Burke Lecture: John Shelby Spong

A pre-eminent voice for liberal Christianity, John Shelby Spong was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2000. His admirers acclaim his making contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary lay person—he’s considered a champion of an inclusive faith by many both inside and outside the Christian church. His challenges to the church have also made him a target of hostility, fear, and death threats. Calling himself “a joyful, passionate, convinced believer in the reality of God,” he seeks not to create a new religion, but to reform the church he loves. Series: “Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society.”

Review & Commentary

  • Carol

    Excellent. I just can’t believe, though, that it was 2004. I am listening to the lecture in 2012, and it seems very current. It’s frustrating how slowly change happens.

  • Jim Ellis

    Thank God for John Spong and his continuing commitment to helping us understand that the nature of the ground of all being, the universe itself, is Love, and that there is hope for us as a human family to eventually live in that reality.
    The analogy he makes of Hosea’s unconditional love to an apparently undeserving wife to the way God approaches each of us is moving, inspirational, and motivating. I am glad I took the time to watch this lecture!

  • Cesira Jardim

    Thank you for giving voice to my doubts, faith and reflections. Hope you come to my country, Brazil, someday !

  • Michele LaMontia

    I remember a time, in the 80’s, when I thought I was doomed for hell. I was taught that lesbians were going to hell and God hated us. Then a friend told me about John Spong’s book Taking the Bile From Fundamentalists. I read the book and went to NY Theo. Seminary studying liberation theology. I’m a minister now and I am not going to hell, how absurd. Thank you John Shelby Spong, I love you.