I interview a lot of people -- wonderful people -- for "Interfaith Voices." Many are outstanding scholars and people of deep faith. But sometimes, someone really stands out. That was the way it was with Marcus Borg. Memories of my interviews with him came rushing back when I got the news that he had passed away on Wednesday.
A few years ago, I interviewed him at Washington National Cathedral, where he was lecturing on Scripture. After my formal interview, we talked for about 15 or 20 minutes. He shared freely and deeply his own sense of God, of Scripture, of living the Gospel. As I listened, I sensed his deep and genuine spirituality -- indeed, his goodness -- and I remember saying to myself when I left, "This man is the real deal." He didn't just study Scripture; he lived its message.
As a Scripture scholar, he searched for deeper meanings in the sacred texts. He is famous for saying, "The Bible is true, and some of it actually happened." He was, of course, not a biblical literalist. He handled Scripture with reverence, curiosity and rigor. And it showed.
He had a gift for making Scripture and theology accessible to the ordinary person. His books -- 21 of them -- are eminently readable for people who are not theologians or Scripture scholars.
His last book, Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most, delved into his own life story and personal spirituality. It is well worth reading. Borg was born into a Scandinavian Lutheran household and later in life was affiliated with the Episcopal church. But in a real sense, he was an all-around Christian. We replayed part of my interview with Borg on Convictions this week on "Interfaith Voices," but you can hear the whole interview here.
Rest in peace, Marcus.