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Born-Again Deist Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 353 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 925 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0971919070
  • Publisher: New Deism Press (July 29, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 29, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005F9ZOP2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,377 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Professor Beth Houston, MA, MFA, has taught creative writing, literature, and/or composition at San Francisco State University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Cruz; Eckerd College; University of Central Florida; University of South Florida; University of Tampa; Polk State College; and Manatee Community College/State College of Florida. She has published six poetry books, over three hundred works in literary and professional journals, and two nonfiction books, Born-Again Deist, and Natural God: Deism in the Age of Intelligent Design. She was the first Featured Poet at Able Muse Review.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Beth Houston offers people who feel religious and those who deny religion an opportunity to rethink their ideas about God. Whether they agree with Houston or not, they will gain insights by hearing her views.

One broad way of describing religious views is to differentiate between people who insist that religion is based on beliefs and those who claim that beliefs are irrational. A belief is the acceptance of an idea as being true even though science, logic, and a person's senses confirm that the idea is wrong and perhaps even impossible. The first group accepts the many miracles mentioned in the Bible even though they are clearly impossible, while the second states that these things never happened. Traditionalists fall into the first class and deists into the second. Deists reject most of the trappings of religion because they are unnatural and focus instead on God; the word deist is from the Greek deus, which means God. Deists recognize that there is a God but do not associate God with any particular religion. Deists are convinced that religions are human inventions that detour people to grubby byways away from God.

Beth Houston relates her attempts to understand God's relationship to people and to religion. She had a childhood experience of a spiritual "Presence," when she was five or six years old, a "quite tangible" feeling of God being present in her life. She never forgot this experience and it is still important, even fundamental in her life.
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The book is, for the most part, very interesting and contains some good information. Well researched . I myself am a deist and I agree with much of her interpretation of what deists
believe. However, I find the book is agenda driven by issues that effect her life, for instance, many liberal causes like defending
public education and being gay, etc. She does seem to go on and on trying to get her point across. Less would have been better.
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Format: Paperback
Born-again Deist by Beth Houston, New Deism Press, Florida, 339 pages, 2009.

The opening chapter details the author's spiritual journey: in summary, she embraced deism because `it made the most sense'. The interpretation of deism Houston uses is one based on the ideas of Edward Herbert, the 17th century Anglo-Welsh religious philosopher. Houston emphasizes that deism was the religion of the Founding Fathers of America and she explains how it differs from theism or humanism. Deism, she says, `is a universally inclusive natural religion [founded on] God as truth' and, quoting the works of Thomas Paine, makes a very persuasive case which, as a Doctor of Divinity, she is well qualified to do. Chapter 2 discusses the philosophical significance of belief in deism, with commentary on scepticism and faith, and on good and evil. Houston makes the valid point that worship of the sky-God of western orthodox religion is the same as idol worship.

In Chapter 3 Houston elaborates on how she came to adopt deist beliefs and how important she felt her own, innate spirituality to be. She gives a stinging criticism of American evangelism, pointing out that awareness of the divine - like all knowledge - has to originate from within the individual. This is followed in the next chapters by a critique of the barbarism of the exhortations of the Old Testament, a critique that leaves no doubt about the Bible's human authors; and a chapter on how the Bible can be more meaningfully interpreted as myth.
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Format: Paperback
Beth Houston waits until page 323 to reveal that she is gay. The fact that she is gay is irrelevant to her scathing indictment of fundamentalist Christianity; but, since this is billed as a memoir, her revelation is, I suppose, necessary. What being a lesbian in a fundamentalist environment (which is where Houston spent a lot of her life)--Christian or otherwise, by the way--means is that you are taught a lot of self-hatred, indeed you are made to feel that what you are is a "witch" who needs to be burned at the stake, or worse.

Consequently one understands why Houston graphically detailed (counting the bulleted paragraphs in her text) 18 different methods of tortured used by the Church during the days of the Inquisition. (See Chapter 10: "The Witches' Hammer in the Twenty-First Century.") While I don't need to read about the Iron Maiden nor how convenient "thumb screws" were to the practitioners of those Holy Arts, I think Houston makes a good point: let's be clear about what really happened in the name of Jesus Christ under the direction of those very unholy men who ran the Catholic Church, a couple of whom took on the grossly ironic name of "Innocent." What they were innocent of was any sense of humanity or spirituality, being as far from the example of Christ as is humanly possible.

But the real core of this book is that "scathing indictment" mentioned above. Houston wants in particular for the reader to understand just how fraudulent, contradictory, and anti-human is the Bible.
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