Best 184 of John Shelby Spong quotes - MyQuotes

Follow
John Shelby Spong
By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I ... look at Jesus and see a humanity open to all that God is--open to life, open to love and open to being.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

What happened in the Western world was that Plato ceased to be the way people thought. Aristotle was rediscovered, and the modern, educated world moved toward Aristotelian thinking.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Anybody who's a mythology ... there's always a fear. That's why we don't like people whose skin color is different, whose eye slant is different, or whose worship is different. It makes them feel insecure. So we strike out. The thing that bothers me most about the Christian church today is that we spend our time confirming people in their own sense of wretchedness.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Jerry Falwell says, on Pat Robertson's program, that the reason we got attacked on 9/11 is that we were accommodating the ACLU and abortion and homosexuals and feminists in America, so God smacked us down.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

When the dust settles and the pages of history are written, it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have made the difference. The reward will go to those who dared to step outside the safety of their privacy in order to expose and rout the prevailing prejudices.

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 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I cannot say my yes to legends that have been clearly and fancifully created. If I could not move my search beyond angelic messengers, empty tombs, and ghostlike apparitions, I could not say yes to Easter.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The thing that intrigues me about Matthew is that I don't believe anybody would read it if they aren't Jewish and understand it. And so to say that publicly as a Christian is kind of interesting.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The biblical texts that we Christians have used for centuries to justify our hostility toward the Jews need to be banished forever from the sacred writings of the Christian church.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

If you're going to live in a community, you have to refrain from killing one another and stealing from one another. You must have honor and honesty in your dealings with one another. But I think the deeper thing that we need to do is to become so fully human that we don't grasp at life; we give life away. We give love away. We give being away. That is the ultimate work of religion.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

It's the 21st century, and somebody has to rise from within this faith tradition and retranslate it for the post-modern world... The Earth is not the center of the universe, therefore, God is not a being who lives above the sky, who splits the Red Sea from time to time, or creates a miracle, or whatever.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I think I can tell you how I experience God. I experience God as the power of life calling me to live, I experience God as the power of love calling me to love. That's the God I see in Jesus of Nazareth, that's the God I see in the fourth gospel.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I do assert that one prepares for eternity not by being religious and keeping the rules, but by living fully, loving wastefully, and daring to be all that each of us has the capacity to be.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Benedict XVI kept saying that homosexuals are deviant. They're not deviant. They're deviant only if you say that anyone who is different from me is abnormal.

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 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

As for the status of Western Christianity, we are in a place where our task is to redefine the primary symbols of our faith or tradition in a more human direction. That's the thing I spend my time doing.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I see Christianity in very humanistic terms.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

You learn that you either are going to have a police state where you don't have any freedom left, or you're going to build a world that doesn't create terrorists - and that means a whole different way of 'getting along.'

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

"I do not believe that Jesus, at the end of his earthly sojourn, returned to God by ascending in any literal sense into a heaven located somewhere in the sky. My knowledge of the size of this universe reduces that concept to nonsense.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I would like the church to be a place where the questions of people are honored rather than a place where we have all the answers. The church has to get out of propaganda. The future will involve us in more interfaith dialogue. ... We cannot say we have the only truth.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I want to see Christianity enhance our humanity instead of rescue us from some fall. I don't want us to be depending on this supernatural God up in the sky; I want us to recognize that God is part of who we are and that we have to live out the meaning of God with other people. That means we must live in mutual respect and interdependence; it means we have to limit our own desires in order for the body politic to survive.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I find it fascinating that Paul [the apostol], writing to the Galatians, responds to the question, "What does it mean to live in Christ?" by saying, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

In the fall of 1988, I worshipped God in a Buddhist temple. As the smell of incense filled the air, I knelt before three images of the Buddha, feeling that the smoke could carry my prayers heavenward. It was for me a holy moment for I was certain that I was kneeling on holy ground....I will not make any further attempt to convert the Buddhist, the Jew, the Hindu or the Moslem. I am content to learn from them and to walk with them side by side toward the God who lives, I believe, beyond the images that bind and blind us.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

To have a great university library near you with plenty of archives of all the journals that you want to research in the twentieth century is a remarkable asset, and I spend a day, maybe two days a week in that library. I just plain love it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

When I grew up in the South, I was taught that segregation was the will of God, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. I was taught that women were by nature in inferior to men, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. I was taught that it was okay to hate other religions, and especially the Jews, and the Bible was quoted to prove it.

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 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Theism, as a way of conceiving God, has become demonstrably inadequate, and the God of theism not only is dying but is probably not revivable. If the religion of the future depends on keeping alive the definitions of theism, then the human phenomenon that we call religion will have come to an end. If Christianity depends on a theistic definition of God, then we must face the fact that we are watching this noble religious system enter the rigor mortis of its own death throes.

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, says, "From the rising of the sun to its setting, God's name shall be great among the Gentiles." This encompasses the whole world. Suddenly it's not the Jews against the Gentiles, or my tribe against your tribe.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

The great biblical tradition says that loving God and loving one's neighbor are not two separate actions but two sides of the same action. It was the prophet Amos who bore witness to the fact that divine worship is nothing but human justice being offered to God and human justice is nothing but divine worship being lived out.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Apologetic explanations do not develop unless there is a reality that has to be explained and defended. Jesus was undeniably a figure of history.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

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 either rejection or discrimination.

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 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I want the traditional family upheld, but I don't want it upheld to the detriment of other people.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Another [book on Matthew] is Amy-Jill Levine, who is a Jewish woman who teaches New Testament at the Vanderbilt School of Religion. It's a group of essays by mostly womanly scholars looking at Matthew's gospel through feminists' eyes - very exciting. It opens up all sorts of things that I've never thought about.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

If you want to be a Roman Catholic scholar and write, you've got to write in such a way that nobody understands what you're saying, and then you're thought to be profound.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

There's no way a human being can escape his or her human-ness to be able to imagine God. We can talk about how we've experienced God, not what or who God is.

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 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

In the private arena, you can do whatever you wish, and people do. These crazy evangelical preachers get on the radio and TV and say incredible things.

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 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

What we now need to see is that human life doesn't need to be rescued from a fall that didn't happen. Human life needs to be empowered. We have to begin to see the work of God as expanding the humanity of people so that they do not have to relate to one another out of the survivor mentality of fallen people.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Shelby Spong

They amuse themselves by playing an irrelevant ecclesiastical game called "Let's Pretend." Let's pretend that we possess the objective truth of God in our inerrant Scriptures or in our infallible pronouncements or in our unbroken apostolic traditions.

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 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Moral judgment is not life-giving; love that transcends the boundaries of judgment as Jesus' love did, is.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Shelby Spong

I grew up in North Carolina being told that the Bible approves slavery and segregation, that it was the will of God.

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

The first command given by God when Adam and Eve were pitched out of the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis is, "Be fruitful and multiply, and subdue the Earth." We've been trying to do that for a long time, and now the Earth is fighting back. I'm not sure that we're going to survive as a species.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Shelby Spong

Our problem is not that we're fallen; our problem is we haven't become human yet. The question is, what can make us human, so that we can give life away and give love away and not be grasping after trying to protect our own lives all the time? That's the way I see the Jesus story, and I think it's a powerful and profound story.