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Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Have you ever referred to God as “the Man upstairs”? Most Christians living in a secular society have unwittingly relegated God and all things spiritual to the “second storey” of the universe: a realm we cannot reach except through death. The effect of this is to banish God, along with the saints and angels, from our everyday lives.

In Everywhere Present, popular blogger
Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Published January 30th 2012 by Conciliar Media (first published 2011)
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Brian Glass
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
father Stephen is the man who had the most profound impact on my journey to Orthodoxy. This book is a unified vision based on thoughts he has shared in his blog over the years. For me these thoughts are life changing.
Nathan Duffy
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, breezy read. Rich content on the Orthodox antidote to the false dichotomy of sacred and secular, introduced by modernity and which infects much of contemporary Christianity in ways blatant and subtle. Highly readable.. knocked it out in a day, and I'm not the fastest reader.
The book is alright, mighty short but the information it provides ought to help inform the correct way of looking at the spiritual realm rather than the modern way which is a poison on the persons spiritual health and development. I liked this book for its support of Classical Christianity over than modern and Protestant understanding that has lost ALL bearing resembling anything that Christ taught and sought to show us.
Christian Fauerso
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodox
This is a fantastic, enjoyable, profound and yet brief little book. I would highly suggest it to anyone who calls themselves a Christian in today's world. Fr. Stephen Freeman shows how secularist thought has crept its way into much of our modern theology. This is one that you should not pass up.
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodox
A wonderful book about the direct presence of God in our lives. Highly recommended. A short book which I read slowly over months to absorb.
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short yet pithy, and merits the back-to-back readings I gave it.
A Strong Start but Mostly Forgettable

There is much to like here. I was taken in by the early chapters and quickly grew accustomed to his speaking voice and presentation style. Many moments, notably his journey to a monastery lined with martyrs' skulls, are truly captivating. However, there are issues that prevented me from fully appreciating this first foray into Fr. Freeman's work.

Largely abstract and ruminating, it never really settles into a structure and its themes are covered
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fr. Freeman has a theory that most (non-Orthodox) Christians live in a two-story world, where people are on the first floor, and God is in there second, and the twain don’t meet. There are some good points about living in a secular world (which he sometimes equates with Protestantism), but as a whole, I don’t think he proves his point. It’s a short, but not a particularly interesting read. If this wasn’t chosen by a book club member, I wouldn’t have finished reading it.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this is a slim volume, it is dense with Orthodox Theology. Prepared to be challenged to integrate your everyday life more fully with your Christian life. As Father Stephen asserts, to grow in Christ, the two cannot be compartmentalized but, rather, they must be integrated if we are to be truly human.
Michael Baker
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Few theologians have shaped my theological vision so profoundly as Fr. Stephen Freeman, and this book may be described as a condensed version of his excellent blog "Glory to God for All Things." Fr. Freeman challenges the conceits of modernity and the ultimate nihilism of materialism with a perspective that I can only describe as *radically* incarnational. Arguing that both the trite religious visions of a divide between Spirit and Matter (with God as a being "out there" somewhere) and modern ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
A lot to think about. The last chapter felt a bit rushed, but on the whole, I appreciated the challenge to prevailing habits of thought.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fr. Freeman is a blogger, like me, and a podcaster. His blog and podcast series share the same name, "Glory to God," and from my knowledge of listening and transcribing a few of his podcasts for Ancient Faith Radio, they share the same content as well. You should give one or both a chance.They do not disappoint in timely content as it relates to Orthodoxy and the current culture.

"Everywhere Present" is a short book, which discusses how our secular society has relegated God to a separate realm of
Where is God in our daily lives? Why is God absent from our lives 'here' on Earth? Even if you are a regular church-goer and believe you really have a grasp on things, I guarantee you will find a new perspective in this book. The message here is expressed very well in the book description below, so I'll not say much more. But in a world where the views and consequences of secularism have saturated our lives and changed even the way our minds work, books such as this are extremely important in ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodoxy, religion
i'm glad that Fr Stephen Freeman has expanded his very popular blog post into this book. This treatise stresses the importance of knowing that God does not exist in some far away place "up there" but is instead here, present every where, filling all things.

