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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (203 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Shelby Spong Narrator: John Morgan Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fear of death is the most fundamental fear of human existence. The only way it can be conquered is through knowledge and experience of your eternal being. Eternal Life: A New Vision is elegant invitation to find this part of yourself and be liberated.”

    Deepak Chopra

  • “His courage, candor and intense awareness are unique gifts to people both inside and outside Christianity at this critical time in human and planetary history.”

    Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Spong has spent his life and work making sense of this most fundamental human issue…His fans will find this spiritual autobiography fascinating, but so, too, should anyone interested in the still uncomfortable topics of death and mortality.”


  • “With subtlety and complexity, Spong promotes an idea of an ongoing existence beyond our physicality, one that entirely supercedes “religious” notions of Heaven or Hell and even conventional notions of God…Spong’s writing here as elsewhere is intelligent, engaged, comforting, and uplifting.”

    Library Journal

  • “In Spong’s perpetual quest for truth and knowledge, he has transformed the enigmatic cosmic energy of the ‘big bang’ into an afterglow of human hope for the ages.”

    Daniel H. Gregory, MD, senior attending physician, Bassett Healthcare 

  • “Spong once again puts his intellectual money on common sense…Religion’s purpose, he claims, is “security, not Truth”—a key insight that demands, in turn, a set of wholly new visions… Spong…[is] a unique visionary.”

    St. Louis Post Dispatch

  • “John Shelby Spong, the reinterpreter of Christianity for the doubtful, retired as the Episcopal bishop of New Jersey in 2001 but not from his religious provocations…People have to get beyond the idea of God as a heavenly judge who hands out rewards and punishment.”

    Atlanta Journal Constitution

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Klanette | 2/17/2014

    " I think Spong's best book was his autobiography. This one was disappointing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Chris | 2/15/2014

    " I enjoy Spong but couldn't finish this for some reason. Rehashes much of his older ideas and may add to them, but I didn't get that far! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sally | 2/5/2014

    " A very personal discussion and affirmation of continued existence after death. In his search for truth, Spong rejects a theistic God, the literal truth of scripture, and organized religion while still searching from a Christian perspective. His conclusions, centering on Jesus as a human being, are quite mystical. One need not agree with various features of his presentation of human history or humanity's relation to the rest of life on earth to find this book of interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jane | 1/25/2014

    " A fantastic reminder that when Jesus said "The Kingdom of God is at hand" part of the meaning is that we, right now, are God's tools for bringing that Kingdom into the present. This book is a very thoughtful look at what really brings meaning to our present and future, and the role death plays in the wonders of life... "

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About the Author
Author John Shelby Spong

John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000. As a leading spokesperson for an open, scholarly, and progressive Christianity, Bishop Spong has taught at Harvard and at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also lectured at universities, conference centers, and churches in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. His books include A New Christianity for a New World, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Resurrection: Myth or Reality?, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and his autobiography, Here I Stand.