A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Here's a wierd newspaper article "Bishop Spong steps up fight against evangelism". I figure that the newspaper mistakenly failed to use the word evangelicalism. Evangelism is simply spreading the good news, a calling every church across traditions ought to be embracing. But the fact that evangelism and evangelicalism are seen as the same tells us much about how the mainstream media covers religion.

According to the article, "Evangelical churches, with their focus on the Bible as the infallible word of God have been growing for decades despite Spong's prediction that they would fade. None of this seems to faze Spong." But the issue is not whether evangelical bodies have grown. It's the fact that they are drawing from a smaller pool. The number of folks who have claimed non religion as their category has *doubled* since 1990.

As religion continues to be identified with particular set of conservative views, more and more people are unable or unwilling to identify with the Christian tradition. Spong is hitting on something that ought not be swept under the rug simply because the Southern Baptists added 1% or so to their rolls. By the way Spong was at a recent conference for spiritual progressives in CA. The Witherspoon Society has an article which covers that event.


At 4:23 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

Ah, good ol' Spong.

Interestingly, note that he doesn't really "fight", either, in the sense of the headline whence you quoted the word.

I don't agree with him on the virgin birth, etc; but his attitude is spot-on. I also resent the growing right-wing with their absolutism.

At 2:49 PM , Anonymous J-Tron said...

That newspaper article also appears to have misspelled the word "phase." Apparently some editor was asleep at the wheel.

Spong... *sigh*... I generally find him to be an embarrassment to the Church, although I think he's sincere.

But you're right that evangelicalism and evangelism are certainly not the same thing.

At 2:58 PM , Anonymous tom Sherman said...

It seems that the reason for the smaller pool of religious might be the in-fighting. There doesn't seem to be any one, true, just, and beautiful - - with so much disagreement on the central theme of Jesus Christ, love.

This is the first time I've visited your blog. Nice site. My compliments.

Notwithstanding, is there an article or text somewhere that covers the entire set of problems - - should abortion become illegal and not just immoral? In Missouri, legislators want to recover the Medicaid cost of single parent births (deliveries)from the fathers. Sounds good. At least we are identifying that a man had something to do with the pregnancy. Now, add 1.3 million births nationwide. Somebody needs to pay more taxes so that these children have healthcare and an education. The right wing conservatives cannot have more births and a balanced budget. Why do we lean on the legislature to band abortion before we beat them up over the issue of healthcare? If not, it might take at least some of these same sex couples, with two incomes, to care for all these children. I would hope there would be, as well, baptism and religious instruction for the children. There is so much on the periphery of the abortion issue.

At 5:37 AM , Anonymous Henry 8th said...

If Spong became the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the COE/Anglican/Episcapalian church may reverse it's trend of declining numbers. The chances of that are about the same as Ratzinger (sp?) declaring birth control a moral act.

It is time the Canadian and American Anglican churches had a schism from the COE, they have shown they do not want us, lets leave.

This may also be a good recommendation for the north american RCs, a schism from Rome.

Both septs of Christianity have been high jacked by the right wing fundamentalists and use the vote of the Continental African clergy to control the agenda.

Spong's book "The Sins of Scripture" should be required reading for all seminarians.

At 7:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religion sucks

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