1. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    17 Feb '04
    Moves
    49984
    03 May '07 02:31
    Came across this excerpt (http://www.somareview.com/badtheology.cfm) from some of John Shelby Spong's work. I've always been impressed and intrigued by his thought and biblical interpretations, especially the way he conceives of the notion of god.

    Here's a brief excerpt:

    So who is God? No one can finally say. That is not within human competence. All we can ever say is how we believe we have experienced God, doing our best to dispel our human delusions. Let me try to do just that. I experience God as the source of life calling me to live fully and thus to respect life in every form as embodying the holy. I experience God as the source of love calling me to love wastefully all that God has made, including the earth with its plants and animals. I experience God, in the words of Paul Tillich, as the “Ground of Being” calling me to be all that I can be and to affirm the sacred being of all that is. The worship of such a God could never result in the destruction of the planet that has produced us.
    We have looked upward for a God above the sky for centuries, but we now know that this infinite universe is empty of supernatural invasive deities. We need to shift our vision to look within—at life, at love, at being.


    I wonder what others, particularly the religious amongst you think?
  2. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    03 May '07 03:47
    Originally posted by amannion
    Came across this excerpt (http://www.somareview.com/badtheology.cfm) from some of John Shelby Spong's work. I've always been impressed and intrigued by his thought and biblical interpretations, especially the way he conceives of the notion of god.

    Here's a brief excerpt:

    So who is God? No one can finally say. That is not within human competence. Al ...[text shortened]... at love, at being.

    I wonder what others, particularly the religious amongst you think?
    A Godless God? Why not refer to ourselves as humanless humans. Perhaps we do not really exist except in the mind God.

    What I see here is the attempt to embrace such concepts as love but reject the supposide source of love which is God. In fact, I see much of this from most atheists I encounter on RHP. After all, who wants to reject such concepts as love? We all recognize the need and importance for love even though we may fail to recognize the source of that love. I say that one rejects the source of love because one rejects the notion of serving that source of love for whatever reason. I suppose that you might say that love need not have a source, however, I say that everything has a source. For the atheist, that source of love is mindless eternal matter and for the person of faith that source of love is an eternal loving and intelligent being. So which of the two scenerios make the most sense?
  3. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    03 May '07 05:20
    Originally posted by amannion
    Came across this excerpt (http://www.somareview.com/badtheology.cfm) from some of John Shelby Spong's work. I've always been impressed and intrigued by his thought and biblical interpretations, especially the way he conceives of the notion of god.

    Here's a brief excerpt:

    So who is God? No one can finally say. That is not within human competence. Al ...[text shortened]... at love, at being.

    I wonder what others, particularly the religious amongst you think?
    That sounds like a rather vacuous definition. Why even bother calling it 'god' anymore?
  4. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    17 Feb '04
    Moves
    49984
    03 May '07 05:21
    Originally posted by whodey
    A Godless God? Why not refer to ourselves as humanless humans. Perhaps we do not really exist except in the mind God.

    What I see here is the attempt to embrace such concepts as love but reject the supposide source of love which is God. In fact, I see much of this from most atheists I encounter on RHP. After all, who wants to reject such concepts as lov ...[text shortened]... is an eternal loving and intelligent being. So which of the two scenerios make the most sense?
    Neither of those make any sense to me. It annoys me somewhat that you presume to speak for anyone else, let alone atheists.
    The source of love in me is me - nothing else, and certainly not the matter that makes me up. You may as well say a rock has love or a glass of water, which is clearly ridiculous.
    I create the love that I have inside me.

    Now as for Spong, I can't claim to speak for him - he's a Christian, I'm not. But I have read some of his work and what he seemed to be suggesting to me is a rejection of the notion of a God in our image. For many, including on this site, God is a personal being - and seems often to imagined in some sort of 'human-like' form.
    Spong seems to reject that and interprets God as being something else. He also leaves the door open for God to be internal rather than external to us, which is why I think he talks about God as love.
  5. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    17 Feb '04
    Moves
    49984
    03 May '07 05:23
    Originally posted by rwingett
    That sounds like a rather vacuous definition. Why even bother calling it 'god' anymore?
    Well, that's my argument I guess, but it does more easily enable an incorporation of the notion of God into a modern, scientific viewpoint.
  6. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    03 May '07 05:38
    Originally posted by amannion
    Well, that's my argument I guess, but it does more easily enable an incorporation of the notion of God into a modern, scientific viewpoint.
    Yes, and if you re-define 'god' to mean "a knitted or woven covering for the foot" you can make him fit into your sock drawer as well.
  7. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
    Uk
    Joined
    21 Jan '06
    Moves
    443
    03 May '07 09:13
    Originally posted by amannion
    Came across this excerpt (http://www.somareview.com/badtheology.cfm) from some of John Shelby Spong's work. I've always been impressed and intrigued by his thought and biblical interpretations, especially the way he conceives of the notion of god.

