The Resurrection: Borg or Wright? (Audio Poll!)

Tripp had a sweet idea to let you listen to two brief soundbites from our recent interviews with Tom Wright and Marcus Borg back to back, so you can let us know with whom you agree more on the resurrection. You don’t have to fall in line completely with either to vote, but vote and qualify it in the comments.  The resurrection always raises a bunch of commitments, questions, and passions — just check Tony’s, Bruce’s, and Bob’s posts — so don’t forget these two Poll-O-pponents are friends! :)

Borg on the resurrection

Wright on the resurrection

[poll id="2"]

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10 comments
Korey
Korey

I'm not certain why those who doubt the resurrection, but believe in all of the meanings a Christian derives from the resurrection, would care so much to affirm belief or disbelief? The centrality of the resurrection to Christianity seems paramount to the Christian story, even Borg finds it crucial it seems. So why get bogged down in finding it impossible such that you must regularly voice your objections to it being literal? I'm surprised sometimes how skeptics like Borg still believe in other aspects of Christianity like a God of love and an afterlife. If these are possible, why should resurrection be just completely unbelievable? There are many stumbling blocks that can impede faith, but why allow the resurrection to be such an obstacle? I wish skeptics who wish to belong would just live as if it were true and enter into the Christian story. In some ways it appears they do. When they don't, it's not very edifying and strikes me as obsessively empirical.

Joshua Penduck
Joshua Penduck

I'm with Wright for the wholly unacademic reason that it just makes the relationship between Creator and creation so much more exciting; I'm a big fan of Borg's view of metaphor (not less than fact, but the more-than-literal meaning of language), but when this is combined with a literal Resurrection, the theological possibilities are endless!

Russ
Russ

When I teach church history, I do my best to present the view held by Borg (el al) as fairly and positively as possible, but it never fails to baffle both Christian and non-Christian students. They inevitably conclude that "He is risen... in the hearts of his followers, but not physically" as doubletalk.

Jesse Turri
Jesse Turri

I voted for Wright although I’m with Borg in the sense that, for me, the Resurrection isn’t necessarily a supernatural event. In accordance with Rollins’ theopoetic, if I were actually there, I could have seen the the empty tomb, touched the wounds (like Thomas), and considered this “miracle” using my senses. All of this stuff, the Resurrection included, is taking place in the natural realm. Now forgiveness on the other hand, that is truly supernatural in nature. It can’t be seen, touched, tasted or smelled, and for me, it is the true miracle of the Resurrection.

Jeremy
Jeremy

I think the fact that the historically the church has affirmed the physical act of God raising Jesus from the dead ought to suggest that NT Wright's view is probably to be endorsed. What always confuses me about these debates is this: why is it that people have more difficulty accepting the bodily resurrection than the incarnation? Isn't the incarnation the ultimate scandal of Christianity?

Bo Eberle
Bo Eberle

To respond to Scott, I think Wright means that God's justice is not just a leveling of the playing field on the other side (of death), but something that has huge implications for physical creation itself. If the Resurrection is only spiritual, and has no or little implication for this world, then an almost gnostic worldview is upheld in which the physical world is irredeemable at best or evil at worst, and spiritual resurrection or redemption is the only kind that is either possible or has value. Wright challenges Borg on this point because Wright believes in the goodness of physical bodies, we have them for a good reason, and also that God's justice was unleashed through Jesus' life, death, and resurrection; so if bodies are good and justice is God's act of bring goodness and restoration, this would include physical bodies. If Jesus is not bodily resurrected, then God either has given us little hope that the physical can be justified or restored, or shown us that we should not concern ourselves very much with the physical and we should turn exclusively toward spiritual hope (the implications of which may be seen in certain evangelical settings...) If Borg does indeed affirm all these things about justice and the goodness of bodies separately, Wright thinks it is only fitting to tie them together with the bodily resurrection of Christ.

Chad Crawford
Chad Crawford

Greg, thanks for your comment. Yeah, basically we asked them what they thought of different biblical scholars and both mentioned the resurrection as major differences, so we thought we would try to get a discussion going about it. We didn't give either a time limit. This was just what each one wanted to say. Both of them go into much more detail of course in their writings, so it's fine to vote based on whatever you know about both of their positions. We just want to kind of get a non-scientific pulse on where our podcast listeners and blog readers fall.

Greg Monette
Greg Monette

Why did you only give Wright 20 seconds but Borg 2.5 minutes? This was an odd way of giving us options to choose. You have to give Wright more airtime than that! He didn't even explain anything.

Chad Crawford
Chad Crawford

Scott, thanks for the comment. Yeah what you don't hear is that we asked Bishop Wright to comment on both Borg and Crossan, and this part on the resurrection was about both in general but Crossan in particular.

Scott F
Scott F

Is Wright debating Crossan or Borg? :) Whereas Borg at least tries to point out how the post-resurrection experiences would be significant regardless of whether there ws still some kind of body in the tomb, Wright's argument is a bit thin. How exactly do goodness of bodies and God of justice come together in the empty tomb? I am open to be convinced but his supporting arguments must be published elsewhere.

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