The Paganization of Biblical Studies

A NEW VERSION OF CHRISTIANITY
Here is the real goal. The New Jesus of the Jesus Seminar gives us a new Christianity for the global era. With their new Jesus, the Jesus Seminar feels authorized to address the question of God, with the stated starting point: “It is no longer credible to think that there is a God ‘out there.'” John Shelby Spong, promoted by the Jesus Seminar’s Westar Institute, gives us A New Christianity for a New World. Spong’s mentor was J. A. T. Robinson, who popularised Tillich in the English-speaking world, and defended the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Spong claims that stand helped him take a new view of sexuality, which presently includes him being the religion editor on a pornographic website.

Spong credits Lloyd Geering for creating “an audience for me in New Zealand and Australia.” Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University, considered one of New Zealand’s foremost thinkers, described by Bishop Spong as a “Presbyterian heretic,” Geering takes this moment of human history very seriously, setting tomorrow’s global culture in the context of Western intellectual history. Embraced by the Jesus Seminar, Geering’s books are promoted as programmatic essays for the future earth community — from the point of view of Christian apostasy and pagan orthodoxy.

According to Geering, tomorrow’s culture will be post-Christian, global, and religiously pagan. This agenda is remarkably similar to that found in the ex-Roman Catholic Thomas Berry, The Great Work, which is working its way not simply through biblical texts but through the texts of the UN’s global programs.

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