Michael Bott and Jonathan Sarfati made this assessment of Bishop John Shelby Spong’s theology:
Spong, as we have shown, dogmatically rejects miracles. Therefore he must ‘demythologise’ then ‘remythologise’ the resurrection narratives…His substitute is a rhetorical question:
Is not the primary message of the Easter narratives that even the barrier of death must not deter us in our quest for life and love?
This is hardly a message for which the apostles, and countless martyrs since, were prepared to be tortured and killed. Spong’s view presents a Christ who is a failure; the truly good man who was defeated by a cruel death. Bishop Richard Holloway of Edinburgh rightly comments:
Spong leaves us with a God who cannot save because he has no control of nature or history. He offers us a dead Messiah who only ‘lives’ because of the wishful thinking of his first disciples.
It is no wonder that liberal churches which deny the resurrection are shrinking, while conservative (including ‘fundamentalist’) churches which accept the resurrection are the only ones growing. Spong laments this fact, but he fails to see what most unbelievers can: that going to church is a waste of time if the resurrection is a hoax. They can find better sources of platitudes without the semantic gymnastics.
Bott, M. & Sarfati, J. (1998) What’s Wrong With Bishop Spong?
Laymen Rethink the Scholarship of John Shelby Spong. Wellington Christian Apologetics Society. Available http://creation.com/whats-wrong-with-bishop-spong. Last accessed 27th Mar 2015.