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A Universalist book, The Age of Reason advocates for the existence of natural religion and challenges the structure of all organized religion. First written and distributed as pamphlets, the book was later published into two parts. Paine puts forward his personal beliefs, debating reason and revelation, while analyzing the Bible and the influence organized religion has on society. Exploring topics including natural religion, criticism of corrupt religious institutions, and distinction between rationality and blind faith in the supernatural, the book presents a guide for the conscious and free spiritual thinkers. Following the style and influence of the Enlightenment ideals of logic and reason, the first part of the book focuses on the Paine’s personal creeds about God and the established religion which he believes is manipulated by organized religious institutions. He further goes on to exemplify his critical view of established religion by illustrating the inconsistencies in the Christian Bible, while examining both miracle and prophecy. He questions the legitimacy of the Bible as an accurate account of Christian beliefs and classifies it to be a word of man and not of God. Paine uses the book to outline his analytical objections to theism and as a means to support his belief in deism. Distinctive for its clear and straightforward linguistic style, Paine’s political language was aimed to bring politics to a mass audience, not just the educated population. Incorporating rhetorical questions and repetition throughout the piece, Paine encourages the audience to independently complete the views and arguments he presents rather than impose his creeds upon them. The Age of Reason supports the idea that in order to discover the true grandeur of God, one should worship individually and without dictation from society. A compelling, meticulous and notable critique, Paine’s work is marked as a theological eye-opener and an insight into deism, whilst also regarded as a pervasive influence even in present secular society.
Dont listen to the likes of Daniel. Short sighted people poisoned by religion. This book is a jewel and must be read by all.
I have a lot of respect for what Thomas Paine did for the Revolution, but I'm not swayed. Sure the Bible does not follow the citations and grammar rules of today's standards and translations probably have twisted some meanings. No, the Bible does not contain Christ's writings. Yes, the church has been corrupted. Despite all of this, I still believe its an ancient jewel. It contains the geneology of Christ all the way back to Adam. It is a record of the miraculous and indisputable escape of Israel from Egypt. It foretells the indisputable scattering and gathering of Israel. It contains the records of Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul and others who said they saw the resurrected Christ and many of whom died from declaring that testimony. Sure you can find fault with the Bible, but if you took its teachings from me, you'd be left with a person that is a lot less forgiving, more bitter, meaner, and less useful to mankind.
The logic here presented is rather unreasonable. This is a historical goldmine, especially concerning the American Revolution and its anti-Christian undertones. Unfortunately, Thomas Paine's ideas have been thoroughly proven to be fallacious. I must agree with the reviewer Daniel on this one: those who kick against the pricks will be reproved in the end, whether they think so now or not.
Americans need to read this book! It is what America is all about OR should be all about, EVEN TODAY.
There have always been great reasoners in the past—Aristotle, Confucius, Plato, etc.—but honestly, none of them will ever be as smart as God. To pretend that any kind of human mental effort can get one closer to God than his own revealed word is pure folly.
Hard to believe this book was written over 200 years ago and we still live in an era of ancient superstitions and foolishness.
Paine is sane and thorough in his analysis of the Bible.
A true masterpiece.
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