The Origins of the Bible, Part XVII: Hosea - The Prophet Who Changed God's Name to Love

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 4 December 2008 0 Comments
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I receive your newsletter and have read several of your books, so I am familiar with your work and so appreciate all that you bring to your readers. I am encouraged and nurtured by your teachings. I am presently reading Honest Prayer, which was not easy to find. The book is giving me new insight and excitement about the Lord's Prayer, and I wonder if you have considered a new edition? If you were to write it today, would you change it in any way? I am part of a group of women who meet on Sunday mornings at our church to discuss a book we have chosen to read individually, chapter by chapter. One of the topics we have studied is prayer. Honest Prayer is just what we need to read and talk about to open our understanding of God and of the practice of prayer. For some time now I have had the feeling that much about my prayer life has involved superstition about who God is and what God will do in regard to prayer. In reading your books I am growing and maturing spiritually and I thank you for sharing your life with your readers.


Thank you for your letter. Thanks especially for your words about Honest Prayer. That was my first book, written in 1972 and published in 1973. HarperCollins asked me to consider the possibility of revising and updating it during the 1980s, but I declined. It represents a stage in my growth, life and development and I decided it needed to be left with its own integrity. It is not that I disagree with the things I wrote then, but it is that I have moved far beyond where I was when I wrote that book. Something reflective of that growth will be found in two chapters on prayer in A New Christianity for a New World, which was based on a series of lectures I delivered at Harvard University in 2000. That book was published in 2002. Honest Prayer has been out of print for years, but has recently been reissued by a small publisher in New Jersey




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