The Birth of Jesus, Part VI. Rahab the Prostitute: The Second Woman in Matthew’s Genealogy

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 3 January 2013 0 Comments
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In talking to a friend, I stated my opinion that “in future years, I believe Bishop Spong will be looked upon as one of the greatest theologians of our time.” I was wondering, do you consider yourself a theologian? Why or why not? Also, who are some of the past and current theologians you would recommend for study? Thank you for living your faith so beautifully and courageously. You have certainly been an inspiration in my life.




Dear Bill,

I think it is fair to say that only my mother would agree with your assessment of my place in history, so for now I am happy to have two votes. Thank you for your confidence.

I consider myself a theologically and biblically-trained communicator. I study daily. I read the great theologians and the great biblical scholars constantly so that I can communicate their thoughts to other people. I certainly do not list myself among them.

The mountain top theologians of the Christian tradition would surely include Paul, Origen, Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and John Calvin. I would also add to that list some more modern thinkers like Soren Kierkegaard, Friederick Schleiermacher, Paul Tillich, Hans Kung and Edward Schillebeeckx .

Sometimes the best way to study these giants is to read those who can communicate their insights in a language that people can understand. That is where I come in and I am certainly not unusual or special. People like Marcus Borg, John Crossan, Martin Marty, James Cone, Karen Armstrong, Elaine Pagels and James Carroll are just a few of the communicating giants in our day.

Than you for your letter and for your comments.

~John Shelby Spong





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