I’ve been familiar with Borg’s work for years. I followed the activity of the Jesus Seminar in the 1980’s and 1990’s and I assigned some of his books over the years to students. We’ve been reading The Last Week as a Lenten Book Study at St. James this year and it has inspired lively discussions.
I’ve also attended lots of scholarly lectures by big names over the years and I was expecting a retread, a boring reread of a lecture given hundreds of times before. But Prof. Borg was different. I had the opportunity to join him and other colleagues for lunch. He was engaging, interested in us, our ideas, and experiences, and shared some of his personal life with us.
He was the same way in the lecture. Indeed he did say little that I hadn’t heard before. What was remarkable was the way he treated us as an audience and a congregation. Beginning and closing with prayer, and sharing his faith and his experiences with us was profoundly moving. It was one of the most memorable evenings of my life.
Tonight I had a follow-up conversation with some Furman students at our Canterbury meeting. I’m not teaching Bible this year, for the first time since the mid-90s, and discussing the historical evidence for the resurrection, and how we might think about the resurrection differently, or metaphorically, as Borg urges, was great fun and challenging.