hundred years after Martin Luther and his Ninety-Five Theses ushered in
the Reformation, bestselling author and controversial bishop and teacher
John Shelby Spong delivers twelve forward-thinking theses to spark a
new reformation to reinvigorate Christianity and ensure its future.
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Christianity was in
crisis--a state of conflict that gave birth to the Reformation in 1517.
Enduring for more than 200 years, Luther's movement was then followed by
a "revolutionary time of human knowledge." Yet these advances in our
thinking had little impact on Christians' adherence to doctrine--which
has led the faith to a critical point once again.
Bible scholar and Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong contends that
there is mounting pressure among Christians for a radically new kind of
Christianity--a faith deeply connected to the human experience instead
of outdated dogma. To keep Christianity vital, he urges modern
Christians to update their faith in light of these advances in our
knowledge, and to challenge the rigid and problematic Church teachings
that emerged with the Reformation. There is a disconnect, he argues,
between the language of traditional worship and the language of the
twenty-first century. Bridging this divide requires us to rethink and
reformulate our basic understanding of God.
With its revolutionary resistance to the authority of the Church in
the sixteenth century, Spong sees in Luther's movement a model for
today's discontented Christians. In fact, the questions they raise
resonate with those contemplated by our ancestors. Does the idea of God
still have meaning? Can we still follow historic creeds with integrity?
Are not such claims as an infallible Pope or an inerrant Bible
ridiculous in today's world?
In Unbelievable, Spong outlines twelve "theses" to help
today's believers more deeply contemplate and reshape their faith. As an
educator, clergyman, and writer who has devoted his life to his faith,
Spong has enlightened Christians and challenged them to explore their
beliefs in new and meaningful ways. In this, his final book, he
continues that rigorous tradition, once again offering a revisionist
approach that strengthens Christianity and secures its relevance for
generations to come.