Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

Now Available in paperback!

In this profound work, bestselling author and the former Episcopal Bishop of Newark John Shelby Spong offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today. Pulling back the layers of misunderstanding created over the centuries by Gentile ignorance of things Jewish, he reveals how a literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from the original intent of the Jewish authors of the gospels that it has become an act of heresy.

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Time for a “Christmas Truce”

I want to declare a “Christmas truce” in the growing chorus of worry about churches, complaining about churches, wishing that churches could get with modernity, and all the lamenting and fussing and blaming and bickering.

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Charting the New Reformation: The 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.

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Confessions, Revised and Updated: The Making of a Postdenominational Priest

Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography Confessions reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in the Catholic church.

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Decline and Dysfunction in the American Church

Decline and Dysfunction in the American Church, addresses the unprecedented and devastating decrease in membership, financial resources, respect and ministry suffered by congregations and judicatories throughout the nation and offers an explanation that has not yet been considered.

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Jesus Then and Jesus Now: Looking for Jesus, Finding Ourselves

This book is written from an intentionally progressive Christian perspective. It draws together multiple strands from the author’s personal and professional life: critical biblical scholarship, field archaeology, parish ministry, seminary teaching, and personal religious practice.

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Study Guide for “Jesus Then and Jesus Now: Looking for Jesus, Finding Ourselves”

n this book you will find a profile of what Jesus may have been like within the context of Second Temple Judaism. This is set alongside selected aspects of the Jesus tradition as preserved in the earliest Christian writings. Neither is ascribed primacy over the other, but each casts light on the other and both inform the final part of the book that traces some of the ways in which Jesus communities now might shape their collective and individual lives.

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The Teaching and Person of Jesus

Whatever one thinks of Jesus as savior or Son of God, everyone seems agreed that at least he was a teacher. It’s when we begin to ask exactly what he taught, however, that agreement slips away. From one perspective, what Jesus taught is not unique: love one another, know yourself, help the poor. Such advice somehow seems ingrained in the human consciousness, and so unsurprisingly turns up in a variety of religions and philosophies.

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My Disappointment With the Pontiff’s Visit

The Pope Effect brought throngs of Catholics and admirers out to see him wave to them from his Pope-mobile and to hear him celebrate Mass. And his effect not only brought Republican John Boehner of Ohio to tears, but it also brought Boehner to the realization he should step down as House Speaker. However, for many religious conservatives the Pontiff’s remarks and actions during his visit were viewed as heretical, desecrating century-old church doctrine, and diminishing his authority as the head of the church.

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Jesus and His Religion

Alan Watts, philosopher, author and theologian achieve fame interpreting eastern religions for Western audiences in the 1950’s and 60’s. Watts had an impressive command of the Bible and Christian ideology which is displayed in a series of his lectures such as the following video “Jesus and His Religion”.

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In Support of The Reverend Gretta Vosper

Gretta represents a small but growing number of clergy who are best described as courageous. The have spoken the truth when others too often fumble for words or refuse to look any deeper than their online sermons.

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Bishop Spong – “The Cross as the Moment of Glory – He Did Not Die For Your Sins” – Sermon

The Cathedral of Hope, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, is based in Dallas, Texas, and is the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Local and national church ministries, outreach programs, pastoral counseling, television media and the internet touch thousands of lives each day.

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Confronting Our Shadow Side

I truly don’t understand racism or violence. But I do understand that the path toward confronting it must begin at the deep levels of vast cultural and socio-political change. When 1% rules the world and owns the media, the government, and the health and energy systems, that leaves a lot of room for angry and disheartened people. When people are angry or scared they look toward that which frightens them to place blame.

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Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant

(Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice)

There is a problem in the black church. It is a problem with black bodies and a blues problem. This book addresses these problems head-on. It proclaims that as long as the black church cannot be a home for certain bodies, such as LGBT bodies, then it has forsaken its very black faith identity. The black church must find a way back to itself. Kelly Brown Douglas argues that the way back is through the blues.

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Church Burnings and Southern Resistance — Is It 1963 Again?

I am a child of the Black Church. And like so many of my African American LGBTQ brothers and sisters we continue to have a troubled relationship with our places of worship. But like so many of them, I, too, am unsettled by the news of this recent spate of church burnings. None of the church burnings have been labeled as hate crimes- yet I cannot help but notice these church burnings are occurring suspiciously in rapid succession following the Charleston black church massacre, which left nine dead-including its senior pastor.

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Is the Confederate Flag Debate a Distraction From the Real Problem?

The words of Bree Newsome rang out across the capital, “In the name of Jesus, this flag must come down.” Having scaled up the flag pole, Newsome did what many have been asking for since the shooting at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. Newsome took action into her own hands and the symbol of an African-American woman removing the confederate flag that has flown over the state since the time of Jim Crow was a powerful action of resistance, power and pride.

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Desmond Tutu’s Advice on Forgiving Our Enemies

“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.” —Desmond Tutu

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Bishop John Shelby Spong: Why Atonement Theology will Kill Christianity

Speaking at Community Christian Church of Springfield, MO, Bishop Spong gave us a taste of sections of his next book which will be on the Gospel of Matthew. In this lecture he is speaking to the need for the modern church to abandon its outdated commitment to belief in substitutionary death/atonement theology.

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