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A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying & How a New Faith is Being Born Paperback – September 17, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
What he does provide, however, is a refreshing breath of air into a world of stagnate faith. Unlike most liberal theologians, instead of merely demonstrating why the old stories no longer have any relevance in our modern age, he provides a viable blueprint to understanding Christ (and, by default, God) in a newer, fuller way. No longer seeing God in purely theistic terms (by which, I assume, he means transcendent) he outlines a theology that has more in common with New Age thought or eastern philosophy than western religion. Though nothing in his book is entirely new or particularly revolutionary in and of itself, his effort to merge an eastern concept of God within the framework of Christianity is nothing if not unique. While I found myself agreeing with much of what he had to say, however, I wasn't convinced his efforts to "reform" Christianity had any chance of being successful. The traditions are too deeply imbedded in the western psyche to respond to his message; the dogmas too entrenched to be moved by even his most reasoned and passionate pleas for reform.Read more ›
Yet, Spong admits, "Christianity postulates a theistic God who does supernatural things". Christianity is about God invading the world through Jesus Christ. Christianity is, and has been for 2000 years (give or take), "Emmanuel" - God with us, visibly and dramatically. "Christianity is a THEISTIC religion" said Dr. Sally McFague (Professor of Theology -Vanderbilt Divinity School - author of the pensive and provocative book, 'Life Abundant' - envisioning Christianity for the new century - see my review).
Therein lies the rub. Allow me to digress. A man had a Honda Civic that needed the engine overhauled. He decided to 'radically' change the car and make it a quarter-mile race car. He pulled out the engine and transmission, threw out the brakes, replaced the tires and the suspension. He gutted the interior completely (graciously keeping the windshield and wipers). He then cut away parts of the body to accommodate the new parts and welded the doors shut. He put in a high performance, 400 horsepower engine and modified what was left of the car so that it could reach speeds in excess of 110 mph in 9 seconds. Now, with a great stretch of the imagination you could say this man still had a Honda Civic, but, in reality, he had created a new vehicle.
This book is not a "radically, reformed" car, so to speak, it is a completely different car.Read more ›
I appreciate the insights that John Spong has shared in this latest book -- no surprise there, I suppose. In the course of my studies & a lifetime of wrestling with "meaning", I am one who has come to appreciate "god" as a description of an ongoing process at work in the universe.
Bishop Spong's views remind me of some of the early 19th century "Unitarian" representatives -- William E. Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Theodore Parker in particular. Like those individuals, he understood that the truth and beauty of Christianity is not tied to "transient" facts & understandings which are more indicative of one generation's perceptions. There is much that has been added to Christianity that is not essential to it. One can remove the transient and still regard oneself as a good, albeit "liberal" Christian. Sure, literalists will fume, but righteous indignation is not a convincing response for a faith rooted in intelligence and reverence.
I liked this book. Spong writes sensible, reverent prose. I share his faith that Christians will respond to the challenges of the present in a mature manner. Theism is passe. Those who profess to love and honor Jesus would do well to heed John Spong's insights.
By the way, I read some of the other responses. Don't worry - this kind of sparring has been going on for several centuries in this country ... I salute a fellow traveller on the path; we subscribe to the view that one must understand to have faith; others require faith first, that they might understand.
Let one give witness to one's faith -- by either path -- with a dose of charity & humor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a continuation of the arguments made in his previous book "Why Christianity Must Change or Die. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David Torres
Spong's case that the theistic God must go is based on exactly nothing. Therefore his solution which, like Bultmann dismisses all of Jesus' miracle stories, leaves us with a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by J. Schmidt
EXCELLENT BOOK. CHALLENGES TRADITIONAL UNDERSTANDINGS UNDERSTANDINGS.IPublished 9 months ago by ROSS OESTREICH
The clearest and most comprehensive statement of Rev Spong's Christian beliefs. Rev Spong demonstrates with cogent arguments that you can be a follower of Jesus, understand what... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ronald M. Riggs
Extremely radical suggestions and challenges to create a new approach of the christian religion. The project of John Shelby Spong is exciting, full of hope and energy, but there... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Theo Nephale
The book was received in excellent condition and very timely. I had already read a borrowed copy, but wanted one for my own library. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sandra Walton
I appreciate everything that Spong writes, and I want all of his books to be made available in Audible. Read morePublished 13 months ago by a good shopper
My Sunday School class Is reading and discussing 2 chapters a week. That is a lot to do in one week, but personally I find that reading and thinking about what is written is very... Read morePublished 16 months ago by shirley williams
For any one interested in the Progressive Christian movenent, this is a must read.Published 18 months ago by Burton J. Alm