Catching Flight on the Wings of Thought: The Legacy of Bishop John Shelby Spong

Column by Rev. Gretta Vosper on November, 18 2021

The number of people whose death would be felt around the world is limited. Bishop John Shelby Spong was surely one of them. It is impossible to determine how far or wide his influence has and will continue to be.

He Calls us to the Task of Loving

Column by Rev. Deshna Charron Shine on October, 21 2021

Jack experienced God as the source of all life. There is no duality within God, there is only sacred oneness. And so he reminded us that if God is the source of all life, then the best way to worship God is to live fully.

Remembering Bishop John Shelby Spong

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on September, 16 2021

Bishop John Shelby Spong
June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021

Answered by

Special Edition: Bishop John Shelby Spong

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on June, 17 2021

My perspective is that I am a Christian, who believes I must examine political and economic decisions in the light of those values.  The basis upon which I make political and economic judgments is that I believe every person, rich and poor, Anglo-Saxon and African, Hispanic and Asian, male and female, gay and straight must to be treated with the dignity of being a child of God. 

A Believable Conviction amidst the Trauma of Finitude

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on September, 6 2018

Of the 12 theses Bishop Spong examines in his (maybe) last book, Unbelievable, Thesis 11 is, “Life After Death.” Still believable, he asks?

Saving Christianity from Easter

Column by Rev. David M. Felten on August, 16 2018

Jesus’ life was not an expression of a judging, vengeful vision, but was about manifesting a way of life that wasn’t driven by mere survival. Jesus’ life was grounded in a commitment to freeing people to love beyond their boundaries and their fears – beyond tribe, race, ethnicity, gender. This is the kind of love that enabled him to give his life away.

Column by Joran Slane Oppelt on June, 21 2018

Why are we here? How did we come to be? What is our relationship to the force that created us? What is our relationship to the environment and to the other creatures on Earth? Does man exercise free will? Why is life full of suffering? Where is the line between right and wrong, guilt and innocence, damnation and salvation? For Jews and Christians, these questions (and more) are first posed in that short, simple story.

Column by Fred Plumer on April, 26 2018

A few weeks ago, I recommended to our Progressing Spirit writers that we should all write articles that responded to Bishop Spong’s book, Unbelievable. Then it hit me. I was going to be doing the article this week and as I had suggested to our writers, I would have to start with Spong’s first thesis. “Holy moly,” what was I thinking? For Spong’s first thesis is “God.” Now, I am a student of the Bible. I have been studying it for over forty years. Nearly thirty years ago I came to the dramatic conclusion that the vast majority, if not the entire Bible, was written as metaphor by people who may have been very bright for their time in history but were largely ignorant of the world that inherited this book. We really do not understand the world they lived in, and obviously, they did not understand the world we live in today. Many of their sincere beliefs would be considered, at best, superstitions today. That is one of the reasons it has always amazed me people can argue for an inerrant interpretation of the Bible, using the Bible to “prove” their own interpretation.

Column by Rev. Gretta Vosper on February, 22 2018

Rejecting or reinterpreting traditional religious beliefs has always undermined family relationships, communities of faith, and the general coherence of the public. Many who haven’t crossed the threshold of a religious building in decades (if ever) hold rigidly to the privileges they believe religion provides them. Toy with those beliefs and you are unwittingly challenging the rights of the privileged, rights they too frequently enjoy denying those who do not share their beliefs. And those who do participate in religious communities with regularity are often invested in language and ritual they believe is integral to their experience. “Without reciting the Lord’s Prayer when we gather, how will we remember who we are?” they worry.