Charlie Pickering interviewed Bishop John Spong on his show The Weekly last Wednesday night.
Bishop Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Spong was ordained into the Anglican priesthood in 1955, at the age of twenty-four. From 1979 to 2000 he was the Bishop of Newark. He is a liberal Christian theologian, religious commentator and author. Throughout his career he called for a fundamental rethink of Christian belief away from biblical literalism, theism and traditional doctrines.
Bishop Spong’s views often evoke either enthusiastic support or indignant condemnation from differing segments of Christian churches, and Roman Catholics have been particularly critical of him. And he of them …
Many Christians call him a ‘heretic’ over his denial of the virgin birth, the resurrection, and other ‘sacred’ tenets of Christianity. Others have been known to refer to him as the ‘Anglican nightmare‘ and a ‘rogue priest’. He wears these terms of derision with pride.
I find Bishop Spong’s Christianity non-threatening to secular values, and a good cultural fit for a modern 21st century society.
I appreciate his rejection of the literal interpretation of the bible, and his very realistic views about the suitability of many of its values for modern humanity.
He refreshingly called out Christianity for centuries of bigotry, hate, homophobia, ignorance, misogyny and racism. He personally sees those ‘values’ incompatible with Christianity and humanity.
He also had some strong words about Cardinal George Pell, the previous Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, and what he sees as Cardinal Pell’s personal ignorance, and general lack of interest in informing himself.
His interview with Charlie Pickering was the television highlight of the week: