Theology quiz followup: Bishop Spong
On the "Theology Quiz" string, Bonnie mentioned that she didn't know who "Bishop so-and-so" was. (The question referred to "Bishop Spong - I went back and looked.) I didn't know who he was either: I asked David and he said "A dirty heretic," so I went ahead and answered the question in the negative. ;)

But I figured I should learn for myself, so I looked him up in Wikipedia (everyone's best source of a clear, accurate, unbiased view of anything. Insert sarcasm alert here.)
Regardless, here's what it had to say about his theology:
Spong's writings rely on biblical and nonbiblical sources, and are influenced by modern critical analysis of these sources (see especially Spong, 1991). He is representative of a stream of thought with roots in the medieval universalism of Peter Abelard and the existentialism of Paul Tillich.
A prominent theme in Spong's writing is that the popular, so-called "literal" interpretation of Christian scripture does not speak honestly to the situation of modern Christian communities, and that a more nuanced approach to scripture, informed by scholarship and compassion, can be consistent with both Christian Tradition and a contemporary understanding of the universe. He believes, as did his theological predecessor, Bishop John A.T. Robinson, that theism has lost credibility as a valid conception of God's nature. He explains that he is a Christian because he believes that Jesus Christ fully expressed the presence of a God of compassion and selfless love, and that this is the meaning of the early Christian proclamation, "Jesus is Lord" (Spong, 1994 and Spong, 1991). He rejects the historical truth claims of some Christian doctrines, such as the virgin birth (Spong, 1992) and the bodily resurrection of Jesus (Spong, 1994).
Link: Wikipedia: Bishop Spong
Annette, Thursday, 11-15-07 1:56 PM
re: Theology quiz followup: Bishop Spong
LOL! Thanks for the information.

I sometimes find myself in the "this could be poetic, symbolic or only partially literal" side of things. Mainly about creation and some of the natural phenomenon of the OT. (EX: Could fire and brimstone be the result of a volcanic eruption triggered by God?) In these areas I don't see why it is relevant if it is literal in regards to God's wrath/grace being real or the fulfilment of prophecy. However, I do believe that the new testament is document factual events. The life and experiences of Christ were as documented. This is important as it was the fulfillment of prophecy.

Any old way.... I don't really go for the "Bob's doctrine is fundimental" stuff. Our wisdome is foolishness to His. Right?
Bonnie, Thursday, 11-15-07 5:03 PM
re: Theology quiz followup: Bishop Spong
Yeah, I'm in that camp myself, and in my (occasionally even humble) opinion it's a perfectly defensible position. There is unarguably poetry in the Bible, and if we're not silly enough to interpret our poetry literally, neither should we feel compelled to interpret the Bible's this way.
Similarly, the OT miracles. I guess I don't see any reason God could not / should not / would not have used a volcano to bury Sodom and Gomorah. I don't see any reason that he couldn't or wouldn't have simply called down fire from heaven, either. And it doesn't terribly matter to me.
Where it does start to matter is when you take the next step, though, and say "God certainly didn't literally destroy Sodom and Gomorah, nor literally part the Red Sea to let the Israelites through, nor cause the firstborn of every man or beast to die. These are symbolic, mythological tales illustrating the provision of God for his people, or the wrath of God upon his enemies, but they didn't Really happen."
That's where the line gets crossed. I figure you can argue 'til you're blue in the face on how God went about parting the Red Sea, as long as you're not denying the fundamental event or its miraculous nature.

My $0.02
Annette, Friday, 11-16-07 2:23 PM
re: Theology quiz followup: Bishop Spong
I'm with Annette on that. The miraculous nature part is important to me. My last paster down played the Red Sea crossing to walking across such a shallow part of the "Reed Sea" that the true miracle would have been that the persuing army actually drown. I think that a God that works outside of the understanding of people makes him a bit too uncomfortable for them. In the spirit of our C.S Lewis study Aslion was not a tame lion. I believe too many people want a tame God.

Oh, I finally took the time to take the test. The results were a big duh for me. I was supprised how accurate it was. Check it out.

Quiz results:
What's your theological worldview?
You scored as a Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 89%
Neo orthodox 82%
Reformed Evangelical 79%
Fundamentalist 71%
Emergent/Postmodern 64%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 61%
Classical Liberal 50%
Roman Catholic 43%
Modern Liberal 39%
ROUS  Debbie Day, Tuesday, 11-20-07 1:56 PM
Reply to This Discussion
Start New Discussion
  Church, Christian, Salvation, Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Portland, Oregon, Friends, Quaker, Non-Denominational, Jesus Christ, God, New Testament, NT, Old Testament, OT, Bible, Heaven, Hell, Casual, Evangelical, Intimate, Community