Two buddies of mine and I were fortunate to have taken a trip up to Montana one weekend in 2012 to hear him speak. We even got to have lunch with him at the home of the pastor of the church while there. We stood out as the two Mormons and the atheist who drove in from Salt Lake. 🙂
I remember in my 20s holding one of his books in my hand at the library (Why Christianity Must Change or Die) and saying to my friend Brook, "Why doesn't this guy just leave the faith if he doesn't believe it?" I had contempt for Spong and ministers like him. My view of faith and spirituality was so small. I could have never imagined at that time that I would one day shake hands with Bishop Spong with complete respect.
I don't believe in deities but I am grateful for the hope and goodness that Bishop Spong helped spread in our world. Rest in peace sir. You gave people a better vision of humanity.