By John Shelby Spong
The Bible includes many passages that believers and nonbelievers alike might realize as appalling theology. even if those texts are used to discriminate, oppress, or condemn, they distort the reality of Christianity and forged doubt upon the affection of God. Now, mythical Episcopal bishop and suggest for liberal Christianity John Shelby Spong addresses those passages, shattering our misconceptions and offering a brand new imaginative and prescient of the way Christians this day can use the Bible.
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Extra resources for The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love
Beating the physique as an act designed to delight God was once by no means faraway from the non secular realization of the Western global. whilst that figuring out is mixed with the non secular feel of common human sinfulness, then actual self-discipline is believed to provide a “therapy” for an evil scenario. If God’s published observe within the Bible referred to as for such self-discipline to be administered to teenagers and to these less than authority as an act of affection, and if this self-discipline used to be appeared either as a advantage and as a sacred legal responsibility owed to one’s spiritual enhanced, then all arguments opposed to it have been stifled. So corporal punishment has no longer occasionally marked the connection of the spiritual more advantageous to the monk, the nun or the penitent. occasionally this punishment of the physique used to be ordered via the very best yet was once inflicted by way of one other, every now and then even through the penitent individual himself or herself in an act designed to augment contrition. That was once some time past, we expect, until eventually we learn a extra modern author like Karen Armstrong. 14 This amazing girl, who has authored such bestselling titles as A background of God, One urban, 3 Faiths and The conflict for God, spent the 1st years of her maturity in a convent in England, leaving as lately because the past due Sixties. In her autobiography she describes her adventure as a sister. Confession and penance have been a typical a part of her existence. On events as her penance she will be given a small whip and informed to visit a personal position and there to lash herself for her sins, if she deemed that applicable. there's abundant cause to signify that corporal punishment was once practiced within the spiritual existence and that disciplining the physique bodily was once taught through the church to be an act enjoyable to God, because the physique were judged from the early years of Christianity to be carnal and sinful. the trail in our non secular background all started with a definition of human lifestyles as fallen or sinful. Step concerned constructing the perform of mixing that definition with the appropriateness of punishing the sinful physique bodily. Step 3 was once to validate the perform through pointing to a textual content in a e-book known as the “Word of God,” demonstrating God’s approval of those strategies. at the least within the rearing of kids, that grounding may make it an adult’s solemn legal responsibility to guide the sinful and wayward baby from the trails of evil to which, as a result of the child’s very distorted, sinful nature, the kid was once predisposed. actual punishment hence even got here to be noticeable as virtuous. Step 4 was once to extend the definition of the kid to incorporate all of the powerless and therefore childlike adults: prisoners, whose habit had brought on society to strip from them grownup rights and to narrate to them as these short of punishment; slaves, who had no rights in any respect and who through legislation and customized have been required to be obedient to their masters; ladies, considered as inferior, now not totally human adults, who have been so childlike and established and incapable of adulthood they'd to pledge to be obedient to their husbands; and at last spiritual figures who lived less than the authority in their superiors and who believed themselves deserving of actual self-discipline due to their very own sins or as a way to strength God to withdraw the divine wrath that was once believed to be inflicting their soreness.