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Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture

A controversial author brilliantly reclaims the Bible from the literal interpretation of fundamentalists.


John Shelby Spong is, perhaps, the foremost author on Progressive Christianity in our time – and certainly one of the widest read and most prolific. In this seminal work, Spong works to convey the value of the Bible as a pointer to ultimate truth, containing powerful allegory, and preserving traditions and beliefs over centuries.

Guiding the reader through the Old Testament, the Pauline epistles and finally the 4 Gospels, Spong methodically shows elements of disagreement, contradiction and error in the Bible, by which he attempts to show that literal interpretation of the scriptures is both illogical as well as misguided. As quickly and efficiently as Spong deconstructs the literalist view of scripture, he supports a view of scripture as a basis for learning, growth, and as guideposts to the truth.

Warning the reader that to cling to inerrancy in scripture as idolatry – the Bible being a work of man – he also encourages the reader to become more familiar with scripture and discover the richness of the message it contains, to dig for the universal and timeless truths underlying the time bound traditions, and to embrace the universal love that God demonstrates in the scriptures. ~ Edward J. Barton

This is yet another masterpiece from Spong, truly aiding in the process of alleviating the ignorance the church has found itself to be in-or rather, refuses to acknowledge itself to be in. I won’t summarize anything because to do so would require me to leave something out, and I just won’t do that. I definitely recommend reading this book! ~ Clint Jackson

Review & Commentary