I have mentioned John Shelby Spong in passing on this blog before. He is the former bishop of Newark, NJ and one of the leading liberal fundamentalists in the U.S. today. Spong is one of those fellows who comes in the appearance of a bishop, but is no bishop Biblically speaking. The author of a number of books undermining the Christian faith, Spong has likely led a large number away from Christ. I know a couple of people who started to question Christianity after having read him uncritically.
James White will be debating Spong on the issue of homosexuality on Nov. 3, 2006 in Florida as part of the Alpha & Omega annual cruise/conference. I’m sure this will be a very profitable debate that I hope many will listen to. So many take Spong’s scholarship at face value without digging into any of the claims he makes. Hopefully by listening to White correct Spong, a greater realisation of the “bishop’s” agenda will be made clear and how that agenda shapes his scholarship.
On White’s website he has recently been evaluating a radio interview that Spong did recently. The first segment can be found here while the second can be found here.
Listening to Spong, I noticed something that tends to be prevalent in a lot of liberal views. Namely, liberals tend to have a sublte paternalistic attitude towards those of other races and cultures. I’ve noticed it in Spong’s view that belief in God is tribal, and is something that needs to be surpassed. After expressing anger with the Bible’s concept that God hated the Egyptians (by sending various plagues), Spong in turn gives a pat on the head to any who believe in God and calls them “tribal.” Sounds a little racist to me.