Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile

An important and respected voice for liberal American Christianity for the past twenty years Bishop John Shelby Spong integrates his often controversial stands on the Bible Jesus theism and morality into an intelligible creed that speaks to today s thinking Christian In this compelling and heartfelt book he sounds a rousing call for a Christianity based on critical thought rather than blind faith on love rather than judgment and that focuses on life more than religion

Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture

By popular demand study guides to two of Bishop John Shelby Spong s bestselling and controversial works including questions reflections and summaries for group and individual use

The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love

In i The Sins of Scripture i Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on a thematic exploration of the Bible carefully analyzing those passages that inform some of our key debates like the role of women in the church and in society and homosexuality to name just two Beyond that he also looks at scriptures that have helped shape culture and history bringing to light the undercurrent of anti Semitism he finds in the Gospels for example The journey is particularly compelling because Bishop Spong believes in and values the good the Bible has brought to many through the ages His goal is not to define the Bible itself as something to be set aside but instead to honor and value what he loves about it while still labeling what he dramatically calls texts of terror for what they are br br The true joy of the book is found in Spong s vigorous intellect which he shines bright in an attempt to catch a reflection of the age culture and circumstances in which the texts he examines were written Like an archaeologist working with ideas instead of tools he removes the rocks brushes away the sediment and reports on what he finds What were the roots and cultural realities behind the Scriptures that define the role of women in the church What were the hopes and fears driving the writers who condemned homosexuality in such stark terms What is the justification behind scriptures recommending the rod of correction or as Bishop Spong simply labels it t he physical abuse of children br br Whether or not you agree with some of his musings along the way many of his conclusions are hard to argue with Putting aside the issue of divine origin of the Bible no one can deny passages have been used in service of very human ends Finally i The Sins of Scriptures i can be seen as a careful observer of what those ends have been And when taken on those terms it makes an interesting read regardless of one s religious background i Ed Dobeas i

Jesus for the Non-Religious

Writing from his prison cell in Nazi Germany in Dietrich Bonhoeffer a young German theologian sketched a vision of what he called religionless Christianity In this book John Shelby Spong puts flesh onto the bare bones of Bonhoeffer s radical thought The result is a strikingly new and different portrait of Jesus of Nazareth a Jesus for the non religious br br Spong challenges much of the traditional understanding that has for so long surrounded the Jesus of history from the tale of his miraculous birth to a virgin to the account of his cosmic ascension into the sky at the end of his life Spong questions the historicity of the ideas that Jesus was born in Bethlehem that he had twelve disciples and that the miracle stories were meant to be descriptions of supernatural events He also speaks directly to those contemporary critics of Christianity who call God a delusion and who write letters to a Christian nation and describe how Christianity has become evil and destructive br br Spong invites his readers to look at Jesus through the lens of both the Jewish scriptures and the liturgical life of the first century synagogue Dismissing the dispute about Jesus nature that consumed the church s leadership for the first years of Christian history as irrelevant Spong proposes a new way of understanding the divinity of Christ as the ultimate dimension of a fulfilled humanity Traditional Christians who still cling to dated concepts of the past will not be comfortable with this book however skeptics of the twenty first century will not be quite so certain that dismissing Jesus is the correct pathway to walk em Jesus for the Non Religious em may be the book that finally brings the pious and the secular into a meaningful dialogue opening the door to a living Christianity in the post Christian world

A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying How a New Faith is Being Born

In his bestselling book em Why Christianity Must Change or Die em Bishop John Shelby Spong described the toxins that are poisoning the Church Now he offers the antidote calling Christians everywhere into a new and radical reformation for a new age Spong looks beyond traditional boundaries to open new avenues and a new vocabulary into the Holy proposing a Christianity premised upon justice love and the rise of a new humanity a vision of the power that might be

Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell

The leading Christian liberal and pioneer for human rights challenges traditional Christian theology and takes us on a journey beyond religion and even beyond Christianity to give us his answer to the question of life beyond death and that it absolutely exists Bishop Spong author of JESUS FOR tHE NON RELIGIOUS and WHY CHRIStIANItY MUSt CHANGE OR DIE is known for his controversial ideas and fighting for minority rights Spong s natural gift for storytelling comes through in this remarkable spiritual journey about his life long struggle with the questions of God and death in which he reveals how he ultimately came to believe in eternal life God says Spong is ultimately one and each of us is part of that oneness this is how we live on after death not in Heaven or Hell but as part of the eternity that continues after we die beyond the barriers of time and space the discovery of the eternal can be found within each of us as we go deeper into ourselves and by seeking it by living each day to its fullest we will come to understand how we live eternally

Living in Sin?: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality

Is celibacy the only moral alternative to marriage Should the widowed be allowed to form intimate relationships without remarrying Should the church receive homosexuals into its community and support committed gay and lesbian relationships Should congregations publicly and liturgically witness and affirm divorces Should the church s moral standards continue to be set by patriarchal males Should women be consecrated bishops Bishop Spong proposes a pastoral response based on scripture and history to the changing realities of the modern world He calls for a moral vision to empower the church with inclusive teaching about equal loving nonexploitative relationships

Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes

In this boldest book since em Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism em Bishop John Shelby Spong offers a compelling view of the Gospels as thoroughly Jewish tests Spong powerfully argues that many of the key Gospel accounts of events in the life of Jesus from the stories of his birth to his physical resurrection are not literally true He offers convincing evidence that the Gospels are a collection of Jewish midrashic stories written to convey the significance of Jesus This remarkable discovery brings us closer to how Jesus was really understood in his day and should be in ours

Born of a Woman

John Shelby Spong bestselling author and Episcopal bishop of Newark NJ challenges the doctrine of the virgin birth tracing its development in the early Christian church and revealing its legacy in our contemporary attitudes toward women and female sexuality

Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

In em Re Claiming the Bible for a Non Religious World em bishop and social activist John Shelby Spong argues that years of biblical scholarship has been withheld from lay Christians In this brilliant follow up to Spong s previous books em Eternal Life em and em Jesus for the Non Religious em Spong not only reveals the crucial truths that have long been kept hidden from the public eye but also explores what the history of the Bible can teach us about reading its stories today and living our lives for tomorrow br br Sarah Sentilles author of em Breaking Up With God A Love Story em applauds John Shelby Spong s em Reclaiming the Bible for a Non Religious World em writing that pulsing beneath his brilliant thought provoking passionate book is this question can Christianity survive the education of its believers A question Bishop Spong answers with a resounding yes