Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the Non-Religious, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, Sins of Scripture, and many other books, is known for his controversial ideas and fighting for minority rights.
In Eternal Life: A New Vision, a remarkable spiritual journey about his lifelong struggle with the questions of God and death, he reveals how he came to a new conviction about eternal life. God, says Spong, is ultimately one, and each of us is part of that oneness. We do not live on after death as children who have been rewarded with heaven or punished with hell but as part of the life and being of God, sharing in God's eternity, which is beyond the barriers of time and space. spong argues that the discovery of the eternal can be found within each of us if we go deeply into ourselves, transcend our limits and become fully human.
By seeking God within, by living each day to its fullest, we will come to understand how we live eternally.Always compelling and controversial, Spong, the leading Christian liberal and pioneer for human rights, wrestles with the question that all of us will ultimately face. In his final book, Spong takes us beyond religion and even beyond Christianity until he arrives at the affirmation that the fully realized human life empties into and participates in the eternity of God. The pathway into God turns out to be both a pathway into ourselves and a doorway into eternal life. To Job's question "If a man (or a woman) dies, will he (or she) live again?" he gives his answer as a ringing yes!
For many disciples, eternal life is the great dangling carrot that’s finally handed over to hungry believers at the end of a life well spent serving and living according to selected spiritual principles.
However, in Eternal Life: A New Vision, Bishop John Shelby Spong, a controversial figure in some closed circles, proposes a new idea of what eternal life actually means. According to Spong, eternal life goes, "beyond religion, beyond theism, beyond heaven and hell."
In other words, Spong doesn’t imagine eternal life will be spent lounging on puffy clouds and spending pain-free days and nights worshiping and feeling great from the moment we die until forever...and ever….and ever. Whew.
Narrated with non-judgmental clarity by John Morgan.
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