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Eternal Life: A New Vision

Eternal Life: A New Vision

Written by John Shelby Spong

Narrated by John Morgan


Eternal Life: A New Vision

Written by John Shelby Spong

Narrated by John Morgan

ratings:
3.5/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 1, 2009
ISBN:
9780061845598
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, New York Times bestselling author and controversial religious leader John Shelby Spong continues to challenge traditional Christian theology in Eternal Life: A New Vision. In this remarkable spiritual autobiography about his lifelong struggle with the questions of God and death, he reveals how he ultimately came to believe in eternal life.
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 1, 2009
ISBN:
9780061845598
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

John Shelby Spong, the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000, has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at more than 500 other universities all over the world. His books, which have sold well over a million copies, include Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy; The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic; Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World; Eternal Life: A New Vision; Jesus for the Non-Religious, The Sins of Scripture, Resurrection: Myth or Reality?; Why Christianity Must Change or Die; and his autobiography, Here I Stand. He writes a weekly column on the web that reaches thousands of people all over the world. To join his online audience, go to www.JohnShelbySpong.com. He lives with his wife, Christine, in New Jersey.


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What people think about Eternal Life

3.4
5 ratings / 3 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This is a beautifully written text. I do understand that Shelby, just like Bart Erhman are not meant for those who are not sure of their faith. But beyond that, I’m personally thrill by the quality of the research made to write this text. As an autobiography, it says a lot about his faith and life journey.
    I recommend it to anyone who really wants to go beyond ordinary stories and narratives about the afterlife. You mustn’t agree with what he has to say, but I assure you, in honesty, we ought to agree that he has a lot of great stuffs to present.
    I didn’t regret the time I consecrated to it.
  • (2/5)
    Although I have much affection and admiration for retired Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong, I found this book disappointing. I was quite intrigued to learn his thoughts on what may await us after death, but these are old concepts for all but the most literal-minded fundamentalists. God, Spong tells us, is not a Santa Claus, punishing/rewarding Dad-in-the-sky, but rather a vast interconnected consciousness, which 'exists' beyond time or space and with which we can merge by living in the present moment. That, in a nutshell, is the thesis, padded with a lot of rehashing of why the old views of a Christian Heaven-above-us don't work, as well as some very superficial analysis of why one shouldn't take the Bible literally: conflicting resurrection stories and so forth.Alas, Spong's analysis of science, history and Christianity feels shallow and does not warrant his repeated insistence he has discovered some great new fact of the universe. He would have been better served, I think, by publishing an essay on his own experience with death and grieving.If one was a true literalist, perhaps this would begin a conversation, but then again, I can't imagine someone with a strict literalistic view of Christianity picking this book up in the first place.
  • (5/5)
    For all you Spong fans who were beginning to grow frustrated at his vagueness, this book tackles an important subject head on. What are liberal Christians (at least those in the Spong mold) supposed to make of the Bible's promise of eternal life?We needn't depend upon the supernatural in order to grasp eternal life, for all life is deeply linked. Spong quotes Einstein's provocative claim to explain: "I feel myself so much a part of everything living that I am not the least concerned with the beginning or ending of the concrete existence of any one person in this eternal flow." Spong wants us to "embrace infinity," to "transcend time." But he hopes for us to discover the eternal in a very practical way. Eternity is within us, it is what it means to be human.Spong writes, "The power of love flows through all forms of life, but it ceases to be instinctual and comes to self-consciousness only in human beings. That power of love is also part of who God is for me. This means that the more deeply I am able to love, the more God becomes a part of me. This is why no religion can in the last analysis ever really be about proper beliefs and proper practices ... Religion has to be about the enhancement of life through love." You've probably heard this before if you're a Spong fan, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded. Love is, after all, the key to finding life eternal.But what about reward? Spong is quite happy to rid religion of both heaven and hell, having never been a fan of either. "The fact is that if you and I live our lives motivated by our desire to gain paradise or to avoid eternal punishment, then we have not escaped the basic self-centeredness of life that is so natural to survival-oriented, self-conscious creatures." In other words, eternal reward only gets in the way of the true Christian message.Uplifting and timely, this is a book worth reading twice. I have.