Printed from http://tektonics.org/.php
John Shelby Spong isn't getting any younger, and his books aren't getting any better, and it's not a lock as to which of those would be easier to reverse. This book is little more than another long sermon in which Spong combines his talent for mixing together poorly documented anecdotal evidence with his poor reading of Biblical texts which he never left behind when he otherwise left fundamentalism. Some comments by section, besides what we've dealt with on this site before...
Spong is also working out his guilt over having been taught that the Bible supported his views as a white male . For one who is beating himself over the head on this, Spong remains ironically without knowing  of the growth of Christianity in the Third World as documented by Jenkins.
Otherwise the chapter does not follow its own implications; if Spong is indeed worried about killing animals for meat, we'd like to remind him (as Berke Breathed would) that he is at this very moment massacaring hundreds of thousands of microscopic creatures with his breath, and his own book has likely rendered many forest animals homeless.
Spong fills the chapter with anecdotes of alleged environmental problems, but he cites no reputable scientific sources for any of his claims, merely a popular work by a non-expert. He deals with opposition to these views by mere accusation of being "self-serving politicians and business leaders" . I can say no more than this, as this is not an area of my expertise, but Spong has clearly made no effort to look into these matters deeply enough to endanger his point of view.
It is not certain where Spong got his theory that circumcision started as a way for men to imitate menstruation  but it is decidedly tragic-comic in outlook. His further idea that the woman who dried Jesus' feet with her hair was committing an "erotic act" and so must have been his wife  seems to have been a fact that the social science commentaries missed.
It is again ironic that Spong, who thinks himself a vanguard against bigotry, takes the bigoted view that Mary Magdalene could only have been following Jesus if she were a wife of a follower or a prostitute ; this is simply false, as the Greco-Roman world knew of women perfectly capable of running their own enterprises. Spong's claim that "Magdala" was not a place because it has not been found and is not mentioned in Jewish or Roman records is downright erroneous; it is mentioned several times in the Talmud (see here) so there is no grounds for Spong's esoteric reading of "Magdala" as a nickname.
And that's all from Spong this time: No scholarship to speak of, no critical exegesis.