Midst of the City:

Marcus Borg died this morning after a prolonged illness.  I received a phone call this afternoon from a Cathedral parishioner and friend of Marcus, relaying the news to me.

I first became aware of Marcus Borg when I was a sophomore at Hendrix College.  His landmark book, Jesus: A New Vision had just been released.  It hit me at exactly the right time.  I was a philosophy & religion major who knew God and increasingly knew about God, but I had little room or need for Jesus.  Marcus’ book gave me an entirely new access point: to consider Jesus as Jesus had been historically, as a wisdom teacher, a healer, a social prophet, and more.

Unlike so many other writers in the field of religion (on both ends of the spectrum), Marcus was humble.  Once one of my parishioners asked him during Q&A, “But how do you know that you’re right?”  He paused, looked at her thoughtfully, and said, “I don’t know.  I don’t know that I’m right.”

Very many people who had left the Christian faith have returned to it through Marcus’ evangelism (though he would grimace at my use of the word, I suspect). Marcus was a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ in word and in deed.  He understood Jesus (and especially the Resurrection) differently than I do.  But the veracity of his faith was clear.  And calm.  And passionate.

Read more here.

Image from blog

Marcus Borg latest writings are here.

Frederick Schmidt remembers Marcus Borg here

Added 10:30AM, 01/22/2015: Religious News Service has this report.

posted by Ann Fontaine

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Steven Midthune
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Steven Midthune

I had the good fortune of having Marcus as a religion instructor at Concordia College (Moorhead MN) back in the mid-60s. Probably the best, most organized teacher I ever had. After leaving the church for decades, I started reading his books in the 90s and found a deeply mature form of Christianity I could understand and accept. God bless Marcus Borg.

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John J. Shaffer
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But many follow his commandments without any desire of "knowing Jesus". Like the Inca King who was offered baptism and salvation and heaven if he would profess his faith in Jesus. He asked the European. Are you a Christian and will you be in heaven? Upon learning that his captor was a good Christian and assured of heaven, he respectfully declined. He didn't want to be in the same place as the good Christian Spanish soldier. Wise man.

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Nick Porter
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Nick Porter

Sure.

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Sarah Silberman
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Sarah Silberman

I appreciated his more gentle tone compared to other liberal voices. Now that he has passed on, I can only hope that he knew Jesus.

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John J. Shaffer
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And what happens to the millions of people who die without "knowing Jesus"? That is an important theological question. And as far as Christians are concerned there are a lot of people who think they know Jesus and do not do what is really, really, important: "following Jesus" and "doing what Jesus calls us all to do". Once I decided that Gandhi was okay with God, it wasn't long until a few other millions slipped into the "saved camp".

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Nick Porter
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Nick Porter

You can't know Jesus without following his commandments.

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Rev Mary S. Harris
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Rev Mary S. Harris

It is with great sadness that I came upon this news. Marcus Borg has been one of the many "friends" that I keep in my library. My regret is that I never met him, though this feeling pervades that I know him well. Agree with him or not theologically, there was always an ease and a joy about him both in his writing and in his person.
May he know the peace that passes understanding

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Brant Pope
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Brant Pope

This extraordinary man changed my life and reinvigorated the faith journeys of so many who found in his writings a brilliant and joyous redefinition and new vision of what it means to be a Christian. "To love God is to love that about which God is passionate," he said, "and God is passionate about justice and compassion." Surely, there are very few better examples of anyone whose life of compassion and justice so reflected his deep faith. Marcus Borg was a prophet and the wisdom and genius of his insights into what being centered in God truly means will be an inspiration for generations.

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