Bestselling and controversial bishop John Shelby Spong reveals the subversive, mystical teachings of the writer of the Gospel of John and how his teachings are more relevant now, in our post-Christian world, than ever before.
John Shelby Spong is the bestselling author of over 20 books such as Jesus for the Non-Religious, Christianity Must Change or Die, and Eternal Life: A New Vision, where he explores commonly held Christian beliefs and shows us how we can understand them in new ways.
In his next book, Spong turns his attention to the Gospel of John, the fourth Gospel in the Bible. Contrary to what is most often believed, the book of John is written against the background of a three year Jewish liturgical lectionary of the first century synagogue and written by a Jewish mystic who did not think of God as an external being who invaded the world in Jesus. Because of this, the fourth Gospel develops a very different and relatively modern Christology about heightened consciousness, inner being, and an immanent sense of God.
The Fourth Gospel will be a fresh way to read the Gospel of John and a unique primer about how to be a Christian in the post-Christian twenty-first century.
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John Shelby Spong, the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000, has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at more than 500 other universities all over the world. His books, which have sold well over a million copies, include Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy; The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic; Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World; Eternal Life: A New Vision; Jesus for the Non-Religious, The Sins of Scripture, Resurrection: Myth or Reality?; Why Christianity Must Change or Die; and his autobiography, Here I Stand. He writes a weekly column on the web that reaches thousands of people all over the world. To join his online audience, go to www.JohnShelbySpong.com. He lives with his wife, Christine, in New Jersey.Review:
“We now approach our scriptures with a literalism that is unparalleled in the history of religion. This new and imaginative book by John Shelby Spong will liberate many people from this unnecessary complication of the religious life.” (Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
“Spong is writing for a lay audience, and he does so magnificently. His thoughts are bracing, his writing exciting, and his conclusions thought provoking. Those who love reading about religion in general and Christianity in particular may want to go through this volume more than once.” (Booklist (starred review))
“No one has done more to articulate a vibrant, post-mythic vision of Christianity than John Shelby Spong. Bishop Spong’s masterful interpretation is destined to become a classic.” (Michael Dowd, Author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World)
“Bishop Spong’s in-depth struggles with and work on the Gospel of John have resulted in a book that challenges dominant assumptions and interpretations. This book will help anyone who cares to think about faith in open, dynamic, hospitable, and inclusive ways.” (Tat-siong Benny Liew, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean; Professor of New Testament Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA)
“Leave it to Bishop Spong to uncover a message of universal hope that is deeply rooted in Jewish mysticism. Spong’s synthesis of Johannine scholarship will lead both clergy and lay readers to a new appreciation of the surprising origins and message of the Fourth Gospel.” (David Felten & Jeff Procter-Murphy, authors of Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity)
“Spong is always readable and informative, but this book reads like a cross between a detective story and an adventure saga that is founded on excellent scholarship. I could not put it down.” (Fred C. Plumer, President of Progressive Christianity.Org)
“Spong invites readers on a stimulating and challenging journey to read the gospel of John afresh and to consider Christianity from a new perspective. This is a must read for every Christian who has tried to make sense of this gospel.” (Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Dean and Professor of Hebrew Bible, The Theological School, Drew University)
“Spong stands on solid scholarship. . . . More important than the negatives to the profoundly persuasive author is the unburnished positive: . . . The Fourth Gospel calls on the faithful to believe that Jesus achieved ‘the mystical oneness with the God who is the source of life.’” (Publishers Weekly)
“In his 24th book, The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic, the always provocative Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on the Gospel of John, opening new windows of insight and challenging the ways the fourth gospel has usually been understood.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Book Description Harper Collins 2013-01-01, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9781443423991B