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I've finished reading in the last few weeks "Jesus for the Non-religous" and "Reclaiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World." I greatly enjoyed both. What I realized as I was reading both was that to get the full sense of what Bishop Spong is getting at there are several of his works that would be worth spending time with.


Anyhow, thoughts on his works that you consider must reads? (or other authors that he references?)

 

As a side note I also just finished "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World," by Brian D McLaren and I highly recommend it.

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I enjoy reading Spong - he has an easy reading style and is a breath of fresh air in many ways. Why Christianity Must Change Or Die was my latest read of his, but I would recommend any of his books. I'm looking forward to reading his book on John (the 4th gospel) which is currently in pre-release.

 

I also value Marcus Borg. He and Spong share similar views but Borg adds an academic element which I think Spong lacks a bit. Spong's a priest whereas Borg was a Minister and is a renowned biblical scholar. I've just finished reading Borg's Speaking Christian and am currently reading his Evolution of the Word. I find learning about the historical context and meaning of scripture (when it was written) gives me a new appreciation for it.

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Spong's autobiography "Here I stand" presents his amazing life story from young boy toBishop. He is one of the most admiral person I know, makes me proud and hopeful to be a Christian.

 

Elaine Pagels has written some very interesting books covering Gnosticism and various other scolarly topics in an easy to read style. She "walks the walk" as a professor at Princeton.

 

Kay

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  • 2 months later...

I would suggest the following as well worth reading (and some audio-visual references too)...

 

"Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning" by James Fowler.

I think this addresses a critical point. Our level of consciousness governs the types of perceptions and choices we have available. I found this book both useful for evaluating my own stage of faith, as well as that of others, which helps me better communicate with them (or so I like to believe, hehheh).

 

Anything by the late Prof. Ron Miller!

He has several books, of which my favorites are "Unpacking the Parables: The Wisdom Teachings of Jesus" and "The Gospel of Thomas: A Guidebook for Spiritual Practice." I have yet to read his book on Paul, but I'm certain it will be excellent. He also gave eight talks to the Theosophical Society, which I cannot recommend highly enough!

http://www.ronmillersworld.org/updates/eight-talks-from-the-theosophical-society/

 

Prof. Bart Ehrman

Again, pretty much anything of his is good. HIs textbook reads like a textbook and is very dry, but excellent and used by a great number of seminaries. He also has a number of courses sold through the Great Courses series (http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/search/search.aspx?searchphrase=ehrman). His popular books tend to have an atheists tone to them, IMO. But the content is quite good. Reading/watching a selection of his materials will provide one with a good understanding of modern historical-critical analysis.

 

I just finished Bishop Spong's "Jesus for the Non-Religious" and despite the large volume of materials I have read on modern historical-critical biblical analysis, I found he offers a number of new and insightful observations regarding the construction of the gospels. It is well worth reading just on that point alone.

 

Everything I have so far read by Stephan Hoeller has been quite good. In particular I would recommend:

"Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing"
"The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead"

 

And, of course, C.G. Jung!

"Answer to Job" is an incredibly thought-provoking read!

 

For me personally, I found "Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition" by Richard Smoley to be a pivotal book. This was the book that awoke me to the viability of Esoteric Christianity, and more generally, of the importance of the path of Mysticism in my own religious-spiritual experience. In some ways, this is one of the most important books I have read because it changed my the course of my life. (Of course, the way was prepared by the dozens, or more realistically, hundreds, of other books I read in the course of my religious studies program, and of my ingestion of comparative religions.)

 

I would also highly recommend reading, "The Upanishads" as translated/edited by Eknath Easwaran.

 

And, of course, I have to recommend reading a variety of the translations of the Gospel of Thomas. These are a collection of saying attributed to Jesus. I find them both thought-provoking and inspirational. I have read perhaps half a dozen translations, most with editorial commentary. Prof. Ron Miller was of the opinoin that perhaps 1/3 of these sayings date to the lips of Jesus. Others are most likely from the 2nd century ce.

 

 

These are among what I consider to be the most important books and other resources I have enjoyed.

Erik+

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