Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » June 2005 » Bishop Spong

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06/16/2005: Bishop Spong

I took the "Theological World Quiz" Len posted and had this score:

You scored as Modern Liberal.

You are a Modern Liberal. Science and historical study have shown so much of the Bible to be unreliable and that conservative faith has made Jesus out to be a much bigger deal than he actually was. Discipleship involves continuing to preach and practice Jesus' measure of love and acceptance, and dogma is not important in today's world. You are influenced by thinkers like Bultmann and Bishop Spong.

Modern Liberal


Neo orthodox

Classical Liberal

Roman Catholic

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Reformed Evangelical


But what struck was the reference to Bishop Spong. The Chicago Tribune had published an editorial piece by him and so I had sent an e-mail comment via his webpage...and so I get these e-mails periodically from his webpage. And this one yesterday stuck me as rather interesting:

"Marcia via the Internet writes:
"Why do others such as Tim LaHaye and certain church groups, who I
presume are well educated on biblical matters, insist that every word
in the Bible is inerrant. Have they never been introduced to Biblical
criticism? Could they be afraid to question?"

Dear Marcia,

Religion is a strange and sometimes even an irrational thing. People
have an amazing ability to compartmentalize learning so that various
things never have to interact in their minds. So it is that apparently
educated people can actually suspend their thought processes and reject
evolution for "creation science," seek to deny that homosexuality is a
given rather than a chosen way of life or even believe that miracles
occur whenever they pray for them. It is not that their minds are
closed so much as it is that they cannot allow anything into their
minds that threatens the core of their security-giving religious faith.

As I get older, I am impressed by two constant truths

1. It is not easy to be human. Anxiety and mortality have to be
embraced by self-conscious creatures and that is what makes our
humanity so unique among the creatures of this earth.

2. Religion is primarily a search for security and not a search for
truth. Religion is what we so often use to bank the fires of our
anxiety. That is why religion tends toward becoming excessive,
neurotic, controlling and even evil. That is why a religious government
is always a cruel government.

People need to understand that questioning and doubting are healthy,
human activities to be encouraged not to be feared. Certainly is a vice
not a virtue. Insecurity is something to be grasped and treasured. A
true and healthy religious system will encourage each of these
activities. A sick and fearful religious system will seek to remove

Thought you all might find this query and response intriguing.

Karen on 06.16.05 @ 04:02 AM CST

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