Jesus For The Non Religious: Recovering The Divine At The Heart Of The Human
Bishop John Shelby Spong has been on a life–long quest to rescue the church from irrelevancy. In FREEING JESUS FROM RELIGION'S PRISON, he takes aim at the church's core belief: who is Jesus. He first strips the superstitious barnacles that have attached themselves to this incredible person: such as that Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, that his father was Joseph, t...more
For a very, very long time, scholars, pastors, seminarians, and professors have known the truth regardi ...more
I'm not. As much as I want to belong, it doesn't really describe me. I'm more of a JBNR guy (Jesus but not religious). Jesus' dream of a kingdom of heaven on earth, and his humanitarian solution for inaugurating that kingdom, is my inspiration. I love church buildings, I love music, and I especially love church music, but when it comes to the real Jesus, he's hardly ...more
After a few chapters, I began checking facts on him from the Old Testam ...more
Bishop Spong has written an eye opening, thoughtful, radical and (dare I say it?) heretical book about Jesus of Nazareth a ...more
Some new interpretations of scriptural material; sort of libertarian in his mindset. Alas, sometimes sloppy editing and even sloppier research. I had expected better from him. I've followed up on some his references and I'm n ...more
To quote the author: "Being a Christian...in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's words, is not to be a religious human being; it is to be a whole human being. Jesus is a portrait of that wholeness; and that is why he is, for me, in his complete humanity, the ultimate expression of God".
In his book, Bishop Spong looks closely at the traditional understanding that has surrounded the Jesus of history and challenges his readers to look at Jesus " ...more
Recently, I read more Spong, his wo ...more
Look at him!
Look not at his divinity,
It has taken me a long time to warm up to Spong. This is probably because, among progressive Christian academics, he seems to me the most bruised, the least hopeful. But his audience, here, is not his adversaries—it’s the post-Christian or Christian-in-exile who can no longer tolerate the pre-modern worldview of the church and yet cannot let go of Christ. Spong asks, "Can a full understanding of Jesus be developed by looking at him as a ful ...more
Update: Just finished audio book. Found several books by him at the local library, but am choosing to take the easy(?) way of listening before chosing what to read. Have enjoyed his distinction between knowing Jesus as an exclusivistic experience and as a liberating all-inclusive portal to the I Am. His style seems ...more
In this book on Jesus, he takes us to the heart of what Jesus taught and what his teachings meant, both for his first, fellow-Jewish followers, and for us now. It clears away the dogmatic clutter imposed by the church ( or churches ...more
I'm not a conservative Christian. I do not believe God wrote the bible, for example. I believe people wrote it. And they wrote it for their own time and for their own reasons, so you have to read it as a historical document. There are mistakes and inconsistencies. And as long as you understand it is a human pr ...more
He finally got to it at the end, where he spells out just how radical Jesus was. The way he lived and taught, ...more
Like Thomas Jefferson before him the retired Episcopalian Bishop, John Shelby Spong, attempts to remove the supernatural additions from the p ...more
In three parts, Spong strips away the mythology of Jesus, shows how the gospels cannot truly be understood but through the lens of first-century Judaism, and explains how Jesus's story remains relevant and important.
The first two-thirds of the book, I honestly wondered what would be left of Spong's Christianity after he stripped away so much of the mythology and miracles. But he reveals in the f ...more