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Coolhand

Rescuing The Bible From Fundmentalism

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Spong, John Shelby. 1991. Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. New York: Harper Collins.

Interesting book that makes some interesting claims. Spong, the author, claims:

He wants to place the biblical theological debates that are commonplace among scholars at the disposal of the typical church goer (X).

That the average "pew sitter" in Catholic and Protestant churches is biblically illiterate (10).

This befuddles me on a couple of levels. First in the respect that biblical "scholars" typically have eight to twelve years of biblical higher education. How the heck are you going to discuss with people these points of theology that they have no idea what you are talking about? In my opinion, you cannot do it. Today at a small group Bible study I was asked a question regarding doctrine that lead to my use of the words "Calvinism, Tulip, Arminianism, Pelagianism, and Traducianism; which in order to actually continue the response to the question required definition and explanations of these terms; which I'm not sure were completely understood by anyone but the professional clergy that were at the Bible study.

Second, it seems Spong cannot get any of his "peers" to entertain his ideas, so then he turns to the "biblical illiterate" to push his ideas on: those with no defense.

Third, he does not actually bring these scholarly debates to the laymen, rather he bitches and moans regarding a work (the Bible) he does not seem actually understand. The hermeneutical skills in this book are completely lacking.

If you are interested in reading this book, I would suggest saving your money just reading Pete's posts; it is the same stuff.

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If you are interested in reading this book, I would suggest saving your money just reading Pete's posts; it is the same stuff.

What does that mean? That sounds suspiciously like a personal attack.

Awaiting clarification.

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I like Pete's post in comparison to posts that use terms such as Arminianism, Pelagianism, and Traducianism. I do understand their use though when discussing myths sometimes it is best to try and overwhelm your audience when facts aren't an ally to one's arguments.

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Spong, John Shelby. 1991. Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. New York: Harper Collins.

Interesting book that makes some interesting claims.

Spong, the author, ...wants to place the biblical theological debates that are commonplace among scholars at the disposal of the typical church goer...This befuddles me on a couple of levels. First in the respect that biblical "scholars" typically have eight to twelve years of biblical higher education. How the heck are you going to discuss with people these points of theology that they have no idea what you are talking about?

Hello Coolhand,

I don't know why you are posting this "here".

Most of us in this forum don't have eight to twelve years of "biblical" higher education,

(nor would we want to have such). So most of us here are far too ignorant to understand your (rather arrogant) argument. Most of us are, however, quite capable of understanding what Bishop Shelby Spong (and Pete) are saying, and we have a somewhat higher opinion of what the "typical church goer" is capable of discussing intelligently.

Why not post this opinion instead, on some other forum, where all the members are "Bible College people"? I am sure that they will be better able to relate to your point-of-view on this matter.

I know that I, for one, am just too ignorant to "get it".

Grace and Blessings,

Hex

Edited by Hexalpa

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Hello Coolhand,

I don't know why you are posting this "here".

Most of us in this forum don't have eight to twelve years of "biblical" higher education,

(nor would we want to have such). So most of us here are far too ignorant to understand your (rather arrogant) argument. Most of us are, however, quite capable of understanding what Bishop Shelby Spong (and Pete) are saying, and we have a somewhat higher opinion of what the "typical church goer" is capable of discussing intelligently.

Why not post this opinion instead, on some other forum, where all the members are "Bible College people"? I am sure that they will be better able to relate to your point-of-view on this matter.

I know that I, for one, am just too ignorant to "get it".

Grace and Blessings,

Hex

I understood it and agreed with the OP - the author tends to want to make a case but is always resorting to evidence that his audience never heard of. I think it was a good post for people who see that all the time. I live in the South and they don't even read the book - it is just a justification for them to do whatever they want and justify it - but they don't even know if their justification is in the book :lol:

But yeah - it is a waste of folks money on that book because the title will catch you but the rest is a bit obscure and he does not obey the "bible rules" he is honking about himself - hence I felt that he was doing what the OP said.

A free copy of PaRDeS and the original languages will benefit a regular person more than that particular book.

I don't think Hexalpa was speaking for us all - heh - hopefully anyway :lol:

Edited by curenado

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Coolhand, you are assuming everyone who reads the book will start from the same foundation you have....

some would say you operate from faulty premises.... as do the the teachings you are learning.....

I'm not sure where the sentiment you are displaying may be found in the book you are studying in your classes, but I'm sure you have a rationalization...

