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Here I Stand: My Struggle for a Christianity of Integrity, Love, and…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006067539X, Paperback)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 popularize 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 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.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 03 Jan 2013 19:45:32 -0500)
"Early in his life, Spong witnessed injustices that were instrumental in awakening his moral consciousness. Growing up in the American south of the 1930s, Spong spent his childhood in an environment of racism, fundamentalism, sexism, and homophobia. The church of his time was no exception; its exclusionary attitudes and practices struck the young Southerner as contradictory to the Christianity he encountered in the Bible and heard preached from the pulpit and taught in Sunday school." "Rather than becoming disillusioned with the church and dropping out, Spong has devoted himself to reforming it, working to integrate women, blacks, gays, lesbians, and other marginalized Christians fully into the faith community better known for rejecting or marginalizing them. In the process, he has challenged the views of leaders such as Jerry Falwell, John Cardinal O'Connor, and his own Episcopal hierarchy."--BOOK JACKET.
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