By Peter Moore
An eminent team of Episcopal students and bishops addresses the center concerns raised in Bishop Spong's books and teachings at the Virgin delivery, resurrection, sexuality, scripture, sin, Jesus, tradition, and God. those essays are incisive responses to an articulate and charismatic public determine whose provocative writings have stirred conventional and non-traditional thinkers alike.
While acknowledging that Spong's writing moves a chord with lay humans within the church buildings and most people, the book's authors think a balanced reaction is required. They accomplish this via commending the bishop for having the braveness of his convictions whereas not easy his teachings at the cornerstone ideals of Christian tradition.
"Reflection at the resurrection can't be limited to scholarly scrutiny of some passages....every notice is an exposition of the resurrection, for each be aware exhibits how earlier occasions, current hardships, and destiny hopes seem to the 1st Christians within the gentle of the truth that Jesus rose physically from the lifeless, Jesus isn't a useless guy they keep in mind fondly. His is seen as current, between different issues, within the reflecting and the writing itself." --Excerpt from Can a Bishop Be flawed?
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Extra resources for Can a Bishop Be Wrong?: Ten Scholars Challenge John Shelby Spong
Bishop Spong is compelled to say that he has seen marriages between a male and a female that lacked these qualities (no surprise there though many of us would be slower to judge a whole relationship based on our impressions), and furthermore that he has seen same-sex relationships that were deeply car ing. So the plain, incontrovertible sign of a union between a man and woman with vows of fidelity and the desire for God's blessing in fulfilling God's purpose is kicked out the window. "Inner" and ineffable qualities, always hard to discern and never as apparent on one occasion as another over the course of a lifetime, become the keys and tokens to fulfillment or salvation.
The Gnostic Spong Spong is not, of course, the first person who ever attempted to rescue the Bible from fundamentalism. Marcion classed Jews and benighted Chris tians as fundamentalists who were swallowing unsavory and, to the "modern" second-century mind, unbelievable Hebrew Scriptures. He junked the Old Testament, prepared his own bowdlerized Gospels and Epistles (not unlike the Jesus Seminar, only without the colored beads) . Those who are lumped together under the name of gnostic were generally rescuers along the lines of Bishop Spong.
What about today's gnostic? It could be argued that one thrust of the Reformation was to give the Scriptures to all members of the church. It could be further argued that the thrust of historical-critical methods has been to take them away again, to bind them to interpretations of the adept and unavailable to the plain reader. But that is an argument for an other, more general discussion. " It is not at all clear from Spong's work that he has a systematic grasp of midrashic interpretation as practiced in ancient Jewish commentaries on the Bible.