Here I Stand

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9780060675387: Here I Stand

John Shelby Spong emerged from a fundamentalist childhood beset with racism, sexism, homophobia, and family dysfunction determined to discover a Christian faith relevant to the modern world. By making a stand for inclusion rather than exclusion, opportunity over discrimination, and intelligent questioning instead of blind faith, he has become a beloved champion to Christians both inside and outside the fold. Using his gift for storytelling, Bishop Spong reveals how he has challenged Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, the positions of John Paul II, and the Roman Catholic hierarchy, as well as the leadership of his own church. Here I Stand is the complete story of the pre-eminent champion of liberal Christianity and his lifelong quest to make the Church open to all who seek to follow the way of Jesus.

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Product Description:

This work is John Shelby Spong's story of his life-long quest to make Christianity open to all who seek to follow the way of Jesus.

Review:

Here I Stand is the autobiography of John Shelby Spong, the Episcopal bishop who is a lightning rod for controversy. Spong has for decades been working to popularise an inclusive version of Christianity that avoids racism, sexism and homophobia; as a result, he has engaged leading conservatives (such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) in very public conflicts. Here I Stand, predictably, gives a blow-by-blow account of Spong's high-profile battles. More surprisingly, Spong also shares some very intimate details about his life that help to explain the sources of his theology. His southern childhood is related in a manner that is every bit as painful and comic as a Flannery O'Connor story. And the story of his first marriage, to a woman whose mental illness persisted for 15 years, is handled with sensitivity and grace. Despite his occasional rhetorical excesses, Spong's book is clearly written in love--with God, with the Church and with the world. "I walk inside the wonder of this God in every experience of life, "he writes at the book's end. We are fortunate that Spong's autobiography so expertly conveys this wonder. -- Christine Buttery

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