Who is John Shelby Spong? The short answer: he is a heretic. (For a quick example of this, you can visit the YouTube video linked to in the photo caption, or watch this conversation between Spong and Dr. James White). Unfortunately, he is a heretic who has had a lot of influence. Spong is a liberal theologian and former Episcopal bishop. He has greatly influenced the Emergent Church movement and its leaders. In fact, apologist Chris Rosebrough has gone so far as to deem Spong the First Emergent, and I think he may be correct.
Though he claims to be a Christian, Spong denies many of the core doctrines of the Christian faith. To give you an idea, here are just a few choice quotes:
If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then Christianity, which depends upon the truth and authenticity of Jesus' resurrection, also is not believable....
...We can reject the literal narratives about the resurrection and still not reject the truth and power of the resurrection event itself. That is the distinction that must be made. We would not have the legends unless there had been a moment so indescribable that legends became necessary to explain it....
For me the Gospel traditions are pointers toward the truth. They are not the truth....
...How long was Jesus on the cross before he died? I do not think anyone knows. Remember, those who might have noticed and relayed that information had all forsaken him and fled. The appearance of Joseph of Arimathea, the darkness over the land, the split in the temple veil, the ecstatic cry of faith from the centurion—all were elements of the developing legend. Thus no one knows how long Jesus lived on the cross, how he died, when he was taken down, or where he was buried, "for they all forsook him and fled." That means there was no first-day-of-the-week visit to the tomb by the women to anoint him, since there was no tomb and no sense of when he died or of where he was buried.
-John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? 238, 241.See what I mean? Now that you're potentially as riled up as I was last evening, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
- Prepare to be amazed by the wonder and beauty of God's creation.
- A helpful review of Ian Murray's book, Evangelicalism Divided. I agree with the author when he says, "This is one of those books that every American Christian needs to read."
- Two words: Panda Cam.
- Here's an interesting article about adopting frozen embryos.
- What did America's founders really believe? Read the transcript of Albert Mohler's conversation about this topic with historian Gregg Frazer.
- A pastor goes door to door distributing...wait a minute, that's not the Gospel!
- Steve Lawson's book, The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards is only 99¢ on Kindle.
- Bad week for The Resurgence. Now they're quoting Word Faith heretic Joseph Prince.
- Speaking of Word Faith heretics, Steven Furtick would like to thank Joel Osteen for his inspiration.
- Toronto area schools are trying to push out churches that have been meeting in their facilities.
- For you history buffs (and for those of you who have wondered how the concept of what is now known as TULIP came about), Kevin DeYoung briefly summarizes how it is that we got the Canons of Dort.
- John Shelby Spong vs. Dr. Walter Martin on issues of sexual ethics: