Marcus Borg (1942-2015), renowned scholar, teacher, and theologian of progressive Christianity, died January 21, 2015. (Click HERE for information on Dr. Borg.) When Don Dempsey learned of his death, he wrote to six close friends. Views from the Edge publishes it here with permission:
This morning I received notice of Marcus Borg’s death.
Marcus was one of my favorites – he spoke to me. His “The Heart of Christianity” was one of the most meaningful books I’ve ever read! I also used his book “Speaking Christian” for several adult ed classes.
When I served as an interim pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, I coordinated and arranged for Marcus to be present for a weekend visit. It began with a Friday night presentation, followed by a Saturday workshop, and preaching at both services on Sunday. He was controversial to some, but I loved it all. Saturday was standing room only with the majority who were present not from FPC. He had quite a Chicagoland following.
It was my honor and privilege to be his guide and host the whole weekend. It began on Thursday as Meg and I picked him up at O’Hare airport. We told him we’d meet him at the baggage claim. As Meg was getting out to go in and find Marcus, she asked, “how will I recognize him?” She found him right away.
After picking him up on Thursday we had a delightful conversation driving him to his hotel in Lake Forest. As we dropped him off we asked, what are your dinner plans?
He said, “What do you suggest?” We looked at each other and quickly said “Why don’t you get settled in and we’ll be back and pick you up for dinner at our house.”
What a great evening! Marcus was such a warm and engaging person, he wanted to know all about us, he listened so intently to our stories. That evening sitting on our deck sharing conversation, beaking bread, and sharing wine was indeed a celebration of communion that Meg and I shall never ever forget.
He inscribed my copy of “The Heart of Christianity” on 9/16/06:
To Don and Meg,
With rich memories, gratitude for your hospitality, and best wishes.
Rest in peace my friend, your voice and your presence will be greatly missed!
Don and Meg Dempsey
The Rev. Dr. Donald Dempsey and and Meg live in Fort Sheridan, Highland Park, IL. Don is one of six McCormick Theological Seminary friends who gather annually for renewal of friendship and theological inquiry.