Rescuing the Bible from fundamentalism : a bishop rethinks the meaning of Scripture

by John Shelby Spong

Paperback, 1991





[San Francisco, Calif.] : HarperSanFrancisco, c1991.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sunnydale
Spong was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark (he is now retired). A liberal thinker, he believes that right-wing fundamentalists have hijacked the Bible, and Christianity in general.

The books that make up the Jewish and Christian scriptures were written as allegories, and were never meant to be taken literally even when they were written. Spong sees the mainline denominations like his own losing membership, and feels passionately that Christianity is on the wrong track.

This book, like his others, tries to enlighten the reader about the true history of the Bible and how to read it as it was meant to be read.
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LibraryThing member yapete
Admirable effort of a liberal reading of the Bible. However, since I read this book, I became convinced that a 'nice' reading of the Bible (except for some passages in the new Testament) is really difficult, there is just too much nastiness in there. Through discussions with a fundamentalist friend of mine, I am half convinced that you cannot just pick and choose here. Either you take the bad with the good (as my friend does, only he thinks the bad is good), or you just take the Bible for what it is: a book written by a bunch of people who lived a long time ago with their own agenda, prejudices and ancient world-view. So, if you want to cling to your liberal Christian belief, this is the book for you. Otherwise, it's interesting, but ultimately not helpful.… (more)
LibraryThing member DubiousDisciple
I’m sure there are hundreds of reviews by now of this book on Amazon and elsewhere, so I won’t repeat what everyone else is saying. I just want to call it to your attention.

If you’re new to Bishop Spong’s books and his liberal Christian bent, then pick this up. Published way back in 1991, it wasn’t Spong’s first book, but it’s where you want to start. In fact, this should be your starting point to understand liberal Christianity in general.

Current Biblical scholarship will shake your faith. There’s no way around it. If you open the door to studying the Bible critically, you’ll never be able to go back. Your faith will either be shattered or transformed … depending upon who shakes it.

Choose Spong. He won’t pull punches, and he’ll probably leave you with more questions than you started with, but it’s a journey that must be taken. Choose Spong, because after Spong finishes dismantling fundamentalism, he is able to rebuild your appreciation for the Bible and your faith in God (more so in his later books than in this one) … even if you never again think of God the same way.
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0060675098 / 9780060675097

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