14 September 2012

This 'n' That

Screenshot: YouTube
Last evening taught me a valuable lesson that I'd like to pass along: Do not read anything written by John Shelby Spong before bed. If you do, there is an excellent chance that you'll find yourself righteously (and rightfully) angry enough to have difficulty falling asleep.

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):
  • 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."
  • What did America's founders really believe? Read the transcript of Albert Mohler's conversation about this topic with historian Gregg Frazer.
  • John Shelby Spong vs. Dr. Walter Martin on issues of sexual ethics:


  1. Hey Ebenz,

    You know what I especially hate about your Friday This 'n' That posts?

    I can never decide what to read first!

    Keep up the good work.

    1. You had me worried there for a minute, Anonymous! Glad you're enjoying the weekly posts!


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