“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain’s sake. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1: 10-11 & 13a-16)
Recently we criticized a book by Marcus Borg which was recommended to someone looking into Christianity. After reviewing the publishers’ reviews on Amazon.com, we called Marcus Borg a non-Christian and his book heresy. After doing so, we were told not to judge a book by its cover- so instead we will now judge it by its complete contents. It is important to note that heresy isn’t merely disagreeing with current church doctrine, but is a denial of the core truths of Christianity: divine creation, inspiration of Scripture, both the divinity and humanity of Christ, the Trinity, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, salvation through Christ alone, and the future second coming of Christ. Borg denies all of these, making him a heretic in every sense of the word.
It was hard to narrow down which quotes from Marcus Borg’s two books to use, since each book was entirely drenched with heresy, but here are some examples to summarize his “fantastic” works. I was not able to obtain a copy of ‘The Heart of Christianity’, since neither the Southern Baptist nor the Presbyterian seminary carried them, but I did check out “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time”, and “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time”, which says it all about Borg’s version of the “Heart of Christianity”.
(all quotes are from “Meeting Jesus again for the First Time”, unless otherwise noted.)
Borg does not believe that Jesus is God:
“The image of Jesus sketched in this chapter (Borg’s chapter) suggests that Jesus was not God.” (pg. 37)
“the sketch of Jesus as a spirit person suggests that Jesus was not simply a person who believed strongly in God, but one who knew God.” (pg. 37)
“We have no way of knowing whether Jesus thought of himself as the Son of God in some special sense.” (pg. 29)
Borg does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God:
“it is not the case that Jesus is literally “the Son of God,” though he can also be spoken of metaphorically…” (in feminist terms) (pg. 109)
Borg does not believe the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God:
“I learned that the gospels are neither divine documents nor straightforward historical records. They are not divine products inspired directly by God, whose contents therefore are to be believed. (pg. 9)
and from Borg’s book, ‘Reading the Bible again for the first time’:
“[The Bible] is an all human product, though generated in response to God.” (pg. 27)
“The Ten Commandments are also a human product. Divine genius is not required to come up with rules like these.” (pg. 27)
It is also clear, especially in “Reading the Bible,” that Borg doesn’t believe that any supernatural miracle in the Bible actually occurred- they are only symbolic and metaphoric to teach a moral lesson.
Borg does not believe the Genesis account of creation:
“It is important to realize that the Genesis stories of creation are myths.”(pg. 71)
Borg denies the Virgin Birth:
“The stories of his birth and childhood are not historical.” (pg. 23)
“To hear the birth stories again in a state of postcritical naivete [which Borg defines as a state in which one can hear these stories as “true stories,” even while knowing that they are not literally true- where have I heard that nonsense before?…] is to be able to hear their rich symbolic affirmations without needing to believe them as historical records.”
Borg denies the Second Coming of Christ:
“I do not think that it makes sense to expect a visible future second coming of Christ.” (pg. 279- ‘Reading the Bible’)
Borg’s warped view of the character of God:
“Compassion, not holiness, is the dominant quality of God, and is therefore to be the ethos of the community that mirrors God.” (page 54)
He claims to be a Christian, yet says:
“The popular Christian bumper sticker that reads: “Christians aren’t perfect- they’re just forgiven” implies that other people aren’t forgiven, and that Christians have done something (become Christian? Believed?) that merits forgiveness.”
“Believing in Jesus does not mean believing doctrines about him.” (page 137)
“Jesus is unique, which most commonly is linked to the notion that Christianity is exclusively true and that Jesus is “the only way.” (pg. 37)
Borg denies the true gospel message:
“The notion that God’s only son came to this planet to offer his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, and that God could not forgive us without that having happened, and that we are saved by believing this story, is simply incredible. Taken literally, it is a profound obstacle to accepting the Christian message.
Borg and his followers reduce the “Heart of Christianity’s” message to this:
“’Be compassionate as God is compassionate’ is the defining mark of the follower of Jesus. Compassion is the fruit of life in the Spirit and the ethos of the community of Jesus.”
While compassion is a trait that Christians should possess, this characteristic does not distinguish Christianity from any other religion or moral person. It is a Christians’ godliness, holiness, and righteousness that can only come through Jesus Christ that is so repulsive to the world that sets Christianity apart from any other religion. We worship a risen Lord, which no other religion can boast of. The heart of Christianity is truly this: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We can be made right with God only through forsaking our sins and trusting in Jesus for salvation.
It is also worth noting that it is not compassionate to affirm sinners and tell them that God will accept them just as they are, and that they won’t have to turn from their sinful ways. That is selfishness- loving the praise of men more than the praise of God. But true Christian compassion grieves for the souls of lost sinners, begging them to repent and come to Christ, wanting to see them saved more than wanting them to like you.
Borg’s heresy began here:
“There are parts of the Bible that we will decide need not or should not be honored, either because we discern that they were relevant to ancient times but not to our own, or because we discern that they were never the will of God.” (‘Reading the Bible…page 29)
Borg and his followers have created a god in their mind, an idol of their own making, which does not reflect the God of the Bible.
This is what the Biblical inerrancy series is all about!
[speaking of the epistles in the NT] "In which some things are hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. Since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the widked; but grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:16-17