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Why Christianity Must Change or Die by John Shelby Spong - Book Report/Review Example

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Why Christianity Must Change or Die by John Shelby Spong

He has also been able to tap into an audience of people who were once starving spiritually and, in spite of their curiosity, were unable or unwilling to embrace Christianity.
Spong describes himself as a believer in exile. He believes that the world in which Christianity was made was provisional and limited, especially when looked at in the perspective of progress in technology and knowledge discovered over the past two millennia. This contradicts the beliefs and ideas formulated in 1st century Judea, which are wholly inadequate for humans’ progressive lives and minds today. He believes that he and other Christians will stay in exile until Christianity is redeveloped to a point of doing away with all its old-fashioned and false tenets (Spong 1).
Spong begins Why Christianity Must Change or Die by exploring, line by line, Christian teachings as stated in the Apostles Creed. He then jumps to the epicenter of Christian belief, keenly exploring each aspect, revealing in each case the insufficiencies of Christianity as described in the Bible and the Church traditions. The narration includes Spong’s own creed, and a flashback to reflect the Christian beliefs, relevant to Christianity since the beginning of the twenty first century, according to Spong. The objective of this paper is to explore Spong’s specific arguments in support of his thesis “Why Christianity must Change or Die?” The paper will also provide explanations of his arguments.
Theism is Just a Word As a religious reformer, Spong is best seen in his book, “Why Christianity Must Change or Die”, where he ultimately highlights what in his opinion is a true faith for a new era. In his novel, Spong states that theism, the view that a supernatural being creates human beings and provides for them, is just a word. In his view, theism is nothing but a human management device, created by traumatized creatures to give them a chance to tackle their self-awareness and fear. God, according to Spong, is merely a projection of desires and wishes of human beings. He proves this claim by saying that the theistic God is a creation that assists humans in managing their anxieties, traumas, and hysterias, which are common in the society today; due to this, he also asserts that God is dead (Spong 66). As a result, Pong argues that theism is extinct and will never rise again, and many of the fundamental concepts of Christianity, such as the original sin, resurrection, and incarnation, have become useless (77). The Apostle Creed And The Nicean Creed Were Developed In a Certain Worldview And No Longer Exist. At the beginning of the novel, with respect to the creedal consternation, “On Saying the Christian Creed with Honesty”, Spong states that: I define myself above all other things as a believer. I am indeed a passionate believer. God is the Ultimate reality in my life. I am in a constant and almost mystical awareness of the divine presence…I am what I would call a God-intoxicated human being. (Spong 3) In the statement above, Spong argues that the Apostles Creed and its later expansion termed as the Nicean Creed were developed in an already dead worldview, which was relevant long ago. They, therefore, have no value or place in the current world. As such, Spong is of the opinion that these things no longer serve any meaningful purpose. According to Spong, the way reality was perceived by the time the Christian Creed was developed has been obliterated by the expansion of technology and knowledge. This is a fact that speaks for itself. Chapter two of the book talks of “The Meaning of Exile and How We Got There.” Here, Spong attempts to bring to compare what he calls the present exile and the ...Show more


Why Christianity Must Change or Die by John Shelby Spong ?
John Shelby Spong is an Episcopal Bishop based at Newark, New Jersey. He is said to have enjoyed his career, which was filled with a lot of controversy. …
Author : carminelakin
Why Christianity Must Change or Die by John Shelby Spong essay example
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