Jesus for the Non-religious

Jesus for the Non-Religious
Recovering the Divine at the Heart of the Human
is John Spomg’s latest book.it is also his best.

In his summun bonum, the ex-bishop of Newark sums up in concise form the biblical evidence for Jesus. The difference between Spong and Catholic exegetes is that he dares go to obvious conclusions about the nature of the scriptural portrait. Virtually the whole of the Gospel story is crafted within the metaphors and liturgy of Judaism.Jesus is the lamb of Passover and the scapegoat of Yom Kippur, hence the now outworn “blood language” of atonement theories which make no sense to moderns. We need a new way of speaking about Jesus within a new cosmology.

Scholars have always seen the miracles as externalized signs of God’s reign. When they become literalized, we miss the point. The resurrection stories are similar. In general the gospels are not history. There is very little unvarnished history here. What there is is a way of speaking about the man for whom many, “God was in Christ”, a life of extraordinary depth of humanity’s capacity to reflect the divine. Jesus breaks through all tribal boundaries which exclude people—count religious boundaries here as well.

Jesus is the great revealer of the mystery we call God.And contrary to Tom Harpur, he really lived!

The best part of this tome is Spong’s analysis of “religious anger”, a constant throughout history. The same religious anger which incensed the hierarchs of the Jewish establishment of course will be turned on Spong as he attempts to remythologize Jesus for non-believers. He’s on to something here.

Well worth a read.

1 Comment »

  1. 1
    polpursun Says:

    The crass arrogance of members of the species Homo sapiens, I opine, is one of the primary reasons why Jesus had to be called God in the sense of the Trinity. Most humans just cannot conceive of a human being of the caliber of Jesus as just a single member of the same species. Most of us would then have to come face to face with just how far short we fall. Well, I suppose, when we think of equilibrium in the universe as dynamic rather than static and we juxtapose that with statistical concepts, it may not be beyond the realm of possibility that here was a member of what I refer to as PMHS, i.e. post modern Homo sapiens. Thinking normatively, in lieu of positively, we can think of the evolutionary process as ongoing. Thus, just by some stretch of the imagination, we can think of the transition from Homo sapiens to PMHS occurring prior to extinction of our species. I envision that the former must happen if the latter is to not. The former will result in the fundamental organizing principle for human interactions and transactions being the psychology of love in lieu of that of our current state (the state existing since our inception as a species), the psychology of power. That is, the POL in lieu of the POP.

    The POP is the reason that the insanity of the behaviour of our species passes for normal. Why, for instance, we seem not to fathom that empire is fundamentally incompatible with democracy, that is, if we are serious about democracy. The status quo of what I refer to as the global 1% elite belies this. We make war to make peace to sustain it. Ex Fromm: “The psychic task of man (generic usage, I presume) is not to seek security, but to tolerate insecurity without panic or undue fear. …………………. Free man is necessarily insecure; Thinking man is necessarily uncertain.”


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