REVIEW ¹ Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion Beyond Theism Beyond Heaven and Hell

John Shelby Spong ✓ 1 REVIEW

REVIEW ¹ Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell Á ➵ [Read] ➯ Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell By John Shelby Spong ✤ – Drawing on a lifetime of Utobiography about his lifelong struggle with the uestions of God and death he reveals how he ultimately came to believe in eternal li. Eternal Life A New Vision beyond religion beyond theism beyond heaven and hell by John Shelby Spong HarperCollins 2009 288 ffAn account of spirituality by a Christian realistBy Howard JonesJohn Shelby Spong was formerly the Bishop of the Episcopal Church Diocese of Newark New Jersey In a country in which we hear much from Creationist fundamentalist and born again Christians Bishop Spong is that relative rarity a liberal Christian This book was written when he was nearly an octogenarian so he has a whole lifetime s experience of the Church to reflect on He had already written over twenty books on religious themesUnlike many mediums who claim to have knowledge of the afterlife from their spirit guides Spong believes such knowledge is impossible until we get there ourselves His aim is to reshape Christianity in such a way that it has full regard for the developments in science over the last few centuries because that is the only form in which it can survive He wraps his ideas into a story that is essentially autobiographical He does not attempt to moderate the fundamentalist or convert the atheist he is concerned with addressing those Christians whose faith has been shaken by the claims of the extremists and scientists alikeBishop Spong is obviously trying to find an interpretation of the Christian religion that is rational without destroying the essential elements of the faith In keeping with much New Age philosophy he realises that the God of western religion is no longer tenable There is no supernatural God who lives above the sky or beyond the universe This is the God of western religion This statement also implies that talk of Jesus as the Son of God incarnate is eually specious Spong sees religion as performing the vital human task of protecting us against the emotional traumas of our existence but accepts that it does so through myth While Darwin s theory of evolution is not verifiable in the way that Newton s laws of motion are it is still the most likely and comprehensive story of the development of living species certainly rational than the account in Genesis Surprisingly for a cleric Spong endorses the contemporary biological view of the origin of life as accidental He therefore also dismisses any idea of the conditions on Earth being shaped by a deity to promote human development the anthropic principle as it is calledIdeas of the virgin birth and God wrought miracles were never than myths he says He believes that scripture was created for specific peoples at particular times and places in human history and was never intended as incontestable God given truth Truth is not religion s ultimate agenda security is That insight alone makes sense out of the many rationally absurd claims that religions and religious people make Indeed Spong talks of the bankruptcy of religion Secularism is on the rise everywhere not because the West is morally bankrupt but because it has the intelligence to embrace the rationalism of scienceThe afterlife is not a realm of reward and punishment but is a state of further spiritual development heaven and hell are merely religion s weapons of choice in this life as reward and punishment The book explores many of the fundamental uestions of human existence For example Spong asks can God really be anything other than a figment of our imagination created in our own image Spong wonders if our fear of death which we inflict on animals and plants constantly to provide us with food and shelter or for the advancement of medicine is a major reason why religious people reject the idea of our evolution as part of the animal world to provide some distance between us and them Does religion encourage us to hide from reality with its fantasies How refreshing and upliftin


Drawing on A New PDFEPUB #189 a lifetime of wisdom New York Times bestselling author and controversial religious leader John Shelby Sp. I like Spong His books comfort me in my struggle with Christianity The first few chapters are autobiographical and turned me off a tad but he does eventually get into where he is going Worth the read

REVIEW Eternal Life: A New Vision: Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell

Eternal Life A New Vision Beyond Religion Beyond Theism Beyond Heaven and HellOng continues to challenge traditional Christian theology in Eternal Life A New Vision In this Eternal Life Epubremarkable spiritual a. 5 STARS to the author for taking the fearful journey that all of us need to take It starts with the conscious discarding of all religious dogma and superstition proceeds with the examination of current scientific proofs and ends up with a realistic and workable concept that the author can support for not only himself but feels is true for all of mankind and his definition of his place in the universeIn his final book released for publication Spong summarizes the internal journey that he has taken over the past decades In spite of being an Episcopalian Bishop he had come to view the Bible as the fallible collection of ancient tales that it is and further sees the church as being the organization that has kept its congregations in states of both dependency and submission In an autobiographical style Spong slowly examines each of these principles and exposes them for what they always have been ignorant and arrogant teachings that resulted in a fearful and guilt ridden church populace Lastly the author touches upon some of the recent scientific studies that offer proof of the existence of a supreme being force only not in the manner that we have been taught by our church leaders While his final conclusions continue to lean heavily towards Christology I want to applaud the journey that he has taken I feel that this book can serve as a guide for those who likewise want to cast off the burden of carrying the theological falsehoods any further and desire to draw closer to who God is and not as we have been taught to perceive him to be As each of our backgrounds is different so too will our final conclusions be But the variance that we experience between ourselves will not be to the degree that it effects the ultimate truth of our own existence Have a fruitful and adventurous journey