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by John Shelby Spong

The Easter Moment tells the moving story of Spong's friendship with a young physician dying of cancer and how that relationship shed new light on the years of study the author has devoted to the great mystery of what actually happened on that long-ago Easter when the whole history of the human race was changed. Spong is willing to ask tough and searching questions and to come up with startling and significant answers to what happened after death that first fateful Easter, and what that means for thinking about life after death today.

Download The Easter Moment epub
ISBN: 1878282158
ISBN13: 978-1878282156
Category: Bibles
Subcategory: Theology
Author: John Shelby Spong
Language: English
Publisher: Saint Johann Press (April 1, 1998)
Pages: 240 pages
ePUB size: 1203 kb
FB2 size: 1294 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 818
Other Formats: docx rtf txt lrf

Bishop Spong believes Jesus’ Resurrection was not a physical Resuscitation, although he emphatically believes the resurrection was REAL. Although I agree with him on this point, I thought his reasoning was sometimes difficult to follow. I’m sure part of the reason for this is that if one believes in Easter and Resurrection Power but not in the traditional Christian sense (empty tomb, angels, Jesus eating fish, Jesus being floated or whizzed up into the air, etc.), how on earth can one find adequate words to describe it! So we end up being wordy, sometimes rambling on a bit, having a hard time expressing what we really feel. For me, it was a lot easier when I was a more literalistic Christian and accepted everything the Bible said. But in line with Spong, there comes a time when the heart can no longer worship what the brain can no longer accept, so biblical literalism goes out the door like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...

“Easter Moment,” first published in 1980, is clearly early Spong. In the preface to the later (1998) edition, Spong writes, “In the twenty years since this book was first published, I have revisited the subject of Easter many times. My thought has grown, matured and developed. I have even written another book on the Easter experience (‘Resurrection: Myth or Reality: A Bishop’s Search for the Origins of Christianity,’ ...1994), but that book neither denies nor denigrates this original volume. It rather builds on it to explore new dimensions of the meaning of Easter that were not apparent to this author in an earlier period of life.” (p. xiv). Although the arguments for a non-resuscitative resurrection are the same in both books, in “Easter Moment” he seems to accept many of the surrounding circumstances of the crucifixion and resurrection as they are described in the Gospels, which are close to or the same as traditional Christian beliefs. When I read “Resurrection: Myth or Realty,” I did not come away with this feeling. To me this latter book seemed more progressive in its thinking, more in keeping with thoughts for “believers in exile” (his coined phrase).

Several chapters in Part III, “Exploring the Easter Moment” are well worth buying the book for if only to read the following chapters: Ch. 11 (‘Introduction’ to Part III), Ch.12-14 (‘Probing the Bible’s Literal Level’ and ‘A Contradictory Witness’ as well as ‘Delving into Scripture’). I’ve underlined and highlighted so many pages of these 4 chapters that describing them adequately here would take another whole page, and I’m wordy enough as it is. Superb writing by Spong! Where he begins to lose my interest on a theological level are Ch. 17-18 (‘A Possible Reconstruction I’ and ditto ‘II’). In these 2 chapters I drew more question marks in the margins than in other part of the book. These were places where Spong sounds more traditional than the progressive Spong of later years.

I have read 19 or 20 of Spong’s books and have written reviews on more than a dozen. I’ve only rated one of his books under 4 stars, and that was “Honest Prayer,” another example of his earlier thinking. Although “Easter Moment” is a beautifully written book, I’m reluctantly rating it 3 stars only because for me this isn’t up to the more progressive Spong that I prefer.

I would recommend “Easter Moment” for a reader who leans more toward traditional Christianity, although Spong’s non-resuscitative resurrection might be too radical. But if you are a “believer in exile” as I am, I think Spong’s “Resurrection: Myth or Reality” might be a better choice.
I read this book once and then read it for the second time and am going to read it again. John Shelby Spong can really keep your attention. He has studied the Bible all his life and I believe he has some insights that others don't have. Another interesting book of his is "Here I Stand" The story of his life. He is an exceptional writer and digs deep into scripture. Just keep an open mind as you read his books.
A must for one who is seeking answers.
It's not fair for me to rate this book yet as I have not finished it but I know I will love it when I do.
I was raised Anglo Catholic. I was also taught that Faith is a gift. I was also taught that the Resurrection of Christ must be believed even though there is no way to prove it. Well, Bishop Spong did the impossible! First he offers us a very deep (and quite probable) speculation of what was going on between the crucifixion and resurrection. He also goes beyond the Scriptures and speculates on what may have been going through the Apostles' minds when all this happened. But the greatest thing Spong does is that he actually proves the resurrection. What he does is he shows you what happened BEFORE Easter, and then he shows you what happened AFTER Easter. In my opinion, even the most obtuse person would be able to see that if one looks at the picture before and after, the resurrection HAD TO HAVE HAPPENED. This belongs in the library of ANY Roman Catholic or Anglo Catholic. I also feel that Bishop Spong hit on something that THOUSANDS of priests, bishops, and cardinals would have loved to stumble upon. Bishop Spong did the church a WONDERFUL service when he wrote this book!
I found this book to be a fascinating read. In the first part, Bishop Spong looks at the events around the first Easter, and makes a case that something significant must have happened.
In the second part, Spong delves deeper in the New Testament to see what happened. Looking beyond a literal meaning he raises interesting questions and draws thought provoking conclusions.