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Hhanover

New Spong Fan

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Welll, let me tell you, Bishop Spong did a number on me with Sins of Scripture (which I only made it half way through before hightailing it to the web to hunt Spong down). I am a very active Catholic who spends no little energy looking away from or rationalizing some of the more troublesome parts of doctrine and dogma, but now my conscience is mollified because everything I read in Sins makes an "aha" connection. I will no doubt stay in my church, but seeing through the fog is easier. I think my credit card will take a few more hits at the Kindle store for more of his books. This is fun!

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Hanover, I really enjoy reading Spong too and have subscribed to his weekly newsletter for the pittance of $30 or $40 a year, which also lets you access all of his archived newsletters from the past several years - an absolute wealth of Spong for the cost of only one or two books.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Hhanover, you picked one of the best Spong books when you read Sins of Scripture. I think that is one of my favorites of his, the other being Why Christianity Must Change or Die. I am actually a little bit behind in his books now, the most recent 3 I haven't read yet but intend to.

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Welcome Hhanover,

 

Glad to hear you are enjoying Spong. Hope you also find this community an enjoyable and interesting one.

Joseph

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I am in Nova Scotia, Canada... and I too greatly enjoyed reading Bishop Spong's "Sins Of Scripture" and am currently reading " A New Christianity For A New World"... I find it easy to accept many of Bishop Spong's conclusions, for they are conclusions which I have long ago come to too-- though he phrases them much more beautifully than I ever could, and supports them with arguments I had not known. I Especially admire his demands that the Christian movement should be, must be, inclusive of everyone and exclusive of no one.

I sometimes question though some of his more difficult positions-- not in any hostile way, but in a searching way... I think that a new reformed Christianity can still speak of a deity or God.. provided that we take the position that we do not know what God is. The Old Testament is ,it seems, a record of the 1000 year long struggle of the ancient Hebrews to come to an understanding of God.. but just because they made the struggle, does not mean that they succeeded in discovering the true nature of the Creator. At times, as in the sentiments of Hosea, they came close... at other times, as in the Holiness Code, they could not be wider of the mark. I think that when Jesus is speaking of his Father--even of his daddy-- in the Gospels, he is speaking of the nature of what Godhood-Love or the ground of being truly is.

It seems to me too that the event spoken of as the Ascension need not be totally rejected in a new Christianity. About 30 years ago now, I had an out-of-body experience... I was not dying, I was in fact standing in a line of many thousands of people and I was meditating... through no act of my own, I felt myself leave my flesh and blood body, I was a sphere of conscious being... I felt myself moving at tremendous speed... in an instant I was at the Edge? of the universe... I saw the curvature of the Universe...there was an undulating ring of light, and shining from within it a tremendously brighter light.. it felt like waves of warm love filling me flooding me... I desired to move closer... there were millions of other conscoius spheres of being there, waiting...then someone touched my body and I snapped back... I was up near the ceiling.. the people in the line were as if frozen in time, not moving... I think I was in a faster time... as I came down slowly, i touched my own arm and crashed into my own bones as I re-entered my body.. And it really hurt, like being hurled facefirst into a brick wall. I only describe this, to explain why I personally cannot discount the story of the ascension of Jesus.

I had a question too, on the opinions of the Jesus Seminar and Bishop Spong,-- on the dates for when the Gospels were written and why they were written. I was wondering why they were written in Koine Greek. Greek would have been the lingua franca of the eastern part of the Roman Empire in the period of Jesus' lifetime... but at the late dates posited for most of the Gospels, a time when there seems to have been a large Christian population in the city of Rome itself, I wonder why at least some of the later Gospels were not written in Latin. I wonder if the Gospels being in Greek might not argue for a much earlier date for their composition? If the Q Gospel might not actually be the orally reported memories of those who actually accompanied Jesus and actually heard him speak. Also if the Gospels are not an attempt to record the life-deeds-words of Jesus for his followers, but rather if they are an attempt to introduce Jesus to the non-Christians of the Roman Empire... starting out by mentioning only the most believable things... then in times of safety, when chances might be taken, or in times of terrible state-persecution, when the power of what Jesus truly was might be hoped to deter the torturers--- revealing more of what the Christians knew of Jesus from the beginning.

I hope that what I have written is in no way seen by anyone as a questioning, let alone an attack, on any of the statements of Bishop Spong. I admire tremendously the works that he is doing, and his insistance that Christianity must be based upon the reality of growing to Love as Jesus Loved... to Love beyond all limits. In reading Bishop Spong's books, I can catch a vision of a Christianity that would and hopefully will transform the Christian movement of Jesus into something so beautiful that it literally brings tears to my eyes. The ground of being, that which is divine Love in all things, that before which we are left without words without concepts without further needs.....that of which, jesus is implied to have stated, 'If you want to know what God is, watch me'...

 

I hope Bishop Spong writes many more books, gives many more lectures, has increasing influence in realizing the Christianity of Jesus-- for all those who willingly desire to be what Jesus promised we all can be.

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Welcome Collim306,

 

Good to hear from you and glad to hear you are enjoying some of Spong's books. Thanks for sharing your take on his writings and part of your own journey.

 

Joseph

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Hhanover-

 

I am new both to this community and to Spong as well. I found Spong via YouTube and both the Chautauqua topics and the very telling and unfortunate 'debates' (as if) between JSS and William Lane Craig. It was all so revealing.

 

I wish you all the very best on your journey.

 

It is FUN!!

 

Best,

 

Donald

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Hi Don,

 

After your recommendations, I've been reading one of Douglas-Klotz' books --
Blessings of the Cosmos
. His work seems in line with Spong's, providing a deeper awareness of the cultural context Jesus lived and spoke in--the translations of his sayings from the Aramaic are poetic, refreshing.
Edited by rivanna

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Karen-

 

I'm glad you are finding the Douglas-Klotz COSMOS interesting. It has been very helpful to me as well. There is another book that might be interesting. The Jesus Dynasty author James Tabor. It starts a bit strangely but has some wonderful Archaeological/Historical insights that I found very helpful. As I said, the beginning is a bit of a muddle but...

 

I wish you well!

 

Donald

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