Being a Christian Without a Christ? Exploring John Shelby Spong's Concept of 'Christians in Exile'
Author: Kriel, Jacques R.
Source: Religion and Theology, Volume 8, Numbers 3-4, 2001 , pp. 298-326(29)
Abstract:There is a clear disjunction between the paradigms and theories in contemporary theological and biblical research and the theories and paradigms underlying the church's conventional liturgy and preaching. There is greater tension between theological science and traditional Christian faith than between 'science' and 'religion'. The science-faith conflict thus goes deeper than the science-religion debate. But while the science-religion debate gets a lot of attention, there seems to be no attempt by the church universal to integrate theological science in its exegesis, preaching and teaching. The books of Marcus J Borg, John Shelby Spong and others have brought the results of theological research to the attention of church members. This article contains my attempt to relate my understanding of scientific research in the natural and social sciences, theology and biblical sciences to my Christian faith. Using John Shelby Spong's concept of 'Christians in exile' and Stephen Patterson's proposal of an 'existential Christology', the possibility of being a Christian without a Christ is suggested.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2001-01-01