Thirteen. This is the number of books by Jack Spong hoarded in SSUC’s Library, the most by one author. So, right away, you know he’s a redoubted writer in progressive Christian circles. And his Jesus for the Non-religious may be especially noteworthy: a CNN commentator warranted, “It is the boldest book I’ve ever read, but also the most hopeful.”
“Destroying Jesus is not my goal,” Spong declares in this book, “destroying the layers of ever-hardening concrete that have encased him is.” Thus, Jesus “is not an end in himself, as Christians have so mistakenly assumed; Jesus is but a doorway into the wonder of God.” Too, “He opened people’s eyes to see what life could be—that is the power of the Jesus experience.”
A bishop emeritus of the Episcopal Church, John Shelby Spong, “calls for a fundamental rethinking of Christian belief,” Wikipedia attests, “away from theism and traditional doctrines.” It’s why the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary condemned him as a heretic, and the Anglican archbishop of Sydney banned him from preaching in any churches in his New South Wales diocese. No wonder the Washington Post reckoned, “…during a long and remarkable career…he became an unabashed provocateur.”
Jesus for the Non-Religious: Recovering the Divine at the Heart of the Human, by John Shelby Spong, HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.