1. Standard memberPBE6
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    21 Jun '05 16:58
    Has anyone read the book "Sins of Scripture" by the former (now retired) Anglican Bishop of Newark, John Shelby Spong? I saw one of his lectures on TV, and might have to buy the book.

    Besides being an excellent and engaging public speaker, his points are very interesting. From what I saw, he points out that:

    (1) the Bible was not written by God, but by authors of various ethnicities and situations, in order to promote various agendas, many of them tribal in nature; and

    (2) that the Bible has been hijacked by literalists to promote their own agendas, many of them hateful in nature.

    I may not believe in God, but I do believe that people can and should love one another, and that is Spong's main message. Too many evils (racism, prejudice, abuse, etc...) have been promulgated in the name of a book of stories.

    So, any thoughts? I can't wait to see what RBHill has to say about the Bible being used as a unclean tool of evil.
  2. Standard memberdj2becker
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    21 Jun '05 18:18
    Originally posted by PBE6
    Has anyone read the book "Sins of Scripture" by the former (now retired) Anglican Bishop of Newark, John Shelby Spong? I saw one of his lectures on TV, and might have to buy the book.

    Besides being an excellent and engaging public speaker, his points are very interesting. From what I saw, he points out that:

    (1) the Bible was not written by God, but b ...[text shortened]... can't wait to see what RBHill has to say about the Bible being used as a unclean tool of evil.

    The Bible has been hijacked by literalists to promote their own agendas, many of them hateful in nature.

    Those literalists were obviously not obeying what the Bible teaches.

    Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    Matthew 19:19 - Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    Mark 12:31 - And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

    Luke 6:27 - But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

    John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.



  3. Standard memberPBE6
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    21 Jun '05 18:24
    Originally posted by dj2becker

    [b]The Bible has been hijacked by literalists to promote their own agendas, many of them hateful in nature.


    Those literalists were obviously not obeying what the Bible teaches.

    Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecu ...[text shortened]... 3 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.



    [/b]
    Love is good, and those are some nice scriptures. Unfortunately, the Bible says a lot of things. Literalists tend to pick and choose scriptures to support their agendas. The ones you listed tend to get left out of debates about female clergy, homosexuality, the nature of "true faith", etc...
  4. Standard memberdj2becker
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    21 Jun '05 18:31
    Originally posted by PBE6
    Love is good, and those are some nice scriptures. Unfortunately, the Bible says a lot of things. Literalists tend to pick and choose scriptures to support their agendas. The ones you listed tend to get left out of debates about female clergy, homosexuality, the nature of "true faith", etc...
    True. But remember that Satan also quotes the Bible, and can also use people that do this. I know of one guy that was desperate for help. He decided to open the Bible and do what was said in the first verse that he read. He opened his Bible and read in Matthew 27:5 - "And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself."

    I agree that the Bible should not always be taken up literally. You have to read something in context.

  5. Standard memberPBE6
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    21 Jun '05 18:591 edit
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    True. But remember that Satan also quotes the Bible, and can also use people that do this. I know of one guy that was desperate for help. He decided to open the Bible and do what was said in the first verse that he read. He opened his Bib ...[text shortened]... taken up literally. You have to read something in context.

    That's generally what Spong said in his lecture, but he goes a bit further. He says not only can the Bible be misinterpreted and misused to promote a prejudiced agenda, but that often it was written that way on purpose!

    We should remember that the Bible was written in a time of warring tribes, city states and countries. Tribalism, the rallying perceived superiority of one group over another due to differences between themselves and "the others", was rampant. For example, Jews and Gentiles, whites and non-whites, us and them. Today, tribalism takes the form of racism and nationalism/patriotism. Spong argues that these prejudices are embedded in the Bible, so understanding context becomes essential in understanding the meaning of scripture, and when making the decision whether to accept it or reject it.

    The Bible is not always right. Spong assays everyone to think for ourselves when reading and judge whether the message makes us more or less loving.
  6. Standard memberdj2becker
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    21 Jun '05 19:11
    Originally posted by PBE6
    That's generally what Spong said in his lecture, but he goes a bit further. He says not only can the Bible be misinterpreted and misused to promote a prejudiced agenda, but that often it was written that way on purpose!

    We should remember that the Bible was written in a time of warring tribes, city states and countries. Tribalism, the rallying perceived s ...[text shortened]... to think for ourselves when reading and judge whether the message makes us more or less loving.
    I would say that it is essential for the Holy Spirit to interpret the text of the Bible. Whoever reads it should do so prayerfully or else it would be the same as any other old book.
  7. Standard memberPBE6
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    21 Jun '05 19:16
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    I would say that it is essential for the Holy Spirit to interpret the text of the Bible. Whoever reads it should do so prayerfully or else it would be the same as any other old book.
    What do you mean "it is essential for the Holy Spirit to interpret the text of the Bible"?
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    21 Jun '05 19:49
    Originally posted by dj2becker

    [b]The Bible has been hijacked by literalists to promote their own agendas, many of them hateful in nature.


    Those literalists were obviously not obeying what the Bible teaches.

    Matthew 5:44 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecu ...[text shortened]... 3 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.



    [/b]
    If you disagree with biblical literalists why all the anxiety about evolution?
  9. Standard memberPBE6
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    21 Jun '05 20:031 edit
    Originally posted by aardvarkhome
    If you disagree with biblical literalists why all the anxiety about evolution?
    I know that question was directed toward DJ Becker (spin it!), but I'd like to interject another tidbit from the lecture.

    Spong denies the creation myth as related in the Bible, especially the part about "the fall from perfection". He believes that the purpose of Jesus was not to take away our "original sin" (which we all supposedly commited retroactively by, I don't know, building a time machine and egging Adam and Eve on? Did original sin ever make sense to anyone?), but to inspire us to live and love more fully. He also denies that Jesus is the Son of God, and describes those proclaimations in the Bible as a first attempt at trying to describe what Jesus the man was trying to do.

    There's the tidbit.
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