“Think Different—Accept Uncertainty” Part XIII: Miracles As Signs to Be Interpreted
5 July 2012: 2 Comments »
Today, as a part of the overall series entitled “Think Different–Accept Uncertainty,” I want to begin to press this mini-unit on the miracle stories of the gospels toward a conclusion. My concern has been to show modern readers that these miraculous narratives found in the gospels were always symbolic, interpretive stories rather than supernatural accounts …
Question & Answer
I just finished reading a book, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor, formerly a priest of the Episcopal Church. She left her church just the way you left the Episcopal Church. After reading her book, this is what I wrote on the last page of her book “Barbara Taylor is free as a bird now after she left the Episcopal Church and took a teaching job at Piedmont College. She left the Episcopal Church but never left her God.” My question is: Is this the direction you want your readers to follow?
You really don’t know much about me if you think I have left the Episcopal Church. I treasure my church. Every Sunday that I am home, I am at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown. I frequently teach an adult class there. I fill in for our wonderful clergy whenever they need help. The largest portion of my charitable giving goes to that church. I am still a bishop with seat, voice and vote in the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. I believe very deeply that Christianity itself needs to be reformed radically if it hopes to live into the 21st century, but I do not believe it can be reformed except by those who love it, who are deeply part of it and who are committed to it.
I know and admire Barbara Brown Taylor who, it seems to me, still practices her ministry and her Christian faith in very creative ways. What she has said no to are some of the structures and formulations of traditional Christianity. I have no sense that Barbara has abandoned her love for the Christ.
So, I don’t know how to answer your question except to say that I want my readers to join the reformation, to help make the Christian Church live again as the light of the world. For that is what we were created to be.
~John Shelby Spong
Read what Bishop Spong has to say about A Joyful Path Progressive Christian Spiritual Curriculum for Young Hearts and Minds: "The great need in the Christian church is for a Sunday school curriculum for children that does not equate faith with having a pre-modern mind. The Center for Progressive Christianity has produced just that. Teachers can now teach children in Sunday school without crossing their fingers. I endorse it wholeheartedly."
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