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Why christianity must change or die a bishop speaks to believers in exile by john shelby spong liberal intelligent loving christianityDocument Transcript
Why Christianity Must Change or Die:A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile by John Shelby Spong Liberal, Intelligent, Loving ChristianityJohn Shelby Spong is the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, andhas enjoyed a career filled with controversy, much of it thanks to his manybestselling books, such as Born of a Woman, Living in Sin?, and Liberatingthe Gospels. He has tapped into an audience of people who are at oncespiritually starved and curious, yet unwilling or unable to embraceChristianity. Spong refers to himself as a believer in exile. He believesthe world into which Christianity was born was limited a nd provincial,particularly when viewed from the perspective of the progress inknowledge and technology made over the past two millennia. This makesany ideas or beliefs formulated in 1st-century Judea totally inadequate toour progressive minds and lives today. So Spong is in exile untilChristianity is re-formed to discard all of the outdated and, according toSpong, false tenets of Christianity. He begins his book by exposing theApostles Creed line by line, then methodically moves on through the heartof Christian belief, carefully exploring each aspect, demonstrating in eachcase the inadequacies of Christianity as detailed in the Bible and in thetraditions of the Church. The epilogue includes Spongs own creed, recastto reflect the beliefs he considers relevant to Christianity at the end of the20th century. Oddly enough, Spongs views do not seem particularlynew. In fact, his views seem very much in keeping with the religioushumanist variety of Unitarianism. What is remarkable is not the beliefsthemselves, but that an Episcopal bishop would be the one to embraceand espouse them. Spong has become a trumpeter in the battle of beliefs,not just in the Episcopal communion, but in the realm of Christian faith ingeneral in this country. His books are bestsellers and are in turn,presumably, read by those who, whether they agree or disagree, allacknowledge that in some way, Spong is involved in setting the agenda.This book, as the admitted summation of his lifes work tells every readerwhat the complete agenda will be, for the next few years at least. --Patricia Klein
Features:* Click here to view our Condition Guide and Shipping PricesAs someone who was raised as a Catholic but has spent virtually my entirelife attempting to reconcile my faith with the reality of the world and myidentity as a gay man (not helped by the decidedly un-Christian and barelyrational attitudes of various Popes and Bishops of my own church), thisbook and Spongs other works is a welcome relief. The recent commentsby Benedict XVI and some of our Australian bishops have become sounrelenting that I can no longer in good conscience even practise my faith.Instead, I have been attending services at St Michaels Uniting Church inCollins Street, Melbourne [...] where the Executive Minister, Dr FrancisMcNab, speaks of what he calls "The New Faith", which is remarkablysimilar to that espoused by John Shelby Spong.Those critics below who say that Spong is in reality not Christian at all,because he points up the logical inconsistencies and inhumane nature ofmuch that traditional Christianity teaches, need to bear in mind that Sponghimself admits that he is not writing for those who remain comfortable inconservative, theistic churches. He is not even writing for those preparedto compromise their own intellect and values to remain within such folds.He is writing for those like himself - and me- who are "believers in exile".For us, the choice is to either reject the whole Christian project as nolonger having any relevance or importance to our lives or indeed as havinga negative influence on the world, or to instead find a way of retaining ourfaith as a meaningful part of our lives.In this, for me, he succeeds admirably For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile by John Shelby Spong - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!