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.
In this challenging, intellectually rigorous culmination of his body of theological work, retired Episcopal bishop Spong (Jesus for the Non-Religious) provides a lucid historical analysis of the development of human religious thought from the onset of self-conscious awareness to the present, and a compelling argument for the creation of a new religious paradigm. Offering deeply personal reflections on his own Christian journey and priestly career, Spong reviews a lifetime of passionate engagement with biblical study and with questions of faith, charting his growing discomfort with language that seemed "limited, falsifying and inadequate." Arguing that modern scientific understanding necessitates dismissing outdated metaphors and assumptions by which faith seeks to calm human anxiety, Spong suggests an understanding of God "not as a person, but as the process that calls personhood into being." Spong's examination of the gospel resurrection accounts includes an intriguing interpretation of John's portrayal of Jesus as "a being so courageously present that he was open to the ultimate reality of life, love and being." This work, bound to be influential, offers new insights into religion's big questions about life and death, making an invaluable contribution to both religious scholarship and faithful exploration.