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« Mighty Mice The RantsPareidolia on Parade »

Three Cheers for Intelligent Christianity
2005.10.02 (Sun) 00:27

Found over at Tild~ (via Pharyngula), Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong apparently had this to say on the subject of Intelligent Design:

Intelligent Design is just one more smoke screen. The task of geologists and anthropologists is to study the sources of the life of this world. They should be free to follow wherever their scientific research carries them. If Christianity is threatened by truth, it is already too late to save it. Imagine worshiping a God so weak and incompetent that the Kansas School Board must defend this God from science and new learning. It is pitiful.

The challenge of Darwinian thinking to traditional Christianity is deep and profound. That means that Christianity's survival depends on its being big enough to embrace a post-Darwinian world. If we cannot then Christianity will surely die.


[our emphasis]

Hey, so Christianity will only survive if it can adapt to the modern environment. How "Darwinian"!

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. The idea of the IDiots worshiping a god so pitiful it requires the aid of the Kansas School Board is particularly poignant.

We know next to nothing about Bishop Spong (we're not about to give out our credit card information just to read his words), but if this piece is any indication of his work, we're impressed. It's a good reminder — especially to those who have no use for religion (like us!) — that even those strong in their religious faith can be sensible, reasonable, rational and compassionate. Thanks, Bishop.


— • —
[  Filed under: % Creationism  % Religion  ]

Comments (5)

Naked Ape, 2005.10.03 (Mon) 11:28 [Link] »

I quite like Spong, he really pisses off the whack job fundies out there. I put him in the same category as Elaine Pagels and Karen Armstrong: Theists who get it.

Here is a sample of some of his best work:

Twelve Theses - John Shelby Spong Drawn from: Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile

1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. God can no longer be understood with credibility as a Being, supernatural in power, dwelling above the sky and prepared to invade human history periodically to enforce the divine will. So, most theological God-talk today is meaningless unless we find a new way to speak of God.

2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So, the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.

3. The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-­Darwinian nonsense.

4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes the divinity of Christ, as traditionally understood, impossible.

5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.

6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God that must be dismissed.

7. Resurrection is an action of God, who raised Jesus into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history..

8. The story of the ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.

9. There is no external, objective, revealed standard writ in Scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.

10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way.

11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior-control mentality of reward and punishment. The church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.

12. All human beings bear God's image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one's being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for cither rejection or discrimination.



MBains, 2005.10.04 (Tue) 14:12 [Link] »

Yah, I've read stuff from Bish Spong before (via Atheists-World yahoo group.)

Seems like a funny guy too.

And that part 'bout the KSB really is something the so-called "moderate" religious folk should start to consider if they don't like being associated with IDists and fundy morons.

BTW on Pagel, it was her Gnostic Gospel eds that really helped me let go of my agnosticism. She did a nice job on the commentary & presetation of their histories.



Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2005.10.07 (Fri) 14:44 [Link] »

That's some good stuff from Spong. Who'd have thought — a forward-thinking and at least partially libertarian Christian!



Blondin, 2005.10.28 (Fri) 13:40 [Link] »

There is a lengthy interview with Bishop Spong at: http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/archives/2005/102305.html

fwiw...



charles buchanan 111, 2005.11.22 (Tue) 16:15 [Link] »

[Editor's Note: Since charles buchanan 111 felt the need to post a totally off-topic diatribe with the apparent aim of proselytizing about the "good old days" of traditional Christian fundamentalism, we felt the need to enforce our comment policy by moving an off-topic comment to our "special" Rant dedicated to such rubbish. If you like being proselytized, you can find one copy of charles' comment (which he double posted here and on another Rant) in our post entitled Scribbled Above the Urinal.

To charles: Please refrain from posting off-topic nonsense on our site. If you want to spout off about your silly beliefs, go start your own website. If you persist in this behavior, you will be asked to leave (or forcibly made to do so). If, on the other hand, you care to read what we've written and if you'd then like to respond to us in what at least passes for an intelligent manner, we'll be all ears.]




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