Uniting Church people should have no issue with this as we have changed the Nicene Creed in order to appease the Orthodox Churches with whom we were are? Much blood was spilled in the past over this very clause and while I think Spong is right in jettisoning it to history, when I am in a service where the Creed is recited I always used to add the Filioque Clause in under my breath.
Spong, for the first time to my knowledge, gives us a clear statement of his views. This is where he summarises his thoughts and states his understanding of a sustainable Christian Faith. This book is worth reading just for that. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. To add an event listing email us your event details. A full list of events can be found on our Events page. Insights keeps people informed.
It gets people talking. It builds community. Copyright All rights reserved Site by Intelligent Developments. Skip to content. Resurrecting sin to address Climate Change. Wed, 21st Jul The moral task of theology. Tue, 20th Jul Some Metrics for a Growing Church. Fri, 16th Jul Resourcing Small Churches for 20 Years. Tue, 29th Jun Boardgame aims to teach creation care. Tue, 15th Jun Reshaping the Home and the Church.
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Mon, 19th Oct From my youth, you have taught me. Mon, 15th Jun Moderator welcomes attendees to Preachfest. Wed, 2nd Jun Fri, 7th May Decriminalisation discussion makes its way to Parliament House. Thu, 25th Mar Living in Community: Homage to Epworth House. Fri, 9th Jul Australia and New Zealand are signing up for an international tax on the tech giants — but will it be enough?
Thu, 8th Jul Ecumenical friendship places love above differences. Thu, 17th Jun View from The Hill: the Morrison government has escape hatch in Tamil family case — if it wants to use it. Thu, 10th Jun Another quiet place. Thu, 3rd Jun Is there a creator? Jesus was a 1 st century experience in which people perceived that what they called the divine and what they understood as the human had somehow come together.
The New Testament is a 1 st century attempt to explain that experience. The creeds of the Christian church are a 4 th century attempt to codify that experience. No explanation can ever become identical with the truth it seeks to explain. Historically, Christianity then proceeded to make excessive claims for the authority of its explanations, freezing them into their 1 st and 4 th century frames of reference.
Literalized words are always doomed words since the perception of truth is always expanding and changing. The explosion of knowledge over the last five hundred years in the West has rendered most of the biblical and creedal presuppositions to be unbelievable. They rise out of a world that no longer exists. Yet churches continue to operate as if eternal truth can be placed into these earthen vessels, proclaiming that in both the Bible and the creeds ultimate truth has been captured forever.
The result is that Christianity seems less and less believable to more and more people. Can we separate the Christ experience from the dying explanations of the past? If we cannot then surely Christianity will continue its relentless journey into a declining irrelevance. If we can achieve this separation, however, the result will necessitate a reformulation of Christianity that is so radical that Christianity as we know it may well die in the process.
Death or radical revision, however, appear to be the only realistic alternatives. I cast my vote for the latter. I would rather die in controversy than die in boredom. So I issue today a call for a new reformation. People need to feel the dead weight of their traditional claims before they can develop the ability to open themselves and their ancient words to new possibilities. I now invite the Christian world into this debate.
Most God talk in liturgy and conversation has thus become meaningless. The virgin birth understood as literal biology is impossible. Far from being a bulwark in defense of the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth actually destroys that divinity. The experience of resurrection must be separated from its later mythological explanations.
The ability to define and to separate good from evil can no longer be achieved with appeals to ancient codes like the Ten Commandments or even the Sermon on the Mount. Contemporary moral standards must be hammered out in the juxtaposition between life-affirming moral principles and external situations. Prayer, understood as a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history, is little more than an hysterical attempt to turn the holy into the servant of the human.
Most of our prayer definitions of the past are thus dependent on an understanding of God that has died. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from behavior control. Traditional views of heaven and hell as places of reward and punishment are no longer conceivable.
Christianity must, therefore, abandon its dependence on guilt as a motivator of behavior. Judgment is not a human responsibility. Any structure either in the secular world or in the institutional church, which diminishes the humanity of any child of God on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation must be exposed publicly and vigorously. There can be no reason in the church of tomorrow for excusing or even forgiving discriminatory practices.
