Best 184 of John Shelby Spong quotes - MyQuotes

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John Shelby Spong
By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Praying and living deeply, richly and fully have become for me almost indistinguishab le. Prayer is being present, sharing love, opening life to transcendence. It is not necessarily words addressed heavenward. Prayer is entering into the pain or joy of another person. Prayer is what I am doing when I love wastefully, passionately and wondrously and invite others to do so.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Every institution places its ultimate weight on preserving its own life. That is why the Church emphasizes loving God over loving one's neighbor.... The push for justice on the other hand might be at the center of the Gospel but it also attacks the balance of power in the society. Since the rich always exploit the poor, to give the poor power, dignity and humanity makes them less pliable, less cooperative.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

It's just not easy enough to say that I pray and God will accomplish.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

[Apostol Paul's] views were translated as, "Your rule is to be kind to black people; you don't beat them." It's very much the way we treated women in the 14th and 15th centuries. A woman was not human, and you should be kind to your wife like you are to all dumb animals. That was the mentality.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The God content of the past no longer sustains the contemporary spirit.  We sense that our only hope is to journey past those definitions of a God who is external, supernatural, and invasive, which previously defined our belief.  We must discover whether or not the death of the God we worshiped yesterday is the same thing as the death of God.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Live life to it's fullest, love wastefully, and be all we can be.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The Protestant reformation was an attempt to recast the Christian faith in terms of the new learning of the 16th century, the enlightenment learning. It was the first time that the Christian church did not have the capacity to keep itself unified as it recast itself, so it split into Protestant and Catholic traditions.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I've never known about anyone being helped by being told how wretched, miserable, sinful, and evil they are.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I think the worst way to go is to have somebody think they speak for God. If you look at history, every nation that has operated as if it spoke for God has become violently destructive.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I know Jerry [Falwell] fairly well, and he's probably not bright enough to recognize all of the implications of what he said.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

In my book, The Sins of Scripture, I traced the development of tribal religion, which included ideas like God's killing the Egyptians because they hated the chosen people. Then a God of love finally appears in the Book of Hosea, about the 8th century. A God of justice appears in the Book of Amos in the late 8th century or early 7th century.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The Bible interprets life from its particular perspective; it does not record in a factual way the human journey through history.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

If you begin to give people hope that there is a brighter future, there is a new tomorrow, then the people who were yesterday's terrorists become tomorrow's elected officials and they're part of the system.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The great danger... in believing yourself especially chosen is that it becomes easy to view those who are not your people as God's especially unchosen.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I've probably read maybe by now fifteen, twenty books on Matthew. I'd say the authors I like best are an English fellow named Michael Goulder, who taught at the University of Birmingham in England, and he writes about the Jewish background in Matthew's gospel, which is part of what I was just talking about, which is just really thrilling to me.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

You can't go to church without praying ten or fifteen times for God to have mercy on you. You can't sing "Amazing Grace" without reminding yourself that the reason God's grace is amazing is it saves a wretch like you. This self-denigration stuff - Jesus died for my sins - is nothing but a guilt message. That's the thing we've got to get out from under. That's not Christianity. That's sort of fourth-century Christianity that got turned into doctrines and dogmas that we've never been able to escape.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

One of my professors said to me once, "Any god that can be killed off will be killed, but if I can shake up your faith in your god, it means you already don't have much of a god.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

True religion is not about possessing the truth. No religion does that. It is rather an invitation into a journey that leads one toward the mystery of God. Idolatry is religion pretending that it has all the answers.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

One of my great experiences in life was to be interviewed on a late-night talk show by a guy named Tom Snyder. He was interviewing me on a book I had written on the New Testament of the Bible called Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, and we talked about the dating of the books of the New Testament, and I said, "Well, the consensus is that the gospels were written some forty to seventy years after the crucifixion." And he stopped me and said, "Wait a minute, Bishop, that means they couldn't have been written by eyewitnesses.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The powers of nature are so great, and our power is so inept. So,in order to cope with the incredible anxiety that human self-consciousness produced, I think we created God in our own image, and then portrayed this God as having supernatural power that we didn't have.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Edward Schillebeeckx is probably as fine a New Testament scholar as I've ever read. He's a Dutchman. And he was harassed so many times that it was just painful for him. He constantly had to go to Rome to explain his views.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The priesthood in many ways is the ultimate closet in Western civilization, where gay people particularly have hidden for the past two thousand years.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The Sins of Scripture is an interesting title; most people don't put sins and scripture together in the same title. It jars people.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The God understood as a father figure, who guided ultimate personal decisions, answered our prayers, and promised rewards and punishment based upon our behavior was not designed to call anyone into maturity.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Oh the Christian church has encouraged enormous immaturity among the peoples who are its primary adherence.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

You can't have a world where 50 percent of the people are dieting and 50 percent of the people are starving if you want stability.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I could not believe that anyone who has read this book would be so foolish as to proclaim that the Bible in every literal word was the divinely inspired, inerrant word of God. Have these people simply not read the text? Are they hopelessly misinformed? Is there a different Bible? Are they blinded by a combination of ego needs and naïveté?

