Monday, February 11, 2008

My Dinner With Marcus Borg

Like the Calvinist said after he fell down the stairs, "I'm glad that's over with."

Fort Worth's Broadway Baptist votes to keep pastor
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
and a similar story from the Dallas Morning News Religion Blog

I'm a member of a study group called "Exploring The Christian Faith" at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth. We don't hesitate to ask the hard questions. Very few answers are provided. We're just about to finish a series called "Living The Questions". We'll probably do a book study next.

If you've lost touch with your faith, or lost interest in traditional answers to Christianity's difficulties, come join us. There's been some recent controversy about our studying some of the theologians listed in the Spiritual Advisors blogroll to your right. Borg in particular. I hope we're over it now. (See the Star-Telegram link above.)

In the last few months, I've learned that Freedom of Religious Expression is a valuable thing. Lord have mercy, I love this class. All points of view are respected. No one believes me, but meeting in that room is the most Libertarian hour of my week.

If you want to join us, we meet at 9:30 in Room 306 every Sunday morning. 305 West Broadway, Fort Worth, TX 76104.

One day, I'll get around to describing "My Dinner With Marcus Borg". But some more dust needs to settle first....


fembuttx said...

Lordy, lordy!! Is anyone at your church ever happy? Join the Methodists, we dont write letters and we drink openly!!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever studied Baptist history? It goes a lot farther back than 20 years and “healing services in tents.” Your experience in the Baptist world seems to be very narrow.

Also, Marcus Borg is not at all considered a "mainstream Protestant." He is speaking out of a modern movement which can easily be characterized far out of mainstream Christianity and definitely not Protestant. Borg dismisses some of the basic theology that makes Christianity Christian. He sounds very Unitarian. He is a very good speaker, though. I am sure that there are many mainstream protestant churches that would not extend Borg an invitation to preach in the Christian pulpit on a Sunday morning.

Your church does not seem to be a very mainstream protestant church, especially if the church is affirming homosexuality!

ElhananWinchester in Pinstripes said...

Actually, Marcus Borg IS a mainstream theologian. Those who deny that are very unaware and reveal just how sectarian their religion is. Of course, much of religion in America (not just the south) is sectarian and unaware.

I doubt there is anything that Martin Borg states in any of his books, which are for the public, rather than the academy, that would not be affirmed by any professor at any mainstream divinity school in the US. I feel positive that his thoughts on NT history and the historical Jesus are in line with what is being taught at Perkins or Brite.

In fact, much of what he writes has been bantered around for at least a century. What he has done is communicate it clearly to the public/the people in the pews. And sadly, this stuff is so shocking to them because congregations have done a poor job applying biblical scholarship to education and formation at the parish level.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Elhanan Winchester,
Thanks for the comment....Anyone who likes Willie, Cash, and BB is a kindred spirit. (Click on his name) Anyone who lists Walker Percy as one of their favorite authors is always welcome here. We have studied "Roadside Resurrection" by Larry Brown in the church class that sent some of the letter writers running for the smelling salts.
And "God's Long Summer"....What a great book. BTW, Douglass Hutchins, the Mississippi pastor who wound up giving support to the Klan in the name of church unity? (Can't have any disagreements over firebombings, can we?) Guess where he was the preacher before Mississippi. Yep. Fort Worth, Texas. Senior pastor, Broadway Baptist Church.

Sorry. I agree with Mr. Pinstripes.

We're sometimes happy. Unlike Methodists, who are known to keep Secrets.

ElhananWinchester in Pinstripes said...

Whited Sepulchre, I am glad to know, from your profile, that you hail from Mississippi. I am part of the Magnolia Diaspora, as well.

I have admired Broadway from afar and I had no idea it was divided over these kinds of issues. Shows what I know. I thought Broadway was a Texas version of Pullen Memorial. And sounds like a critical mass does have that vision, but another group apparently believes that being a non-fundamentalist is reduced to limited social drinking and a fondness for organ music and responsive readings.

Here's a prediction--if the anti Younger folk (and yes, I'm sure it's more nuanced than that) will go join Travis or University, where they belong, and if Broadway can fully embrace Progressive/Liberal Christianity, the church will do quite well. But if it runs off the progressives, that church is really going to struggle even more. I don't think there is a "market" for center right or even centrist Baptist churches that have high church liturgical styles of worship.

Hang in there; I twill be thinking of the thinkers at Broadway. If I ever move to Fort Worth, I guess I'll have to go to University Christian.