But a nos moutons. Spong's prologue and opening chapter have left me asking the same question as he does:
"Is faith so weak and life so afraid that those who dare to pose questions must expect to be attacked for faithlessness by the religiously insecure?"Immediately before that question, he asks his readers if they have felt the tension between their inability to believe literally the supernatural things said about Jesus in the Bible and reiterated in Christian history and their being drawn "deeply and expectantly" into the Jesus experience. As one of these readers, I know that there are areas of my religious thought that I simply don't share - unless, perhaps, with an interested non-believer. Safer that way, don't you know.
There is little chance that someone like me will receive death-threats over this - unlike Spong. And my job doesn't depend on my toeing the party line. But surely all these highly-educated clergy of my acquaintance must know all this stuff? So what happens? Does every priest have to stick to the curriculum regardless of what they know? Is there a rule about this? (These aren't rhetorical questions: feel free to enlighten me)
I wasn't really brought up to believe much. I was taught the basics and allowed to go my own way, and it was experience of something which happened in an Anglican framework which caught me, so perhaps it was always going to be easy for me to question and to feel it was ok to use the brains I'd been given rather than give them a Sabbath rest. And yes, I'm a Christian, one who doesn't want to live in a mediaeval cosmology. Just let me keep the music ....