Strange Brouhaha

Friday, June 17, 2005

More On Spong

Man, this is a great book. His central thesis is that early Christianity was all about change, the change from being Jews trying to reform Judaism, the change from non-creed-based worship to creed-based faith (and the section on the development of the Nicene Creed was unaccountably fascinating), the changes wrought in the stories told about Jesus...and ultimately the change into hidebound, hierarchichal authority.

Change or die, he says baldly.

Christianity must face itself and change. Bible-based certainty is a load of crap (he says it much more nicely) and our society's understanding of it must change. Historically, the first few centuries of Christianity were very fluid and dynamic, and it must be able to return to that state or face irrelevance.

I can't wait for the followup book he promises.


  • I liked Spong's discussion of religion as safety net. Science appeared to strip away our safety net, our sense that there are greater being/s than ourselves who are keeping an eye on things so that the world does (even if we can't figure out how) make sense.

    But there's an interesting question, which I read in a book a long time ago (can't remember which one). We appear to have evolved to "believe," yet we're smart enough to outsmart our belief. So what do we do?

    I think probably it was evolutionarily adaptive for human beings to assume that there was a spirit world, a numinous reality that influenced our own (and could be influenced by us in turn). The advantages are obvious. Unfortunately so are the disadvantages, from human sacrifice to burning at the stake to religious wars and so on.

    I think people are meant to have a vague belief in something out there--but that it needs to stay vague. No zealotry, no fanaticism, no trying to make it logical.

    By Blogger Savannah, at 10:26 AM  

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