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A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

More Spong Spam

Well, apparently the good Bishop doesn’t buy “atonement theory.” He has determined that a God Who would require payment for sin is “violent, demonic, and even sadistic.” Moreover, in his view, “the ‘substitutionary view of the atonement’ will kill the Church.” He claims, “A new way to look at the meaning of salvation, a way that will transcend the limits of atonement is, I believe, the necessary prerequisite to enable the Christian faith to live in tomorrow's world.”

OK, first of all, this man who makes no effort to curtail his disdain and contempt for evangelical Christianity has the gall to suggest that a God Who says wrongdoing is judgable is nasty...??

Spong asks, “Why would God require a human sacrifice and a blood offering before God would be willing to forgive?” Well, first of all, God doesn't require human sacrifice and blood offering before He can forgive, but He does require it for the sake of justice and righteousness. Golly, this is Christianity 101! Genesis 4:10: “The Lord said (to Cain), ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.’” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.” Since when does forgiveness mean consequence and justice are negated?

Why do so many folks have trouble with the fact that God made us for Himself, and, since He’s our Maker and Sustainer, we OWE Him our deference? Whatever is so violent, demonic, and sadistic about that? Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” Isaiah 55:8-11 “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,...So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieive the purpose for which I sent it.” Amen! Job 21:22 “Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?” See also Job chapters 38-41.

Spong also states, “I am a post-Darwinian. I believe life emerged through a long, perhaps four billion year, evolutionary pattern. I see nothing that suggests that we are "fallen sinners," who need to be rescued. I see everything that convinces me that we are still incomplete human beings who need to be empowered to become more fully human. I see the call of Christ not in terms of rescuing the fallen sinner but as giving us the power to become something more than we have ever been before. Atonement is, therefore, not the word that I would use. Empowerment is."

Oh boy. Life “emerged?” From what? Nothing? Inanimate matter? Primordial soup? No one has been able to authoritatively answer this question although they’ve certainly tried to. “Incomplete human beings?” Whatever do we need to be more “complete” (besides God), to be more “fully human?” What does it mean to be “human?” Does Spong really believe that though mankind hasn't managed to begin evolving out of wrongdoing yet, he somehow will in the future if we can all just grab Christ’s “empowerment?” There is certainly no evidence that people have any less evil in their hearts than in past centuries or millenia, despite the fact that “civilized” social structures have enforced laws and brought on pressure to “behave".

Spong has obviously disregarded the book of Ecclesiastes, in which it’s written that “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl. 1:9) Eccl. 6:12: “For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless day he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?” Chapter 9:3 “This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: the same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.”

There’s more in Spong’s Q&A column "What do you mean when you say that 'Atonement Theology' will kill the Church?" but I’ll save it for another day.

Postscript: Spong just reminds me of a kid who gets really mad at his Dad when Dad grounds him for slugging his brother or something.


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