In memory of Marcus Borg — great scholar, and even better human being

I’m really sad to hear that Marcus Borg has passed away. I’ve looked up to him for many years now, and countless people from my church have expressed how much his writing and speaking touched their lives, as it has mine. Just last night, before any of us had heard the news, someone at Brentwood mentioned that it was his writing that brought them back to Christianity.

I will always remember the time Emily Bowen-Marler and I had just finished final proofs for our book, and all the endorsements were supposed to be ready, but the publisher somehow got its wires crossed and didn’t get the manuscript to the endorsers like they were supposed to. Which meant that I had to ask Marcus a huge favor. I didn’t know him all that well, but here I was, a new author, just a couple of weeks before my first book was supposed to go to press, having to ask if he would still read the manuscript and still consider endorsing the book, and “oh by the way, can you do it in two weeks time?” (which is far, far from ideal in the publishing industry, to say the least). But he graciously agreed, and wouldn’t you know it, two weeks later he contacted me with an endorsement for our book. He could’ve easily, easily said he didn’t have time, but he still offered his support. Reading his endorsement felt like an out of body experience for me. Surreal, lovely, magical. It’s one of my favorite memories. I once told him that he is a bit of a patron saint at Brentwood, and I wasn’t entirely kidding (perhaps not at all, now that I reflect on it). He is now among that great cloud of witnesses. I am grateful for him, and I am in his debt. Rest in peace, Marcus. This world is a better place because of you.

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