    Here's a brief excerpt:

    So who is God? No one can finally say. That is not within human competence. Al ...[text shortened]... at love, at being.

    I wonder what others, particularly the religious amongst you think?
    "I experience God as the source of love calling me to love wastefully all that God has made, including the earth with its plants and animals. .....
    We have looked upward for a God above the sky for centuries, but we now know that this infinite universe is empty of supernatural invasive deities. We need to shift our vision to look within—at life, at love, at being.
    "

    I agree with much of the sentiments but how do we go about making the source of love ourselves?
  8. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    03 May '07 10:21
    Originally posted by amannion
    Well, that's my argument I guess, but it does more easily enable an incorporation of the notion of God into a modern, scientific viewpoint.
    But surely it is only the word 'God' that is being borrowed or 'incorporated'. The notion is not. Rather similar to creationists attempts to label ID as science when it isnt.
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    03 May '07 10:23
    Originally posted by amannion
    I wonder what others, particularly the religious amongst you think?
    Question is whether this God can be invoked, appealed to, prayed to, etc. Or, is the Universe sentient?
  10. Joined
    28 Feb '07
    Moves
    1295
    03 May '07 10:30
    Originally posted by amannion
    Came across this excerpt (http://www.somareview.com/badtheology.cfm) from some of John Shelby Spong's work. I've always been impressed and intrigued by his thought and biblical interpretations, especially the way he conceives of the notion of god.

    Here's a brief excerpt:

    So who is God? No one can finally say. That is not within human competence. Al ...[text shortened]... at love, at being.

    I wonder what others, particularly the religious amongst you think?
    Nonsense.....
  11. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    03 May '07 13:30
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Yes, and if you re-define 'god' to mean "a knitted or woven covering for the foot" you can make him fit into your sock drawer as well.
    rec'd.
  12. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    03 May '07 13:431 edit
    Originally posted by amannion
    Neither of those make any sense to me. It annoys me somewhat that you presume to speak for anyone else, let alone atheists.
    The source of love in me is me - nothing else, and certainly not the matter that makes me up. You may as well say a rock has love or a glass of water, which is clearly ridiculous.
    I create the love that I have inside me.

    Now as fo to be internal rather than external to us, which is why I think he talks about God as love.
    How can Spong call himself a Christian. After all, from a Christian viewpoint, Christ came down as God in the form of a man. So if one holds this view, man must be made in the image of his Maker. The only way out of this predicerment is to say that Christ was not really part of the Trinity or something to that effect. I am not certain of his entire theology, but I can bet the house that those views are heretical to the faith he claims to espouse.
  13. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    03 May '07 13:47
    Originally posted by whodey
    How can Spong call himself a Christian. After all, from a Christian viewpoint, Christ came down as God in the form of a man. So if one holds this view, man must be made in the image of his Maker.
    I really don't see how that follows. I am sure a lot of Christians do not believe that man was made in the 'image of his Maker'. I would agree however that the quote from Spong makes it look like he does not believe what would normally be considered 'core' Christian beliefs (like 'God exists' for example).
  14. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    03 May '07 13:52
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I really don't see how that follows. I am sure a lot of Christians do not believe that man was made in the 'image of his Maker'. I would agree however that the quote from Spong makes it look like he does not believe what would normally be considered 'core' Christian beliefs (like 'God exists' for example).
    Silly me, I guess for there to be no God then the Trinity is kinda out the window as well. Oh, what the hey, lets just say that Christ was one of those mortal enlightened fellows who help us look inward to our empty souls. No wonder they crusified him. He made them look inward and there was nothing there.
  15. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
    09 Sep '01
    Moves
    26187
    03 May '07 15:16
    Originally posted by whodey
    Silly me, I guess for there to be no God then the Trinity is kinda out the window as well. Oh, what the hey, lets just say that Christ was one of those mortal enlightened fellows who help us look inward to our empty souls. No wonder they crusified him. He made them look inward and there was nothing there.
    To ward off any possible confusion, I was not defending your particular definition of god in my earlier posts. I think the term is elastic enough to encompass many different definitions, but you can only stretch the term so far before it becomes meaningless.
Back to Top