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23 March 2017: Bishop Spong’s Newsletter
By Fred Plumer Good morning friends. I am the Board President of ProgressiveChristianity.org and have held that position for over 12 years. Our organization has been the publishers of the Bishop Spong’s newsletters and the owners of the John Shelby Spong website for nearly five years now. The website is titled, A New …
16 March 2017: Becoming the Fullness of Who We Already Are – A Reforming Vision of Christic At-One-Ment
By Kevin G. Thew Forrester, Ph.D. Throughout his poignant and moving book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, the Vancouver physician, Gabor Maté, offers heartrending accounts of the existential devastation wrought on the fabric of our personal being by the effects of addiction. One particularly graphic description strikes at the core of the …
9 March 2017: How to Repeal and Replace Christianity’s Addiction to “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts” #tremendous #huge
By David Felten Bishop Spong’s reputation for expressing unapologetic, sometimes blunt, theological opinions is long-established. While some have accused him of being overbearing or egotistical, others have depended on him for a firm defense of a particular spot on the theological spectrum. After a comment deemed potentially offensive to a particular Fundamentalist …
2 March 2017: Reflections on my Interactions with Bishop Spong
By Matthew Fox I first learned of Bishop Spong’s prophetic work and his work with the Jesus seminar over 34 years ago while I was still a Dominican priest working in the Chicago area. To hear of an Episcopal bishop who was approaching the Scriptures with a critical sense of questioning …
Kevin, congratulations on stepping up and stepping in to this amazing format.
My question after being acquainted with Jack Spong and his work, and also you and yours to a degree, is why, if the leaders of the Episcopal Church reject your work, do you continue in this organization? Why not go somewhere where your efforts are encouraged and appreciated, somewhere where there is a greater openness to your messages? Unity, for instance, is such an organization, a spiritual organization made up of people who have listened to their intuition, rejected tradition for its own sake, yet would thrive on the scholarship which you two could bring to augment that on which it was founded.
I guess my question is, where do you feel you can do the greatest service and why?
23 February 2017: Putting the Shark Back in the Ocean: Restoring the Sacred. Reclaiming Jesus. Reforming the Church.
By Rev. Roger Wolsey Bluntly speaking, American Christianity has jumped the shark.* It has been co-opted, hijacked, and derailed. There are exceptions, but for the most part, the way of following Jesus in the U.S. has become reduced to an overly personalized, private state of mind that involves individuals giving …
16 February 2017: Take Care of Number One
By Gretta Vosper Take Care of Number One. And everything else takes care of itself. I know. You think you’ve opened the wrong email or caught a link to the wrong page. This must be from Mind, Body, Green, or A Daily Dose of Motivation. Maybe you’re signed up to …
9 February 2017: Japan’s 18th-Century Pioneer of Historical Consciousness
Martin Scorsese recently released a film adaptation of the 1966 novel Silence by Shusaku Endo that traces the persecution of Christians in 17th-century Japan. As a long-time admirer and friend of the Japanese people, I am understandably nervous about how this new film will affect Western perceptions of a country I hold dear, so …
2 February 2017: Five Beliefs I Continue to Hold About Jesus
By Eric Alexander As we continue our exciting journey in charting the new reformation, there are many questions we all must grapple with. So I want to begin 2017 with a step back to the basics, as a place on which to build throughout the year. Before diving into the reconstruction however, I want to …
26 January 2017: More Than Words: A Thank You and Introduction
It’s interesting, I love reading Spong now for the exact opposite reason I first loved reading Spong. Let me explain. I’ve been a devout Christian my entire life. From the somewhat conservative thinking Greystone Baptist Church of my childhood to the progressive thinking Presbyterian Church of the Covenant where I currently serve as Interim minister …
Thanks, Kevin, for the article. How wonderful to know Bishop Spong and write about him with deep appreciation. The article brought to mind how difficult it was to have students who came to campus ministry to buttress up doctrines and beliefs when those aspects of the Faith were not the most meaningful to me. I found discussions about conforming to a particular theological ‘rule’ painful because the academic setting was already challenging so many students’ world views and students were in so much distress. Many of those students left for more conservative campus ministry groups. The ones who stayed agreed to disagree and/or found common ground with our group. Often students who stayed with the ministry would continue to try to change the direction of the group towards conformity to their point of view. It was challenging because there was continual tension. Being retired is great because there isn’t that tension. The down side is not being invited into a young generation and understanding the Faith from their perspective. It was exciting and fun to learn from the young adults that the church had nurtured and sent on to college.
How do you communicate compassion for those who find meaning and comfort in doctrine and belief while at the same time being uncomfortable with faith based on doctrine and belief?
19 January 2017: Jack Spong – A Teacher Whose Words Offer Life
Even before our children were born, my wife, Rïse, and I, like many a parent, sang and read to our children. Later, nestled between us in bed and then resting upon our laps, they listened intently as we read about rabbits, moons, gardens, fingers, toes and smiles. Bit by bit, these little beings began to …
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