Paul Moore - Bishop of New York - 1919-2003

Essay by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 14 May 2003 0 Comments
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Question

Do you not make too many black and white assertions for your point of view? How is this different from the assertions of the fundamentalists?

Answer

I suspect that all of us seek to present our point of view as powerfully as we can and sometimes slip into hyperbole. I do not think people listen to those who are not confident in what they say. If challenged accurately, I can adjust without too much difficulty. I have done that many a time. That, however, is not to be likened to fundamentalists. Fundamentalists believe that they possess the truth and anyone who disagrees with their version of the truth must be in error. They believe that truth is revealed, that it has been captured by the Bible if they are protestant fundamentalists or by the ex-cathedra utterances of the Pope if they are Catholic fundamentalists. Fundamentalism also comes in a Jewish and a Muslim form.

To be convinced that what one is saying is truth is not necessarily to be a fundamentalist. To think there is only one truth, and that you possess it, is.

I hope that difference is clear.

John Shelby Spong

 

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