Bishop Spong: "The Bible is a Good Book, but God didn't write it"

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    Jan 09, 2012 3:13 PM GMT
    Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong is once again outraging fundamentalists with his new book Reclaiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World in which he asserts “I do not think for one moment that Bible is any literal sense the ‘Word of God.’” This book is Spong’s way of putting the Bible back in its right perspective — as a collection of “tribal” stories that sprang from “the experience of human beings seeking to make sense out of the life they are living and the things they are experiencing.”

    Spong invites readers to consider the Bible more deeply. His approach opens up the Bible in a new way and invites us all to engage the texts, argue with them, and use it make new meaning for our own experiences and lives. This, Spong argues, makes the Bible more than a manual for morality, but a living document.

    "The Bible is a Good Book, but God didn't write it"
    Religion Dispatches

    So, what do you think? Can you be a Christian and not believe God "wrote the Bible"? Can you be an atheist or agnostic and find wisdom within its pages?
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    Jan 09, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
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    Bishop Spong is indirectly the reason I came to be an Episcopalian. I went to hear a friend sing and he preached about how worldly things, in and of themselves are not sinful... it is only your relationship to them and if you let them control you and get in the way of a healthy life. He mentioned drugs, homosexuality, etc., as examples, which was of course at the time shocking to my scorned-Catholic self. Now I understand there is room for doubt, questioning, interpretation, and you can still identify as a Christian even if some of what the church puts out there as "fact" seems a little fishy. To me it all radiates out from the very few quotes ascribed to Jesus himself (and in this book Spong points out that even the Gospels were written long after the fact and thus "quotes" must be taken with a healthy dose of salt) which center around care for others, attention to the marginalized, etc.

    The "knowledge" we have of Jesus is like a pebble in a pond, it makes a splash, the first ripples are somewhat sharp and defined and recognizable, and as you go outwards into the past (old testament) and future (new testament) it becomes blurrier and more distorted.

    i can see why learned people question the intelligence of putting any credence in these stories, let alone basing your life around them, but in my mind it is not much different than admiring/emulating any other historical figure whose ideas you agree with. In my case the church brought me my relationship, counseling when I needed it, and the opportunity to "pay it forward" and serve others.
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    Jan 09, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
    "So, what do you think?"

    "Can you be a Christian and not believe God "wrote the Bible"?"

    Absolutely.

    "Can you be an atheist or agnostic and find wisdom within its pages?"

    Yes, Bill is a non-believer,and this is one of his favourite passages (and mine, too)

    -Doug

    Cor 1-13

    1 Corinthians 13

    1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

    2And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    3And if I shall dole out all my goods in food, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but have not love, I profit nothing.

    4Love has long patience, is kind; love is not emulous [of others]; love is not insolent and rash, is not puffed up,

    5does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil,

    6does not rejoice at iniquity but rejoices with the truth,

    7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8Love never fails; but whether prophecies, they shall be done away; or tongues, they shall cease; or knowledge, it shall be done away.

    9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part:

    10but when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part shall be done away.

    11When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I reasoned as a child; when I became a man, I had done with what belonged to the child.

    12For we see now through a dim window obscurely, but then face to face; now I know partially, but then I shall know according as I also have been known.

    13And now abide faith, hope, love; these three things; and the greater of these [is] love.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jan 09, 2012 5:19 PM GMT
    Well he's half right, now he just has to reliase it is not the good book either..icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 10, 2012 6:40 AM GMT
    YES, THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE, AND I BELIEVE THAT...

    BUT I also believe that JESUS will come very soon to take HIS

    CHURCH TO HEAVEN in a MOMENT OF TIME.......

    and then all hell and desolation breaks loose in this world.

    THE only way to HEAVEN is JESUS and what I have been

    saying in all my postings is just that >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    but there will be judgment, there will a 7 year trib period coming

    very soon.

    WAY TO ESCAPE IT ??

    ask JESUS to forgive you for your sins and believe HE died for

    you......

    then u will be in HEAVEN at the rapture and at peace w/ freedom.

    STEPHEN in HAWAII
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jan 10, 2012 2:22 PM GMT
    Steve781 saidYES, THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE, AND I BELIEVE THAT...

    BUT I also believe that JESUS will come very soon to take HIS

    CHURCH TO HEAVEN in a MOMENT OF TIME.......

    and then all hell and desolation breaks loose in this world.

    THE only way to HEAVEN is JESUS and what I have been

    saying in all my postings is just that >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    but there will be judgment, there will a 7 year trib period coming

    very soon.

    WAY TO ESCAPE IT ??

    ask JESUS to forgive you for your sins and believe HE died for

    you......

    then u will be in HEAVEN at the rapture and at peace w/ freedom.

    STEPHEN in HAWAII


    Anyone else beginning to think that a keyboard for crazy people needs to be invented that..

    a) has no shift or caps lock and
    b) auto-formats sentences into paragraphs

    ??
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    Jan 10, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    Steve781 saidYES, THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE, AND I BELIEVE THAT...

    BUT I also believe that JESUS will come very soon to take HIS

    CHURCH TO HEAVEN in a MOMENT OF TIME.......

    and then all hell and desolation breaks loose in this world.

    THE only way to HEAVEN is JESUS and what I have been

    saying in all my postings is just that >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    but there will be judgment, there will a 7 year trib period coming

    very soon.

    WAY TO ESCAPE IT ??

    ask JESUS to forgive you for your sins and believe HE died for

    you......

    then u will be in HEAVEN at the rapture and at peace w/ freedom.

    STEPHEN in HAWAII


    PRAISE TEH JEEZUS!

    tumblr_lx651ie58M1r5frgno1_250.gif