Bishop John Shelby Spong ~ June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021
Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology. We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed! Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ and at St. Paul’s, Richmond, VA. Dates and times will be announced as soon as they are available

Spirituality and Contemporary Culture II

I’m going to talk this afternoon about the relationship between culture and spirituality. Anybody with a brain in their heads knows that to talk about culture, in this day and age, is one thing, but to talk about spirituality is even worse. To try to do both of them in one standing is not the smartest thing anybody can do. But I’m going to do it anyway, because I remember with Boethius that every age that is dying is simply another age coming to life, and with the Chinese poet, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

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Telling the Story: A Sermon for Evangelism Sunday

In the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. this Sunday has been designated “Evangelism Sunday,” so I’ll make evangelism the focus of this sermon. In another sermon about evangelism, I noted that that word has become an embarrassment for some Christians, because the public has come to associate evangelism with smooth talking T.V. and radio hucksters who present an intolerant and anti-intellectual version of Christianity. I’ve said before that mainstream Christians need to take back the word, “evangelism,” from fundamentalists who have tarnished it in the public’s eye. But, to take back the word, we must have a viable alternative, and that’s a big order. It’s a big order, because if we hope to succeed in presenting the good news of Jesus to modern people we cannot simply reiterate ancient phrases. Evangelism could be done that way in Christendom, but Christendom is passing away in America, and religious diversity is increasing. We cannot take it for granted anymore that John Doe knows the Bible, so “telling the old, old story about Jesus and his love” requires much more creative communication these days.

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