Discussions Relating to Universal Reconciliation > Discussions on Universal Salvation

Marcus Borg on the Prodigal Son


Marcus Borg, a lay Episcopalian theologian, has commented on the parable of the prodigal son in a way that I think strongly implies universalism and raises some good points about the familiar story.  I'd recommend you check out the following short (~2 mins) video at Beliefnet:

Note that, while I'm pretty sure that Borg is a Christian universalist, I've not seen him explicitly say this.  It is, however, strongly implied in his work and is certainly the logical conclusion of what he does explicitly say.  In the above video, he makes two points that make me look at the well-known parable as much more in line with universal reconciliation than eternal torment (or annihilationism).

First, it portrays God, represented by the father, as fundamentally compassionate, not as "a stern taskmaster who demands that we fill certain requirements for the sake of a reward," as Borg puts it.  When the prodigal son returns,

while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20).
The father doesn't wait for the son to get all the way back to him; God yearns for us to return to Him.  I would add that there the story gives no evidence that there is ever a point that the father would refuse to accept his son if the son returned.

Secondly, consider the older brother, who is upset at his father's compassion on the prodigal son and who does not join the celebratory banquet that his father holds.  He, no doubt, feels that he has lived up to certain standards but his younger brother hasn't and is upset that the younger brother isn't punished.  I think that the older brother can be seen as a believer in eternal torment.  While the older brother did do the right thing by remaining on the estate and working diligently while the younger brother lived it up and squandered his property, the older brother should not have let his sense of righteousness get in the way of forgiving and having compassion on his brother.

The parable of the prodigal son is found in Luke 15:11-32.

according to borg, eternal life is now.
after we die, what is that?

this found in the video of john 3:16


--- Quote from: rockclimber on September 07, 2007, 10:08:12 PM ---this found in the video of john 3:16

--- End quote ---

To me personally......what Borg said is that........

Eternal life is to know God.


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