This classic book was hugely controversial in its time. Deism (the concept that there is a God, but no one knows anything about him) existed before thThis classic book was hugely controversial in its time. Deism (the concept that there is a God, but no one knows anything about him) existed before this book, but this was the first layman's introduction to the philosophy.
Thomas Paine, author of the historically important "Common Sense", endured strong persecution for authoring this and other works. In this, he rails against religious orders, the pretense of revelation, and biblical claims.
The first half is philosophical. Some of the most beautiful statements about the nature of God can be found in this book. Paine does not limit God into being some kind of super-human with petty human emotions like anger and jealousy. God is much, much more than that to Paine, who gives the Creator power to be incomprehensible to men. He discredits the writings of men, since such writings can be fraudulent.
A quote from my favorite section reads, "THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD and it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man." The only way to study the unalterable word of God is by study of the universe through science.
The second half picks apart the Bible, and explains many of the contradictions he observed. It is, in some ways, like reading two books. Many Christians (especially open-minded ones) may find the first half interesting, but may be offended at the second half, since he gets into specifics.
Either way, this book was very inspirational to me, logical, spiritual, and well-written....more
The writing is really poor, but the substance makes up for that. James Redfield has a new way of looking at life, relationships, and the self. There aThe writing is really poor, but the substance makes up for that. James Redfield has a new way of looking at life, relationships, and the self. There are a number of good metaphors. This is an inspirational book....more