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I think the story of the Christian faith is how you can become more deeply and fully human, not how you can become religious. And I don't see any indication that being religious makes you more moral.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

There's one other interesting thing about Western democracy. It didn't arrive at the end point that Karl Marx thought it would that wealth would become more and more concentrated in the hands of the few, that eventually the few would be killed by the many who were deprived, and that a different kind of government would then develop. What happened in Western democracy is that we began to understand that a democratic system can't work if half of the people are starving and the other half are dieting.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

What the mind cannot accept, the heart can finally never adore.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

...secular journalists... tend to accept uncritically the oft - repeated Evangelical Protestant and Conservative Roman Catholic definitions that the Bible is anti - gay. If these people were honest, they would have to admit that the Bible is also pro - slavery and anti - women.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The church had to find a way to protect Jesus' perfection so that he could do the work of salvation which, in their frame of reference, only God could do, because God had to come into this world from outside this world to rescue the fallen creation.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

There never was a time when we were created perfect and fell into sin and needed to be rescued. We are evolving people; we are not fallen people. We are not a little lower than the angels. We're a little higher than the apes. It's a very different perspective.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The Bible was written between 3,000 and 2,000 years ago, and it's filled with the knowledge that people had in that period of time, some of which you and I rejected long ago. The Bible says that women are property, that homosexuals ought to be put to death, that anybody who worships a false God ought to be executed, that a child that talks back to his parents ought to be stoned at the gates of the city. Those ideas are absurd.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Shelby Spong

This is the picture of a woman cast in the role of a learner, a pupil, even a rabbinic student. Quite obviously this is a prohibited role for women in those days and in that culture. Yet Jesus affirms Mary in that role. Martha, however, rebukes her. Martha demands that Jesus order Mary to abandon the pupil role for the more acceptable domestic role of assisting with the dinner preparations. Jesus supports Mary and defends her consciousness-raising act by stating that she has elected a higher choice.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I get letters every week from people who live in rural Texas or rural Mississippi and who feel totally alone. They feel like they must be the strangest person in the world. They don't fit in to the religious milieu of their communities. It doesn't make any sense to them. They read some of my columns and they know that there's somebody in the world at least as crazy as they are, and so they write and say is there anybody else?

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

In that process of coming to know that which we name as divine, the God who is love is slowly transformed into the love that is God. Let me repeat that...We breathe love in, and we breathe love out. It is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. It is never exhausted, always expanding. When I try to describe this reality, words fail me; so I simply utter the name God. That name, however, is no longer for me the name of a being.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Some parts of the Bible are dreadful. In fact, my working title for The Sins of Scripture was "The Terrible Text of The Bible.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Pat Robertson said the feminist movement was just a bunch of lesbians who wanted to leave their husbands and kill their children. I quoted him in my book. It's a fantastic statement.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I see Christianity in very humanistic terms.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The Christians tried to separate themselves from the Jewish crowd so they wouldn't be the recipients of the persecution of the Romans. And the way they did it was to say, the Jews killed our hero too. And so Christians began to define themselves over against the orthodox party of the Jews as a way of surviving against the Roman onslaught.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The Hebrew scriptures say it's okay to enslave anybody except your fellow Jews. It says you should enslave only your neighbors. I say to people that means Mexicans and Canadians are a bit at risk if we want to be literal about the Bible.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I think one of the things we've got to look out for is human beings claiming that they know how God operates.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I admire our ancestors, whoever they were. I think the first self-conscious person must have shaken in his boots. Because as he becomes self-conscious, he's no longer part of nature. He sees himself against nature. He looks at the vastness of the universe and it looks hostile.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

If you're really thinking prayer can stop rockets or bullets, you have to ask why some people do get hit by rockets or bullets. Are they people who no one prayed for? Are they people who God just didn't like? I don't think so.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I think we have to recover our spiritual nature. The way we have interpreted Christianity does not do that.