A Career of Swimming Upstream

Before his retirement in 2000, author John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark.

His career and popularity skyrocketed when he was asked by a Rabbi how Christians are able to put three people into one.  According to what he wrote in Why Christianity Must change  or Die, his reply was, “The Bible never says in a simplistic way that Jesus in God. Jesus prays to God in the Gospels. He is not talking to himself. Jesus dies on the cross.  It makes no sense to say that the holy God died.  The Bible only says what God is, Jesus is; that God is met in  Jesus; that to see Jesus is in some sense to see God.”

He thought he had been careful and accurate in his answer.  But, his answer was interpreted that Jesus and God were not one and the same.  The answer was so controversial it put Spong on TV and front pages of papers across the country.  His career soared.