Jones vs Borg on the Resurrection

Dear Marcus Borg: Please Reconsider the Resurrection

It’s a fascinating discussion, and I don’t know that I agree (or completely understand – my fault, not Tony’s) with Jones’ position but I really do like these three bits:

First he admits that:

I don’t insist, I believe. I think Jesus actually came back from the dead, and I believe it to be so. But I surely don’t insist that is the case, and I entertain the possibility that it may not have been.

Second, he writes:

My point is this: Since the prominence of the Jesus Seminar in the 1980s and 1990s, most Western Christians have been well aware of the option Borg presents: you can be a Christian and reject the majority belief in the physical resurrection. And the vast majority of Christians have not embraced that position. Call us fideists or naive, but this idea simply has not captured the imagination of very many Christians. And I listen to that evidence, like a judge listens to a jury. The verdict is in: Jesus rose from the dead.

Which seems to contradict the first bit because that sounds a lot to me like insisting rather than just believing.

But then thirdly, he admits that the relationship between his statements is “tricky.”

How this happened, especially holding a weak metaphysic, as I do, is tricky. I’m working that out, and I’ll continue to this week on QTH. And I don’t want to dichotomize between spiritual and physical resurrection — that’s why I tend to refer to it as a “material” resurrection. A materialist Christianity recognizes that what we experience as the “laws of physics” are actually a lot more plastic than previously assumed. In fact, I think that as quantum theory develops, a materialist resurrection will seem more and more compelling.

And what I love and appreciate about this move is that Jones is being himself in and open and honest way. He states plainly what he believes, seems to contradicts himself, and then admits that perhaps his belief system isn’t airtight.

Stated more plainly, I love the lack of pretense and posturing. I love that this is a dialogue between two really bright people and that both are engaging one another honestly.

I’d love to see more of this in Christianity and in the world.


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See also:

Jones’ post that started this tussle:
And Borg’s response:


The Bible Can Be Authoritative, Even If It’s Relative [Questions That Haunt]

The question:

…how is it that we are to determine moral decisions? If there is no objective moral authority we can point to in order to determine an ethical system, what are we left with?

And (a part of) the response:

It seems, based on the experiences of the first Christians in the book of Acts and the communities of faith begun by Paul, that we work out the truth of Christianity best in small, ecclesial communities. The Bible does not prescribe how a community of faith deals ethically with a loving, adult, monogamous lesbian couple, nor does it tell us whether clones can serve as elders in a congregation. We’ve got to work these things out in community.


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“…although you outgrow the answers, you never outgrow the questions.” – Tony Jones


“One of the things that most frustrates me about church life is how quickly people abdicate their hermeneutical authority to clergypersons, and how quickly and easily clergypersons take up that authority. This abdication and embrace is exacerbated by denominations, bureaucracies, and hierarchies, but it’s also prevalent in “low church” settings, and even in house churches.

The questions of faith are among the most vexing existential questions that human beings ask. And the church has done a great disservice to young people by using monological, didactic teaching methods to impart the faith.”

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God Is Male, and Female, and More Than Both

“God subsumes all characteristics. All characteristics of humans — including those traditionally considered “male” and “female” — are a part of God. They all live in God, and emanate from God.

In the end, it’s probably best to avoid gender-based pronouns for God as much as possible. Since that’s not always possible, let’s always remember that God embodies all characteristics that we know as humans, plus surely many that we don’t comprehend.”


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God Doesn’t Know What You Think God Knows

Wow, I REALLY like this answer. Lately, I’m finding myself more and more in the Open Theism camp.

“…the clear story of the Bible is that God is intimately involved in time with us. God grows frustrated with the Israelites, for example, which is something you wouldn’t expect from a Being who is omniscient.”


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Can Postmodern Theology Live in Our Churches?

“One of the benefits of deconstruction is that it imbues all of our intellectual activity with the reminder that even our most strongly held beliefs are, ultimately, deconstructible. You might be wrong about there not being a God, and I might be wrong about there being a God.”