Bishop Spong met us at the door of his home and warmly welcomed us into what turned out to be a comprehensive survey of the state of the Christian Church in America in the second decade of this century. Bishop Spong had as one of his mentors the English Bishop John A.T. Robinson whose liberal understanding of the state of the church in the middle of the last century gained world wide involvement with his book God Is Dead. Bishop Spong has done much the same thing with his writings and with major effect.
In his book, Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile, what is remarkable is not his beliefs themselves, but that an Episcopal bishop would be the one to embrace and espouse them. Spong has become a trumpeter in the battle of beliefs, not just in the Episcopal communion, but in the realm of Christian faith in general in this country. His books are bestsellers and are in turn, presumably, read by those who, whether they agree or disagree see that in some way, Spong is involved in setting the agenda for the Church. This book, as the admitted “summation of his life’s work” tells every reader what the complete Christian agenda will be, for the next few years at least.
What this interview will allow you to see is the heart of the man and his compassion for those suffering the ills of our age, and his love for the church. At 80, he is stunningly alive and awake and using his life to bring the original Christian beliefs out the 15th century and the grips of 20th century fundamentalists and into the post modern techno-understanding of the 21st century.