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Discussion 2 to Meditation 223
Re: Bishop Spong's 12 Theses

by JT

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This exchange of views has been continued.

Thank you for your question.

I will start off by pointing out that the list of Theses as originally published in Meditation 223 was based on a newspaper article on a speech by Bishop Spong. I have now revised the Meditation to reflect the wording as published originally by Spong himself.

So, the first thesis, which you questioned, was:

"Theism (the idea of a personal God) is dead, so most theological "God-talk" today is meaningless."

And the correct wording is:

"Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found."

I don't know if that helps you decide what the thesis truly means.

My own interpretation would be that if theism does not define God, then the logical alternative - if your view still demands a god - is deism. That, however, may not be what Spong intended.

My understanding of Spong's idea of Christianity is that it is based on the example of the life, works, and word of Christ - rather than the mystical aspects.

However, I don't expect that I will write giving my interpretation of Bishop Spong. It will inevitably be different in certain ways from his intentions. I would suggest that anyone interested can find quite a few books by him available at Amazon or B&N. And there is a wealth of websites addressing him and his views - search on "John Shelby Spong" or for the specific issue at hand "12 Theses And Spong" should turn up a lot pro and con.

I would welcome others writing in with their views on the theses.