Customer Reviews for

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

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

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    Much Old Stuff With a Selfish Conclusion

    I have read all of Bishop Spongs books because they are brutally honest about his perception of the world. I have a deep respect for him and what he tries to offer the modern church. I do believe his books are starting to repeat themselves, which over all is how I experienced this book. It is a recounting of most of what he has written--for new readers that will be good, but for those of us long time readers it was disappointing. Over the years I have found that Spongs' though well researched very self oriented. This book is particularily so. It is somewhat biographical because he is sharing how he will arrive at his belief in eternal life. I am always amazed at how gracious he is when he writes of those who have influenced his thinking, in this book he opens the book by honoring those persons whose deaths have afftected his thinking and living. The last Chaper entitled "I Believe In Eternal Life" was the most disappointing. he basically spends an entire book stating how religion has failed and a delusion; then he chooses to beleive in eternal life basically as I READ him because he is getting old and can not see himself disapperaing from life, in other words he will live for ever because he is just too important in his own eyes to vanish! I was very much dispappointed how totally right brain this book and when he gets to the end he shrinks from following through on all his other rejections. He belives in eternal because HE WANTS TO BELIEVE it is true.
    The epilouge of the book was the most exciting and thoughtful for me to read and made the purchase of the book worth while for me. It is entitled "Defining the Choice To Die" This was the old Spong at his best! A powerful and very clear of where we are now as humans who have amazing power in our hands to determine the issue of quality of life. He writes a searing and honest look at the loaded word "Suicide". The choice of suffering persons is often not a "death decisons but a life decision". He wrestles with evil and abuse and writes a clear thoughful and moral spiritual argument for a life affirming possiblity to exit from this life with diginity and faith. Good Job Bushop!
    For all its faults--I would reccomend this book on the epilouge alone!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Jack Spong is an informed genius.

    I had an opportunity to meet Jack(as he insists on being called) and his lovely wife Christine, over dinner after having sat transfixed in six of his lectures. His depth of knowledge is beyond what the average person can even comprehend. For anyone who questions what an organized religion proclaims to be "the absolute factual truth" as stated in "God's Holy scriptures", this book clarifies historical fact and circumstance according to historical documentation and through scientific and archeological discovery.Pure logic brings many questions to light through Spong's factual explanations. A must read for educational purposes if nothing else.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Eternal Life - A New Vision

    Thought provoking - especially as Spong outlines our development/continuance of religion as a defense against our fears.
    At times Spong's writing seems repetative and/or clumsy in description. Overall not as well done literarily as his previous works, perhaps because the topic is pretty radical. I continue to reflect upon his views.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    Although I have much affection and admiration for retired Episco

    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.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 27, 2010

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