Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ books, shirt, and family

Stephen Hawking:  "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."  I'm trying to finish a couple of library books due back this week (see below), so I haven't been reading Hawking's book as I'd hoped.

Books:  I'm halfway through Friday's book, which is due back on Thursday.  Someone has requested it and it's new, so I cannot renew it from the library.  What's next for me to read?  There's no way I can finish the other book also due on Thursday, but I plan to at least skim it — and buy a copy for myself, so I can mark it up.  Here's the book, the latest by Bishop Spong:

Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today ~ by John Shelby Spong, 2018
Five hundred years after Martin Luther and his 95 theses ushered in the Reformation, Spong delivers 12 forward-thinking theses to spark a new reformation to reinvigorate Christianity and ensure its future.  At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Christianity was in crisis — a state of conflict that gave birth to the Reformation in 1517.  Enduring for more than 200 years, Luther’s movement was then followed by a "revolutionary time of human knowledge."  Yet these advances in our thinking had little impact on Christians’ adherence to doctrine — which has led the faith to a critical point once again.

Spong contends that there is mounting pressure among Christians for a radically new kind of Christianity — a faith deeply connected to the human experience instead of outdated dogma.  To keep Christianity vital, he urges modern Christians to update their faith in light of these advances in our knowledge, and to challenge the rigid and problematic Church teachings that emerged with the Reformation.  There is a disconnect, he argues, between the language of traditional worship and the language of the twenty-first century.  Bridging this divide requires us to rethink and reformulate our basic understanding of God.

With its revolutionary resistance to the authority of the Church in the sixteenth century, Spong sees in Luther’s movement a model for today’s discontented Christians.  In fact, the questions they raise resonate with those contemplated by our ancestors.  Does the idea of God still have meaning?  Can we still follow historic creeds with integrity?  Are not such claims as an infallible Pope or an inerrant Bible ridiculous in today’s world?  In this book, Spong outlines twelve "theses" to help today’s believers more deeply contemplate and reshape their faith.  In this, his final book, he offers a revisionist approach that can strengthen Christianity.

Family:  This is my great-grandson.  His mother wrote on Facebook:  "Don’t they know this boy can’t sit still for 2 hours?!"

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Bryan G. Robinson said...

I haven't heard of Spong before, but I might have to look him...and this one...up.

Helen's Book Blog said...

That looks like a way better way to spend time in a dentist's office than how I do it!