Fr Stephen tackles the thorny issue of how the idea of "literalism" has plagued Western society, both among fundamentalists and liberals. His answer is that we are to look beyond the obvious meaning of things and instead viewing them as we do
Samantha (AK)
Some years ago, when I was in college, I started listening to Fr. Stephen Freeman's podcast series, the same that eventually became this book. It shook me, and I was caught, but classes beckoned, and an the rush I found that I 'didn't have time' to finish listening to it.

Despite that, I'm not sure I would have been ready for it. This slim volume--easily readable in a day, though I wouldn't recommend it--is full of hard and challenging truths about the classical Christian understanding of the
Michael Clevenger
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book from Fr. Stephen Freeman, Priest and blogger at Glory to God for All Things, on the distortion of truth in the gnostic dualism that makes up much of modern Christianity and our world today. One of my favorite aspects of this is his work on the theology of iconography. Great read.

Some quotes can be found here.
This book did a great job deconstructing the secular Western "two-storey" worldview that many hold. The book was profound, although not as deep as other books I've read along the same theme, especially Newbigin's "Foolishness to the Greeks" ( and Wright's "Surprised by Hope" ( Still, it was an enjoyable read and a very short read.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I understand so many things much more clearly now. It's as though the missing piece(s) of the puzzle came from Freeman's hand, and the picture I had expected to be completed wasn't even close to what did appear...and thank God I was wrong. God in two storeys is an absolute travesty. God in one storey is reality. I pray this reality becomes clear to all who trust in God. Read this book.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion

The first time I read this, I thought it was remarkable but put it aside after awhile. Some of the concepts were difficult and I didn't fully grasp them.

Now I have re-read it . I am careful not to give five stars except on the rarest of occasions. This is one. It isn't necessary to be Eastern Orthodox to find this book meaningful. It has given me a new perspective -- not of the head, but the heart and soul. I will always treasure it and I know I have been changed by it.
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodoxy
I had to get quiet to read this book and really "hear" it. This book blessed me and was not intimidating and overwhelming. It introduces you to Orthodoxy in baby steps. When I finished reading it, I closed the book and bowed my head and felt peace and a sense of clarity. I look forward to more reading and more understanding as I stretch and grow in my faith.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will definitely be one to reread and pull from the shelf often. This culture we live in has definitely placed God in a two story universe and produces a society that does not keep Him present or consider Him in matters of importance. We must do all we can to remind ourselves He IS with us- He IS everywhere present and we must live a life according to that.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Bravo. What a fine, fine book and one that I would highly recommend. Father Stephen is a beautiful writer and this book moved me and helped me start to look at things with a different and better perspective. The chapters are quite short which I find to be a BIG help when reading Orthodox literature.
Bill Stevens
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An easy to read and highly digestible discourse on how secularism, in the modern Christian culture, has relegated God out of our daily lives - the consequence of which is the decline of Christian culture. Unlike other reads that tend to simply state the cause this one seeks to interject some solutions at the conclusion of the text that are certainly applicable across the Christian spectrum.
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read, which says a lot. An amazing, brilliant, approachable mind that has left me thinking on this issue for years. A must-read for folks who wonder where we came from and where we are going.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good reread and good reminder that faith in God is not based on abstractions or simply remembering the Resurrection. It is real and unified us, the created, with the uncreated. Fr. Stephen says, "The world and all that is in it is given to us as icon."
I read this with the women's prayer group from my parish, and it works very well as a book to discuss. We didn't quite finish it before Lent started and life got busier, but I hope to finish it at some point.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very insightful book, that I think both Orthodox and non Orthodox could easily read.
Lene Jaqua
A good sane read. I enjoyed it. Not much new info for me, but certainly a good review of the Orthodox basics.
Samuel E Campbell
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. It was a paradigm shift for me.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I want to reread a book, I think it merits five stars. This one is very clear and, as far as I can tell, accurate.
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“The legacy of our culture’s image-smashing (a powerful part of the Puritan world) is secularization—though now replete with its own images. If we fail to give a proper account of the role that images play in Christianity, the result will not be a Christianity with no images, but simply the dominance of cultural images and a subtle conformity to the world. The only image that needs to be discarded is the one we have of ourselves as God. We are not He. Worship God. Give honor to whom honor is due. It” 1 likes
“Christianity that has purged the Church of the sacraments, and of the sacramental, has only ideas to substitute in their place. The result is the eradication of God from the world in all ways other than the theoretical.” 1 likes
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