I'd say the publisher could probably give you an idea of how many folks out there appreciate what the man has to say... I appreciate the review, however you comment about pete ...... misplaced humor, my friend... perhaps you should meditate on why pete gets up your craw so much.... :devil::P

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What does that mean? That sounds suspiciously like a personal attack.

Awaiting clarification.

It means that as I was reading Spong's book I was feeling strangely that I had already read the material before. I can understand being influenced by a writer, but there are also proper citation methods we should use when we use other people's work.

Hello Coolhand,

I don't know why you are posting this "here".

Most of us in this forum don't have eight to twelve years of "biblical" higher education,

(nor would we want to have such). So most of us here are far too ignorant to understand your (rather arrogant) argument. Most of us are, however, quite capable of understanding what Bishop Shelby Spong (and Pete) are saying, and we have a somewhat higher opinion of what the "typical church goer" is capable of discussing intelligently.

Why not post this opinion instead, on some other forum, where all the members are "Bible College people"? I am sure that they will be better able to relate to your point-of-view on this matter.

I know that I, for one, am just too ignorant to "get it".

Grace and Blessings,

Hex

Just posting some reflections on a book I was challenged to read.

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Forgive my butting into a topic where I have no place, really, to do so, however....

There are Truths on both sides of this issue. One, my dear brother Coolhand, you are correct in your personal evaluation and thoughts about what you read in Spong's book as being, shall we say not in line with scholarly outlooks. Second there are those who will understand every word you put down and those of us who'll need a dictionary. Ya know what, fine, if'ns ya understand it cool, if'ns ya don't, you'll learn something.

I think the "point" here is that any one of us could go off in our particular genre's of study and have those who would grasp it all and those who are completely lost.

I remember when I first came into this forum I got "picked on" :rolleyes: a bit about my spelling and use of Nordic terms and things like, eg; "majik" and "Odhinn" were spelled wrong. Well, it all depends on your source. I had the higher education in that realm and didn't think twice about it, now I know better and either will use more traditional syntax so the majority understand OR explain the differences and sources of my usage of particular terms.

Rabbi O could do the same with his knowledge of Jewish history and the Torah, Salem and others, I'm sure could follow with her knowledge of Wicca and others in their particular areas of expertise. Last I noticed, THAT is what this forum was all about...to exchange our individual strengths and knowledge bases at the level we are most comfortable.

I've written about dumping my library and keeping it down to a handful of useful texts....for MY interests...and there are others here who are still on the quest for their personal truth and are adding a book a day to their libraries. We have academics, laymen and wanna be's, intelligentsia and the mundane all contributing their personal understanding of things to this forum.

Any time any one of us claims to be more than someone else, we are failing the ULC membership, because that, just isn't Right!

So in my very humble opinion, we can either spend our time arguing the merits of one book or author over another....OR....we can simply shy away from what doesn't excite our synapses on any given topic or avenue of learning. We don't have to belittle it or smear the author. It might just have value to someone else.

We can present what we know in a manner befitting everyone...OR...we can keep the highbrow approach going and be misunderstood by many.

We can either be lost in our own vision and value of Self...OR...we can teach so that others may grow.

It's all a choice.

I would really hate to see happen here what has transpired over the years with my own brother and myself. His opinion is if "anyone is too stupid to keep up with my (his) views, then they are the one's in need of therapy, not me!(him) a direct, copy/paste quote from an e-mail he sent me last year. His arrogance and my lack of academics....in HIS fields of interests....have caused a great chasm between us.

Yet for all his "intelligence", he still continues to misquote Nordic history, misuses old Norse terminologies, and has a great misunderstanding of his own heritage. You see he won't be belittled that he's not as smart as me in things Viking, our mutual heritage, nor would he ever allow "little brother" to get over on him. It's "very important" that I quote things of his interest absolute and properly, but when I point out his obvious faux paus, it's "not important, it's the intent one has, you know what I mean?!".

So which is it?? I'd hate to see the same thing happen here amongst our little family of good, decent folk who are doing the best they can with what they have to understand each other...... after all, unless I'm very misguided, isn't that what it's all about? :unsure:

Blessings of Peace,

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This befuddles me on a couple of levels. First in the respect that biblical "scholars" typically have eight to twelve years of biblical higher education. How the heck are you going to discuss with people these points of theology that they have no idea what you are talking about? In my opinion, you cannot do it.
There are people who are able to explain highly complex subjects in an accessible way, but it takes the fairly rare combination of a thorough grounding in the subject, a connection with the audience, and excellent communication skills. It's something all doctors need to be able to do, but which most can't... Edited by mererdog

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There are people who are able to explain highly complex subjects in an accessible way, but it takes the fairly rare combination of a thorough grounding in the subject, a connection with the audience, and excellent communication skills. It's something all doctors need to be able to do, but which most can't...

