Tuesday, December 27, 2005
John Shelby Spong Must Be So Proud!
Spong is the retired wacked out extreme left Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey. Well, NBC has the show for you, Johnny! "The Book of Daniel" premires January 6. Here's how nbc.com describes it:
Emmy nominee Aidan Quinn (“An Early Frost,” “Plainsong,” “Legends of the Fall”) stars as Reverend Daniel Webster, an unconventional Episcopalian minister who not only believes in Jesus - he actually sees him and discusses life with him. Webster is challenged on many levels as he struggles to be a good husband, father and minister, while trying to control a nagging addiction to prescription painkillers, and an often rocky relationship with the church hierarchy, led by Bishop Beatrice Congreve (Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore,” “Requiem of a Dream”), Roger Paxton, a senior warden of the parish and stalwart churchgoer (Dylan Baker, “Kinsey,” “Happiness”).
The reverend also has loving, but challenging relationships with his three children: Peter (Christian Campbell, “Trick”), his 23-year-old gay son, who struggles with the loss of his twin brother; Grace (Alison Pill, “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”), his 16-year-old daughter who doesn't try to push her father's buttons but succeeds at it nonetheless; and Adam (Ivan Shaw, “All My Children”), his 16-year-old adopted Chinese son, a handsome and cocky high school jock with a wicked sense of humor. Keeping Webster grounded is his strong and loving wife Judith (Susanna Thompson, “Now and Again”), who is fighting her own fondness for mid-day martinis, as well as Jesus (Garret Dillahunt, “Deadwood”), whose frequent chats with Daniel serve to remind him of his strengths and weaknesses.
Hmm, sounds charming. Here's some more info from the American Family Association:
NBC considers new show featuring a completely dysfunctional family a positive portrayal of Christ and Christians
On January 6, NBC will begin a new series entitled The Book of Daniel. While the public has not seen the program, NBC is promoting "The Book of Daniel" as a serious drama about Christian people and the Christian faith.
The main character is Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on her mid-day martinis. Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus. The Webster family is rounded out by a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter. At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.
NBC and the mainstream media call it "edgy," "challenging" and "courageous." The series is written by Jack Kenny, a practicing homosexual who describes himself as being "in Catholic recovery," and is interested in Buddhist teachings about reincarnation and isn't sure exactly how he defines God and/or Jesus. "I don't necessarily know that all the myth surrounding him (Jesus) is true," he said. NBC considers "The Book of Daniel" a positive portrayal of Christ and Christians.
Oops, that doesn't sound as, eh, promising. Unless you're Spong or a Jesus Seminar member. Let's all remember: if you gut Biblical theology, don't be surprised if you gut godly behavior.
"The Book of Daniel" is being panned as anti-Christian TV show. My instincts say it will last half a season. More important, TBOD is what you get at the caboose end of bad theology.
Back to Spong and why he's so wrong--the man makes his living and reputation by being a "Christian" who bashes Christianity. He is simply a neo-pantheistic relativist who thrives on quasi-Gnostic mutterings ("Can we really worship the God found in the Bible who sent the angel of death across the land of Egypt to murder the firstborn males in every Egyptian household?") and decidely PC slanders (Paul was "a frightened gay man condemning other gay people so that he can keep his own homosexuality inside the rigid discipline of his faith"). Huh?
As G.K. Chesterton noted, "In real life the people who are most bigoted are the people who have no convictions at all."
For more on Spong, a good place to start is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Shelby_Spong. His latest book is entitled--this is a hoot--The Sins of Scripture. Whatta cut-up!