By Peter Moore
An eminent workforce of Episcopal students and bishops addresses the middle concerns raised in Bishop Spong's books and teachings at the Virgin beginning, resurrection, sexuality, scripture, sin, Jesus, tradition, and God. those essays are incisive responses to an articulate and charismatic public determine whose provocative writings have stirred conventional and non-traditional thinkers alike.
While acknowledging that Spong's writing moves a chord with lay humans within the church buildings and most people, the book's authors think a balanced reaction is required. They accomplish this by way of commending the bishop for having the braveness of his convictions whereas hard his teachings at the cornerstone ideals of Christian tradition.
"Reflection at the resurrection can't be constrained to scholarly scrutiny of some passages....every observe is an exposition of the resurrection, for each be aware exhibits how earlier occasions, current hardships, and destiny hopes seem to the 1st Christians within the mild of the truth that Jesus rose physically from the useless, Jesus isn't really a lifeless guy they take into accout fondly. His is seen as current, between different issues, within the reflecting and the writing itself." --Excerpt from Can a Bishop Be mistaken?
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Extra resources for Can a Bishop Be Wrong?: Ten Scholars Challenge John Shelby Spong
Myth belongs to a precritical worldview. This could be called the Enlightenment or popular definition of myth. Spong incorporates all four definitions in his discussion of myth, without clearly distinguishing between them. His purpose in identifying the mythological elements in Scripture is to move beyond mythology to a "deeper" appreciation of Scripture. Spong's approach involves a two-step progression. It is only after he has decided in the first step that myth can not be taken literally that it is then demythologized to provide a deeper (existentialist or experiential) meaning in the second step.
Language and Experience As we have tried to show, there is a reciprocal relationship between John Spong's epistemology of religious experience, his biblical hermeneutic, and his doctrine of God. To provide an adequate critique of his doctrine of God, we must first assess his account of religious experience. The Roman Catholic philosopher and theologian Bernard Lonergan has pointed out that a common mistake of philosophers is to forget the difference between the way that infants and adults interact with the world.
It could be argued that one thrust of the Reformation was to give the Scriptures to all members of the church. It could be further argued that the thrust of historical-critical methods has been to take them away again, to bind them to interpretations of the adept and unavailable to the plain reader. But that is an argument for an other, more general discussion. " It is not at all clear from Spong's work that he has a systematic grasp of midrashic interpretation as practiced in ancient Jewish commentaries on the Bible.