Can a new Christianity for a new world be forged on the basis of these Twelve Theses? Can a living, vital and real faith that is true to the experience of the past, while dismissing the explanations of the past, be born anew in this generation?
I believe it can and so to engage this task I issue this call to the Christian world to transform its holy words of yesterday into believable words of today. If we fail in this task there is little reason to think that Christianity, as presently understood and constituted, will survive this century.
Having laid these Twelve Theses out in the briefest of ways, I will start next week to address each one until we begin to catch a glimpse of what the Christianity of tomorrow might be. I will not stop until the case is clear, at least to me. This is Part III in a provocative new series.
Web of Science. Let us know here. System error. Please try again! The good lord works in mysterious ways. Couldn't resist that bit of vapidness. Great article. Spong Fan, Thanks. If we're lucky, 50 years from now the Christian church will have remade itself along "Spongian" and my favorite "Marcus Borgian" lines. Religions have to evolve and adapt to keep up in this world. Interestingly, I have never read these theses. I sometimes wonder why I go to college if I don't learn useful and thought provoking things like this.
Reading some works from Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus always re-set me. Death really is just the end of feeling. I'm sorry for your friends loss. My dad sent this to me earlier today. Very interesting post. Thank you. Didn't realise you were a Spong fan. You've probably seen this video Spong has greatly misunderstood the arguments of Isaac Newton.
Then again, Spong's not paid to be a scholar, he's paid to be a celebrity. Anon, I believe that those who pay John Spong would've been happier if he'd continued to take the easy path, telling people what they want to hear, what they grew up hearing, and leaving people in their comfort zones. I don't think they've ever paid him to be a celebrity, but if an academic manages to bring new ways of thinking to a mass audience, celebrity comes with the package.
What exactly was your point? I was ordained as a roman catholic deacon but left the church seeking for a fuller experience of God. Today I realise that my theology is outdated, I have many questions that the bible can't answer. I am now sure it was not intended to give these answers.
Thanks for a very uplifting and real exposure. We should reverance Jesus, but not worship, that is what he said anyway. And He never said that he would die for our sins, that is the manufacture of man, so Yes, brother spong has stuck to his rteligion faithfully and long enough to learn and be taught of the spirit a few pointed truths.
Doesnt mean he has everything right, but then who has, the church needs him. About the little one that was lost, am so sorry, it is very painful to loose one we love. As for why? For everyday many leave the mortal plane. We are all spirits in bodies, I have experienced this for myself. Our spirit has a past, and this is born out in the different chacracters and personalities we see in our children from a young age.
Where the childs spirit is gone is back to a spirit realm, probably the same one she left not so long ago. She is in a place of love, have no doubt about that, it is you who are not yet, and you who long to be so.
And she may well have another shot at life, if she so chooses and the best oppotunity arises for her. The universe and all creation are well organized, but we just do not remember from whence we come. To love when we are not loved, that is a goal of life, to let go hate and take up the pursuit of truth, that we become judges. Jesus never said not to judge, he said not to condemn. But to judge accurately, righteously, to observe and identify that which is good from that which is bad, to learn and become ennobled, pur and highly conscious, that is the purpose for those who find it, and it is of faith, though not of religion, though the path may start in religion.
If we find that little narrow gate, and step onto the path. As for where the first God came from, I dont know, evolution I suppose, only I know there are creatures of great love and light, because I have dealt with them. God bless Bro B. I am in a Sunday school class taught by a smart man who is captured by philosophy and Bishop Spong.
I honestly do NOT understand how this gentleman can teach the Sunday school class, then go into the church service and repeat the Apostles' Creed. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: "Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. Post a Comment. Modeled on the 99 Theses that Martin Luther nailed to the Wittenburg door in , Spong claims to have written these in the most provocative language possible in order to provoke internet debate.
Here's just one link to some of the many responses he provoked. I apologize ahead of time for the blaring background on that site Spong has been accused of atheism and heresy, but his critics have difficulty attacking his arguments. They usually end up attacking the implications of his arguments. Here are Bishop Spong's 12 articles for debate. All italics are mine. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.
In other words, it makes no sense to speak of God in terms of a personality with likes and dislikes. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.