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God in Us: A Case for Christian Humanism (Societas) Paperback – August 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Societas (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: Imprint Academic; 2nd edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0907845177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0907845171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,762,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A brave and very well-written book." -- The Freethinker

"Brilliantly lucid, clear, common-sense and to-the-point style." -- Philosophy Now

"This discussion must help both believers and enquirers to a deeper understanding of their religious impulses." -- Epworth Review

About the Author

Freeman read chemistry and then theology at Oxford University and was ordained in 1972. "When God In Us" was first published in 1993 he was dismissed from his parish for contravening church teaching, but he remains a priest in the Church of England.


John Shelby Spong served the Episcopal Church as a priest and bishop for forty-five years. As a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches throughout North America and the English-speaking world, he is one of the leading spokespersons for an open and engaged Christianity. He has initiated landmark controversial discussions within the church and is an outspoken advocate for change. His twenty-plus books, including "The Sins of Scripture", "A New Christianity for a New World", and his autobiography "Here I Stand" have sold over one million copies and have been translated into most of the major languages of the world. He also writes a weekly column for WaterFrontMedia. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Morris Plains, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By BillAdams on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anthony Freeman is a de-frocked Anglican priest. Why did he get the boot? Maybe it's because he dared to say what many people already suspect, that God is not "out there," in heaven, outside of history, distant, aloof, and silent, but "in here," alive and present. Does Anthony believe in God or doesn't he? The church said no, and he had to go. He says yes. It depends how you understand God. He presents his reasoning in this brief, but provocative gem.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Peter Kenney on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
GOD IN US is a fascinating little book which presents a fairly radical view of God and the current state of Christianity. Actually it contains two contrasting viewpoints counting the interesting Foreward provided by John Shelby Spong.

Anthony Freeman does not believe in the traditional God of Christianity as described in the Bible and the Creeds. He does not put faith in an objective God out there somewhere but instead chooses to construct a God from his own most cherished values. Freeman's ideas of God are very similar to those expressed by Don Cupitt who places great emphasis on embracing the Void.Freeman regards the Bible and the Creeds as purely human inventions. In fact, he considers all religions to be made entirely by humans.

Spong, on the other hand, talks about God as if it actually exists in the depths of being. He believes that he experiences God although he is not able to explain God.

Freeman and Spong are at their best when describing what is wrong with Christianity. They are much less convincing when they try to offer solutions for fixing it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Robinson on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Throughout history, there have been many concepts of the supernatural. In ancient times, the Gods and Goddesses resembled humans with special powers. More recently, they were all-powerful beings in charge of a defined geographical area. Still more recently, God has been visualized as an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibeneficient spirit, in spite of the logical contradictions that these attributes generate. Freeman has taken the next step, towards a God who is not "an invisible person 'out there' somewhere, but lives in the human heart and mind as 'the sum of all our values and ideals' guiding and inspiring our lives." Unfortunately, the Church of England was not willing to tolerate one of their priests taking this step.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
God In Us: A case for Christian Humanism, by Anthony Freeman, SCM Press, UK, 1993; 2nd edn. Imprint Academic, Charlottesville, VA, 2001, 96 ff.

This book addresses - quite informatively in my view - an issue that has perplexed humankind certainly for many thousands of years. The reviews already published of this book, and the book itself especially in the new edition with the Foreword by Bishop John Spong, illustrate one aspect of the debate: Does God exist? If so, what is the nature or `definition' of God? Does the term `God' have to signify the Being defined by the Bible and western religion?

Bishop Spong and many other liberal Christians clearly believe in an independent creator and designer Being, represented or incarnated on Earth by Jesus Christ. Freeman, along with perhaps most notably Don Cupitt, founder of the Sea of Faith movement, gives us another interpretation of God - as a concept or idea that embraces all the goodness and morality of humankind: `The God [Genesis] portrays is a human creation, however inspired' that has `no independent existence.' For Freeman defines God as `the sum of all my values and ideals in life.' For Freeman, all scriptures and religions are human creations - indeed, rationally, they cannot be regarded in any other way.

This viewpoint immediately begs the question: if there is no God, what meaning can be given to a religion based on a supposed incarnation of God on Earth in Jesus Christ? What does 'Son of God' mean? Is Christianity thus defined anything more than a social group with high moral intent?
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