Japan’s 18th-Century Pioneer of Historical Consciousness

Column by Cassandra Farrin on February, 9 2017

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 I looked into the history of religious persecution in Japan to help put the film in context. Ironically, the best book I found on the subject wasn’t on Christianity at all, but on Buddhism: Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan: Buddhism and Its Persecution by James Edward Ketelaar.

More Than Words: A Thank You and Introduction

Column by Rev. Mark Sandlin on January, 26 2017

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 I have never lost my “soul deep” belief in God.

Responding to Bishop Spong’s 12 Principles and the Future of Religion

Column by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox on October, 6 2016

Responding to Bishop Spong’s 12 Principles and the Future of Religion
Essay by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 6 October 2016 18 Comments
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Dear Faithful Readers: Bishop Spong is now home in New Jersey and continues to recuperate from his stroke. Until he is back to his writing we will continue to publish Weekly Essays, some from his treasure trove of past essays and some from guest authors. This week we are pleased to offer you this article from the Rev. Matthew Fox. Responding to Bishop Spong’s 12 Principles and the Future of Religion

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXXVII – Thesis #11, Life After Death (continued), Survival is the Essence of Life

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on September, 29 2016

It was in the Amazon rain forest that I first discovered just how deeply survival dominates every living thing. Sunlight and water are the prizes which guarantee the survival …

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXXVI – Thesis #11, Life After Death

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on September, 22 2016

“The traditional understanding of life after death in Western Christianity was created on the premise of human uniqueness. Human beings were understood to be a special creation, …

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXXV – Thesis #10, Prayer (concluded)

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on September, 15 2016

Before prayer can be made real our understanding of God, coupled with our understanding of how the world works, must be newly defined. Before prayer can have meaning, it …

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXXIV – Thesis #10, Prayer (continued), Prayer is Being not Doing

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on September, 8 2016

Prayer does not bring a theistic God to our aid. It does not protect us from danger, sickness or death. Life confronts us with the truth of that reality …

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXXIII – Thesis #10, Prayer

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on September, 1 2016

“Prayer, understood as a request made to an external, theistic deity, to act in human history, is little more than an hysterical attempt to turn the holy into …

Charting a New Reformation, Part XXXII– The Ninth Thesis, Ethics (concluded)

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on August, 25 2016

One of my favorite phrases, “Time makes ancient good uncouth,” comes from the poet, James Russell Lowell. No words capture for me quite so well the plight of ancient …