Writing from his prison cell in Nazi Germany in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German theologian, sketched a vision of what he called "Religionless Christianity". In this book, John Shelby Spong puts flesh onto the bare bones of Bonhoeffer's radical thought. The result is a strikingly new and different portrait of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jesus for the non-religious.
Spong challenges much of the traditional understanding, from the tale of Jesus' miraculous birth to the account of his cosmic ascension into the sky. He questions the historicity of the ideas that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that he had 12 disciples, or that the miracle stories were ever meant to be descriptions of supernatural events. He also speaks directly to those critics of Christianity who call God a "delusion" and who describe Christianity as having become evil and destructive.
Spong invites listeners to examine Jesus in the context of both the Jewish scriptures and the liturgical life of the first-century synagogue. He proposes a new way of understanding the divinity of Christ as the ultimate dimension of a fulfilled humanity. Jesus for the Non-Religious may finally bring the pious and the secular into a meaningful dialogue, opening the door to a living Christianity in the post-Christian world.
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