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John Shelby Spong Quotes / Quotations


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John Shelby Spong QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
All of those are paths that humans have walked toward God. And they're not enemies, they're just different paths. But Matthew has turned that in such a way that you're either on my side or you're my enemy.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
All religion seems to need to prove that it's the only truth. And that's where it turns demonic. Because that's when you get religious wars and persecutions and burning heretics at the stake.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
And the way they did it was to say, the Jews killed our hero too. And so Christians began to define themselves over against the orthodox party of the Jews as a way of surviving against the Roman onslaught.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Anything that enhances being would be good, and anything that violates being would be bad.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
At the other end of the story, there is the issue of getting Jesus back up to God, which comes into the Christian tradition in the 9th decade, maybe the 10th decade, in the ascension story. It doesn't make sense in the space age.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
By the time you get to the fourth gospel (John), all the "I am" sayings come into the tradition. For Jews, God's name was "I am."
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
God is the source of life. And if God is the source of life, the only way I can worship God is by living fully. And I've got to dedicate myself as a follower of this God to building a world where everybody has an opportunity to live fully.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I admire our ancestors, whoever they were. I think the first self-conscious person must have shaken in his boots. Because as he becomes self-conscious, he's no longer part of nature. He sees himself against nature. He looks at the vastness of the universe and it looks hostile.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I always want to be on the side of the increasing life of the most people.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I don't believe my country will go the way of the righteous right, because I think my country is stronger than that. But it takes a long time.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I don't know how to say that God is real anymore than say it. All I can say is that I am consumed with that reality. If I had to name what I really am, and this would really surprise my critics and my friends, but I really am a mystic.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I don't mind saying that I don't invalidate any of those paths. But the path I walk is the Christ path. If God is God and if the Christ path leads me to God, then I will meet whomever has gone through whatever path they've come from.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I experience God as a life force that flows through the universe.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I go where I'm invited. And all I can tell you is if we accepted every invitation we had, I'd be away every day of my life.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I have to start at the basics, and that's God.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I really live in an awareness of a transcendent power that I cannot articulate, cannot explain. And yet, I never doubt. And I walk into that mystery more every day of my life.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I see God not as a being up in the sky, but as the source of life, the source of love and the ground of being.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I spend my time, not rejecting the way the Christian story has been understood, but rejecting the literalism that has been imposed upon it. My secular humanist friends would reject the whole story.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I think all those paths are quite valid. And I think one of the great tragedies of religion is that we've made each path exclusive. It's ludicrous.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I think that anything that begins to give people a sense of their own worth and dignity is God.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
I'm going to worship God I need to get on the side of the life force and enhance it instead of being opposed to it.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
If God is the "ground of being" then I worship God by having the courage to be. And if I am faithful in following that God, I try to build a world where other people have the freedom to be who they are.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
If you begin to give people hope that there is a brighter future, there is a new tomorrow, then the people who were yesterday's terrorists become tomorrow's elected officials and they're part of the system.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
If you go back and look at the Jesus story, there are three texts in Mark, Matthew and Luke. They all came from the same source, but Matthew changes a word which makes it really crucial.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Ironically, that's the great thing that terrorism does for us. Terrorism is a whole new enemy. An all-out arsenal didn't save the World Trade Center. So we're constantly vulnerable to terrorists.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
It may be a thousand years, but it's still there. You don't diminish human life the way we have diminished human life with our power and not expect it at some point to rise up.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
It would be like American feeling toward Osama bin Laden and the terrorists in that they suffered at their hands. The Christians tried to separate themselves from the Jewish crowd so they wouldn't be the recipients of the persecution of the Romans.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
It's not a bad world. It means that those of us who have more of this world's goods are going to not have as much, because there's only a finite amount of this world's goods to go around.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
It's not just that I'm getting older and cramming for finals. It's that it becomes more and more real. And the closer you get into that experience, the less any words describing it make any sense. And so you're finally reduced to silence, awe and wonder.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Mother Nature is not sweet.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
My fundamentalists friends will say it's got to be literally so. I'm in a strange position, where I've got to separate the experience from the explanation. I keep wanting to find a way to make the experience understandable for the 21st century.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Now who can argue that the Buddhists are against the Christians? You could argue that they're not for the Christians, but you couldn't argue that they're against them, or the Jews or the Muslims.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Pope John Paul II made steps toward Muslims and made steps toward Jews. But that's about 500 years too late in my opinion. I welcome it, but it's irrelevant. If you don't learn to get along, human beings aren't going to survive.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
So it doesn't matter whether any of that or all of it happened specifically, it's that people experienced him that way. There had to have been an experience that people have tried to make sense out of.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Terrorism is a real despair. These are people for whom life has been so negative that they're willing to die if they can take down some of their enemies.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
The background is important: those that accommodated themselves throughout the occupation were looked at as traitors; those who fought the occupation were considered terrorists to the Romans, but freedom fighters to the Jews.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
The claim historically is that somehow through Jesus, God has been experienced. Then you get to the theology that says he came out of heaven and had a virgin birth and went back to heaven - but that's the mythological framework that tries to make sense of whatever the experience was.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
The Romans finally decided that they couldn't tolerate that so they matched their forces against Jerusalem and destroyed it in 70 C.E. What happened then was that you had incredible anti-Semitic feelings among the Romans.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
The story hasn't worked since 1724, when we discovered that women have an egg cell. So Jesus is half God and half human - not fully God and fully human - which is what the early church leaders were trying to say. And if God is really a biological father, then Jesus can't be human.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
The thing that I think you have to say about God first is that nobody knows who God is, nobody knows what God is. I don't care what they say - all any human being knows is how they believe they have experienced God. They do not know what God is.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
They're not going to rise up with an army to come defeat our army. They're going to get at us the way they can get at us.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
To be a follower of this God means you have to try to enhance the love that's available in this world.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
We thought if you got sick God was punishing you. Then we discovered germs and then we developed antibiotics to deal with germs. And then we discovered that it didn't make any difference if you were Hitler or Mother Teresa - penicillin works. It has nothing to do with your behavior.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
What terrorism finally winds up saying to us is that you can't live in a world that bends some people so totally out of shape that they want to destroy themselves and anybody who gets in their way.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
Whatever diminishes life is evil, and whatever enhances life is good.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
When I go to the red states I'm considered a radical Christian, and when I go to the blue states I'm considered an old-fashioned religious man who is trying to call people back to something.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
You can't have a world where 50 percent of the people are dieting and 50 percent of the people are starving if you want stability.
Quotation of John Shelby Spong
You learn that you either are going to have a police state where you don't have any freedom left, or you're going to build a world that doesn't create terrorists - and that means a whole different way of "getting along."
Quotation of John Shelby Spong