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The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love Paperback – Bargain Price, March 14, 2006
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The true joy of the book is found in Spong's vigorous intellect, which he shines bright in an attempt to catch a reflection of the age, culture and circumstances in which the texts he examines were written. Like an archaeologist working with ideas instead of tools, he removes the rocks, brushes away the sediment and reports on what he finds. What were the roots and cultural realities behind the Scriptures that define the role of women in the church? What were the hopes and fears driving the writers who condemned homosexuality in such stark terms? What is the justification behind scriptures recommending "the rod of correction" (or as Bishop Spong simply labels it: "[t]he physical abuse of children…".)
Whether or not you agree with some of his musings along the way, many of his conclusions are hard to argue with. Putting aside the issue of divine origin of the Bible, no one can deny passages have been used in service of very human ends. Finally, the Sins of Scriptures can be seen as a careful observer of what those ends have been. And when taken on those terms, it makes an interesting read, regardless of one's religious background.--Ed Dobeas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
I sat and read ths book in one sitting. Like all of Spongs work it is the work of a seeker. Those who accuse Spong of being dogmatic are simply dishonest. Spong is careful to point out the number of things he doesn't know. This was made clear in his appearance on The O'Reilly Facto this Wednesday. He feels the presence of God, he finds God most clearly in Jesus, and he SEEKS to understand this presence. I don't always agree with him. He is pro-choice, I am pro-life. He is an economic liberal, I am an economic conservative. I do not entirely agree with his linking of fundamentalism to anti environmentalism; however, the important thing is that he is seeking the truth. He acknowledges he has not completely found it, he acknowledges that he never may, and as he often says he has no wish to change anyone's conception of God. He doesn't write for the fundamentalist or the theologically conservative. He writes for thos of us who believe, but can't accept what can be disproven, ie. Virin Birth, miracles, etc.
Like many of us he does not need proof to believe, but he does need something not to be disproven to be believed. If you are interested in looking beyond the literal words of scripture -which are often misleading, contradictory or proveably wrong- to the message and experiences behind it Spong is your man, if not.. then fine. If you are comfortable in your faith than neiher he, nor his supporters are seeking to change your mind.
Oh and as for the review pointing out that he does not engage more conservative believers in debate, rubish. He has held several public debates with scholars of other beliefs.Read more ›
Several of the reviewers have called the book hate filled and demonic. I could not disagree more. If someone actually reads the book then it becomes evident that most of the one star reviewers probably didn't read the book and that their critiques are more hate filled than anything that the book remotely contains.
That said, I must praise the book. As Spong often points out in his writings, there is no such thing as liberal or conservative Bible scholarship. There is only responsible and irresponsible Bible scholarship. The truth is under neither conservative or liberal ownership. One need only look up the passages mentioned in this book, review the historical context of the period when the scripture was written, and see how the passages were used centuries later in order to soon realize that this book uses responsible Biblical scholarship.
Contrary to what some reviewers say, this book does not degrade the Bible. This book makes one think about the ways that people through the centuries have far too often misused the Bible for acts that are in direct conflict with Jesus' prime directive to love God and love each other.Read more ›
I suppose we ought to thank these people for being so ludicrously obvious about their close-mindedness and dishonesty. If they hadn't jumped the gun, they might have been more able to successfully pretend that they'd actually read what they are condemning.
Bishop Spong touches on many of the areas in which a fundamentalist reading of the Bible has had adverse effects on mankind as a whole, and on the morality of Christianity in particular. From environmentalism to gay rights, women's rights and respect for human life, Spong relentlessly works his way through the Bible, demonstrating how immoral a person would be if he took seriously the brand of ethics that the Bible in its literal words recommends.
Obviously, the Religious Right will attack this book for its perceived "wishy-washy" brand of Christianity, but his logical progression through the absurdities that fundamentalism foists on believers contains sufficient scholarship to withstand such criticisms. Sadly, Bishop Spong is a voice crying out in the wilderness here, as his brand of Compassionate Christianity is running against the tide of the Taliban-style religion that is ever-increasing in popularity in the United States, just as its cousin, Islamic fundamentalism, is gaining ground in the rest of the world.
His attackers are likely to claim that Spong's writings are an assault on Christianity itself, but this book makes it clear that his objections are not with the spirit of Christianity, but rather with the extemists who've hijacked the religion and turned it into something hateful. I'm afraid Bishop Spong's words will likely go unheeded as harsh literalist religion gains ascension here in America, but this book will be a fitting epitaph for a dying breed of Christianity that will be sorely missed in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had already read the excellent book. This was purchased as a gift.Published 2 months ago by Bernard J.
I've said for the past few years that I believe fundamental evangelical Christianity has made an idol out of the Bible--Spong makes the same case. Nice to know I'm in good company. Read morePublished 5 months ago by PersnicketyRPh
This is the best commentary on the Gospel of John I have ever read. He strikes down biblical litteralism and replaces it with a metaphorical approach to understanding the message... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cas Robinson
Bishop Spong is an authentic Christian. He glimpses the presence of Jesus, a Jewish peasant of Nazareth, and the essence of his teaching un-corrupted by... Read more
I would suggest that most of the misuse of biblical texts, are as Spong writes, an unwillingness to consider the times in which pages were written, and the people to whom they are... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
Very controversial, yet extremely thought provoking. Another home run by SpongPublished 8 months ago by Robert G. Dobrowski