It’s always interesting how the Lord works. I’d been feeling led to discuss the issue of how, right now, belief concerning Who Jesus actually is has all but been pushed to the side for the sake of unity in the visible Christian church. But then I started thinking that it’s even kind of silly to have to bring it up at all; until I came across the post Archbishop Rowan Williams on the Uniqueness and Finality of Christ today from Jeremy Bouma.
You may recall Bouma from Radio Interview With Jeremy Bouma The Insider Who Just Left The Emerging Church. Bouma’s timely post begins:
In an address exploring the finality of Christ in a pluralist world on Tuesday, Dr Rowan Williams said people who believed in absolute truth were liable to be branded bigots or intolerant by those who felt that what was right for some was not necessarily right for others.
“Belief in the uniqueness or finality of Christ is something that sits very badly indeed, not just with a plural society but with a society that regards itself as liberal or democratic,” he said. (Online source)
And as I said in my comment to Jeremy concerning the phrase “affirming the uniqueness and finality of Christ”:
As I see it, the issue is, what does one mean by those words? In my opinion, it’s time to ask some serious questions and get people to define their terms.
One quick example; even Marcus Borg, who denies the Deity (uniqueness?) of Jesus on Nazareth, would agree that the “finality” of Christ is that “Christ” is the way Christians refer to the logos (spark of the divine) of God that’s in all of creation itself.
Years ago in his classic textbook The Kingdom of the Cults Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) spoke of the importance of scaling the language barrier because:
The well-trained cultist will carefully avoid definition of terms concerning cardinal doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Atonement, the bodily resurrection of our Lord, the process of salvation by grace and justification by faith. If pressed in these areas, he will redefine the terms to fit the semantic framework of orthodoxy unless he is forced to define his terms explicitly. 
How sad that I’m finding I now have to employ techniques that I once used for evangelizing non-Christian cultists with people who are associated e.g. with the Emerging Church and Brian McLaren. For example, in Brian McLaren Invites You On His Quest To Destroy Christianity I showed you that in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity McLaren confides there was a time when he “began losing faith” in the way he once read the Bible.
But then he goes on to tell us that he was so fortunate to be able to learn a new way to approach the Scriptures “from Christian scholars” such as Roman “Catholics” like fellow Red Letter Christian “Richard Rohr” as well as “Protestants” like Progessive Christian scholar “Marcus Borg.” However, when we consider Borg’s testimony from the interspiritual website Explore Faith, where he’s on the Editorial Board along with Phyllis Tickle of Emergence Christianity , we encounter a very serious problem:
To be Christian means to find the decisive revelation of God in Jesus. To be Muslim means to find the decisive revelation of God in the Koran.
To be Jewish means to find the decisive revelation of God in the Torah, and so forth. I don’t think that one of these is better than the other. You could even say they are all divinely given paths to the sacred. To be Christian in this kind of context means to be deeply committed to one’s own tradition, even as one recognizes the validity of other traditions. (Online source, emphasis in original)
A nice sentiment from Dr. Borg, but not a Christian view; and taken along with his denial of the Deity of Jesus Christ, I find myself asking: Can you actually be a Christian when you don’t even believe what Christians believe? Jesus Himself said to Jewish religious leaders—men every bit as pious as Marcus Borg — “I said therefore to you that you will die in the sins of you; for if you believe not that I Am [the eternal God], you will die in the sins of you” (John 8:24, literal Greek).
The Good News of Christ Jesus is repentance and forgiveness of sins in His Name; in other words, the regenerated believer will not die in his sins. But Marcus Borg, by his own admission, does not believe Jesus is God in human flesh i.e. very God of very God; so by definition then, 1) this is a different Jesus (see—2 Corinthians11:4), and 2) Dr. Borg is in danger of dying in his sins. Therefore, if we love Marcus Borg, we won’t let him deceive himself into thinking he’s a Christian; no instead, we’ll pray for his repentance and preach the Gospel to him.
1. Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, Ravi Zacharias, Gen. Ed. (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2005), 33.
2. http://www.explorefaith.org/about/editorial_board/index.php, accessed 3/7/10.