In 1998 the Bishop John Shelby Spong looked around at the state of the church and decided that it was time for a new reformation. Just as the invention of the printing press helped to distribute Martin Luther’s protests, the development of the internet spread Jack’s vision around the world. To those who were hungry for change, they were a breath of fresh air. Fifteen Reformation Day celebrations have elapsed since their publication and while there are pockets of progress within the church, what Jack has coined as the “church alumni” continue to bemoan the recalcitrance of the institution as yet another generation has been lost. While so many have pronounced a judgment of irrelevance upon the institution, a remnant has begun to embrace Jack’s questions. I repost them here in the hope that the Spirit of Reformation lives and more and more communities will enthusiastically embrace the challenges of being Church for the 21st century. I hope you will add your own theses in the Spirit of Semper Reformanda!
Jack posted his Twelve Theses with these words: “Martin Luther ignited the Reformation of the 16th century by nailing to the door of the church in Wittenberg in 1517 the 95 Theses that he wished to debate. I will publish this challenge to Christianity in The Voice. I will post my theses on the Internet and send copies with invitations to debate them to the recognised Christian leaders of the world. My theses are far smaller in number than were those of Martin Luther, but they are far more threatening theologically.”