This evening I had cause to look up his latest book at Amazon. It was interesting to read the reviews. There tended to be a big split with either very high ratings or very low. The high ratings seemed to come from people who had read the book. The low ratings came from evangelicals/fundamentalists who seemed to have not read it. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure that most had not read the book although one reviewer seemed proud to have browsed through it at the bookstore that afternoon.
We are all entitled to our opinions, and these folk are entitled to their opinions, even if they haven't read the book. They know what Bishop Spong believes or doesn't believe (at least in part); they know that he and his thoughts are anathema to them. Fair enough. I understand that.
What I don't understand is how they justify choosing this forum — an Amazon book review. Aren't they dissembling just a tad? When you post a book review, doesn't that imply that you have read the book? Is this not bearing false witness? Of course it is; the questions are merely rhetorical.
These folk are most likely well-intentioned. By posting a negative review, they can bring down the average rating and cause people to think twice about buying it, reading it, and being seduced to the dark side. I know that I was initially inclined to pass over this book when I first saw the rating. Then, I looked deeper and actually read the reviews, and the game (ie driving down the average rating) became apparent to me. Well-intentioned or not, this is deception; this is de facto lying.
There are so many means of expression these days that good folk need not resort to unethical deception. I mean, they could always ... get a blog.