From Religion News Service:
At 82, retired and enjoying life, Bishop John Shelby Spong doesn’t have to be the liberal enfant terrible whose pronouncements for gay rights and against traditional dogmas once scandalized Christendom.
Indeed, many of the views that once turned the former Episcopal bishop of Newark into a lightning rod are now regarded as so matter-of-fact that they barely occasion much notice: ordaining gay clergy and blessing same-sex marriages, for example, or having a female presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected to lead a national church in the Anglican Communion. …
Despite the labels that have stuck to him — maverick, reformer, revolutionary and, of course, heretic — Spong thinks of himself “as an old-fashioned religion man.”
“It always surprises my critics. Plenty of people out there think of me as the Antichrist or the devil incarnate because I do not affirm the literal patterns of the Bible. But the fact is I can no more abandon the literal patterns than I could fly to the moon. I just go beyond them.”
Read full story here.