Saturday, November 29, 2008

John Shelby Spong and The Invention Of Hell

Here's my all-time favorite theologian, the retired episcopal bishop of Newark, NJ, speaking on "Hell as an invention of the church".

If this video makes sense to you, or if you want to learn more, or if you feel that the faith of your childhood was just a bit oversold ? Or if you want to get down to what Jesus probably taught, before Paul, the church, and anyone who felt like writing a Gospel got hold of his Jesus' life story? John Spong is your man.
We're going to be discussing Bishop Spong's book "Why Christianity Much Change Or Die" starting January 4th, 2009, Sunday mornings at 9:30, room 306, Broadway Baptist Church, 305 West Broadway, Fort Worth, TX.


Flee said...

I can't join you in Fort Worth but I will put the book on my wish list for Christmas. I have a birthday in December too. From what I saw in the video Spong is saying what I have been thinking and believing.

vampE said...

Rather than suggesting that we read the book and submit insightful comments, you prefer that we Join You In Your Baptist Church? The theology of which - Baptist, I mean - is responsible for many, many misconceptions, misogynies, meanderings, misalliances and malcontents? Obviously, some doctrines run deep. I would much prefer to read the book and meet at, say, the lake, or Borders, or Eurotazza. Without the overwhelming theme being: “How the Baptist Church Screwed Me Up But I Still Go There Every Sunday.”

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Well, yeah....there's always that.
The same subject came up this morning.
The general concensus? It's still the best place to meet to discuss the search for meaning, answers, etc.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

And now that I've had a little more time to think over your question...

The Lake, Borders, and Eurotazza don't feed the homeless, which BBC is figuring out should be a major part of its mission.
They don't have a clothes closet, or help people with the rent.

I honest to God believe that the people in that class are a huge driving force in the activities listed above. And it's because they've digested a lot of the Borg/Spong/LivingTheQuestions concepts (in addition to being all around good folks).

What would happen to the church in the U.S. if it were to de-emphasize Eternal Life, Infant Damnation, Politics, and 3-chord 20-verse spectaculars? And just concentrated on what Jesus said to do?

That's why I'm continuing to hang around.

The alternative is to have all charity, clothing, food, and relief dispensed by....The Government.

Can't let that happen, can we ???

The Whited Sepulchre said...

That last one didn't come out right, either.
BBC has had that as a major part of its mission for decades, and now it's becoming a priority.

It's been a long, long time since anyone proposed that we go "witnessing" over at the synagogue.

Stephen Kirby said...

WOW! Broadway Baptist in Fort Worth studying Spong! I am so impressed! There is hope!

revshk said...

I've been using Spong, Borg, Crossan, and the LTQ stuff here in my church for years. In the process, a few have left in search of certainty, which is not a commodity we have to offer...but others have truly come alive, and have found their faith more vibrant than ever as a result of being challenged to think and grow. I am excited to hear about it! Keep up the good work!

Lazy Slacker said...

I've always felt this way, just as I felt some sins were more technical than actual sins. A while ago, people started thinking, well so what if I don't obey this? Well, you won't get into heaven. Well then, where do I get into, Rabbi? Umm....a very, very bad place with fire and metal rods and demons! Essentially scaring people into believing.