Patricia Hofer

John Spong? Really?

Just finished a quick read of John Spong’s “Jesus for the Non-Religious.” He dismisses the Bible’s credibility, chapter after chapter, while missing totally the value in the accounts. He obviously hasn’t experienced, and therefore does not know, that a theophany isn’t easy to describe or record. An encounter with God doesn’t occur as a figure from a Michelangelo painting stepping forward and saying, “Hi, I am God.” At best human beings can vaguely describe some details of their theophany in an effort to capture it for others. And that is what Old Testament prophets and New Testament writers were trying to do. Their descriptions might appear flawed (to any reader, not just to Spong). But they are the best that flawed people can capture within the flaws of language. And they are priceless. The life that we are to “have more abundantly” is not going to be found or contained within the boundaries of the pot-bound humanism that Spong seems to love so much. Christian believing isn’t a call to be “fully human” but a call to embrace the Lord’s larger, stronger, quieter life. The Way isn’t a “Jesus experience” but a walk and conversation with the Living Savior. To enter in to such a relationship requires self-abandonment and the humility of listening. Things John Spong appears not to understand at all.

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