Theoretically I agree with you.

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Theoretically I agree with you.

I see this entry but have stayed away from what I see as an attack. We did not get along well last time.

I think Spong's book is one of many and breaks new ground as well as reviews many views thought as established today. The book "Rescuing the bible form Fundamentalism" is about the use of the bible by many churches and it challenges that.

Other books like "A Christianity for a new world", "Why Christianity must change or die" and "Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes" cover other themes too.

Sure I have little doubt he may differ from your bible college but previously being Bishop of Newark New Jersey and a Minister in the Episcopalian Church, I am sure he went to bible college too. I have also read from a number of minsters of the Episcopalian church who recall topics like his being discussed.

I am sure Spong has much to contribute to Christianity even if he is not the flavor of the month with some other churches.

Tell me anyone who broke new ground who was popular with all? Also I believe a lot of churches have much invested in keeping things as they are, but forgive me if I do not agree with them.

Spong:- "

Spong was educated in Charlotte public schools. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1952, and received his Master of Divinity degree in 1955 from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. That seminary and Saint Paul's College have both conferred on him honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees. He wrote: "[i have] immerse[d] myself in contemporary Biblical scholarship at such places as Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Yale Divinity School, Harvard Divinity School and the storied universities in Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge."[1]

He served as rector of St. Joseph's Church in Durham, North Carolina from 1955 to 1957; rector of Calvary Parish, Tarboro, North Carolina from 1957 to 1965; rector of St. John's Church in Lynchburg, Virginia from 1965 to 1969; and rector of St. Paul's Church in Richmond, Virginia from 1969 to 1976. He has moreover held visiting positions and given lectures at major American theological institutions, most prominently at Harvard Divinity School. He retired in 2000.

Recipient of many awards, including 1999 Humanist of the Year,[2] Bishop Spong is a contributor to the Living the Questions DVD program and has been a guest on numerous national television broadcasts (including The Today Show, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Dateline, 60 Minutes, and Larry King Live). Bishop Spong's calendar has him lecturing around the world."

from:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Shelby_Spong

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Shelby_Spong#cite_note-2]

Edited by Pete

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Spong on hell and being born again.

See:- http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8f0_1247923398

Pete, this man raises the hair on my arms, and neck, and legs, and.. and...

His words call to me as well... I also believe in the message he is spreading...

His light, IMO, is dispelling the darkness which has settled over Christianity over the course of two thousand years...

But do not expect it to call to all.... that is simply the way it is.... and Our Father HAS allowed it to be so....

Rejoice... for that is what the message inspires.... do not allow the darkness to take that from you... shine YOUR light as well... that's what we are called to do.... we are not called to fight, but to suffer the darkness until The Kingdom Come... and The Kingdom is Now.... you need no longer suffer the Darkness.... :) ... by posting you have done your bit.... you have spread the news of The Kingdom....

of course, that is my opinion..... :lol::P:) ... I merely seek to agree with you, and comfort your frustration....

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Thanks Pete, thanks Michael,your discussion of this got my attention,

and I actually watched and listened to it. I love hearing Spong hold forth! :thumbu:

Edited by Hexalpa

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Spong on theism

See:-

Here is my question about Spong:

Why does he wear the collar and align himself with a with the Episcopal church and write authoritatively about the Bible when he denies the plain church doctrines and the plain reading of the Bible text?

The man is a philosopher and a motivational speaker, no doubt. His ideas on loving I totally agree with and can't think of anyone that would not agree with. However, his doctines and philosphy do not agree with the denomination that he ties himself to; and in fact appear to be in conflict and disagreement with Episcopal doctrines.

????????

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Maybe he is coming from a standpoint of his own experience and understanding...

by your own argument, shouldn't all Christians be coming from a much more Jewish standpoint??????

....yeah......I would say it is essential......

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....yeah......I would say it is essential......

I would somewhat disagree.

When you look at the Baptism of Cornelius. This the first time a Gentile was Baptised.

That Gentile was never under the old covenant. He was only every under the new covenant.

My ancestry is a mix of Celtic/Anglo Saxon/Germanic. I don't think historically my Ancestors were under the old covenant or Jewish.

They have come to Christ, after Christ came to them.

But... maybe I'm off topic.

Whilst I find some of what Spong says to be good, I think he goes a little too far with re-writing Theology.

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