What are your thoughts on the Age of Reason by Thomas Paine? I’m considering reading this book and just wanted to know your thoughts for those who have read it. I’m interested in philosophy and looking for good reads!
@Jlopez Looking at the synopsis of the book it reminds me some of the book The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler. In that book, Butler tells the story of 4 generations of a supposedly Christian family filled with massive amounts of hypocrisy and then contrasts that against a man of the world who is healthy, practical and vigorous (and happens to hold all the same social views as Butler). Basically, these books use the hypocrisy of the established Church in order to pitch their vision of what the good life should look like… I enjoyed the historical world the book presented, but was also saddened by the inability of such authors to discern the difference between Christ Himself and someone living in such flagrant contradiction to Christ’s teachings. One thing that is odd to me about this genre of book from this time period is that the people writing these books seem genuinely incapable of imagining the type of humble, godly, caring, joyful Christians that I have met in Church.
Interestingly enough, I have found this same problem in modern film series based on that same time period. For example, some of my family members like Lark Rise to Candleford from the BBC and the only character that had anything resembling real faith is a simple minded mailman who is contrasted against a sophisticated, forward thinking woman who owns the post office. I enjoyed the show, but this blatant misrepresentation of Christianity is frustrating. It seems people are just capable or unwilling to represent a truly robust Christianity.
I also like the book Utopia from Sir Thomas Moore - it is really interesting because people during that time period were trying to figure out what a just society would look like.
All of that to say, I think the book would be interesting and useful for understanding the time period, but just understand he is going to create a very unflattering image of Christianity and then sell his own viewpoint. Would be interested if you shared your thoughts and questions as you read
As you read books exalting reason over revelation, you might also find it helpful to prayerfully consider the limits of reason simultaneously and find the weaknesses in the arguments put forth in such books.