Thanks for the reference, Stephen. I did read it.
One of the things I've observed, when reading what I will simply refer to as secular critics of the New Testament, is their lack of consistency with each other. They are so consumed with their own theories, and with attempting to pull in as many "followers" of their own view as they can, that they ignore others who write in the same vein, and who have claimed to establish "historical" fact. So the art of denial of the historical record related to Jesus, or the outright denial of the existence of Jesus, winds up split up into more "camps" than believers do, at least, in concluding whether Jesus existed and if he did, who he really was. I first observed this several years ago when the Jesus Seminar came to Houston and laid their research methods and results out for observation. The "pecking order" rests more on a perception of validity of a stack of degrees and academic pedigree than it does on the accuracy and verification of the veracity of the information that is presented. Basically, it is an exercise in turning historical hypotheses into fact with a purely subjective vote based only on the academic pedigree of the voters. It would be like turning a scientific hypothesis into a fact by having the scientists speculate on the outcome without actually conducting the experiment.
The fact that Bishop Spong held credentials as a clergyman in a denomination is a testimony to the spiritual emptiness and confusion that goes all the way to the very top of the denomination's leadership. No wonder people are leaving it in droves. It is losing not only individual members, but whole congregations and even districts wholesale. It is spiritually bankrupt, offering nothing except an empty religious exercise to its adherents, based on the world's standards of wisdom, a complete abandonment of belief in God's presence, and a total abrogation of faith.