Religion is an essential part of our humanity. We all follow some form of religion, in the original meaning of the word. But organised religion establishes definitions, boundaries and hierarchies which the founders would be amazed by. This is perhaps more true of Christianity than most other religions, due to the short life of Jesus, his sudden death, the lack of any contemporary records. His teaching about the kingdom of God is great; it could see us through our time on earth. But his followers watered it down and soon lost it altogether. It became a kingdom in heaven for the few, rather than one here and now for everyone. The Church, or Churches, that resulted became increasingly irrelevant, even a hindrance, to seeing it realised. Many will always find security and truth in the traditions that developed, and good for them. But for those who can't, for those who have given up on religion or never thought it worth considering, the original teachings are worth another look. If we could recover them and live by them, we could change ourselves and the world for the better. We could bring God back to earth.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Bringing God Back to Earth is a breath-taking project. But don’t be put off by the scope of the book. The writer has such an easy-going style that we dance our way through aeons of time. And, of course, any book about God and religion is going to cover life, death and everything in between.
Bringing God Back to Earth is a courageous book. John Hunt will be well known to "Sea of Faith" readers as the publisher of a wide range of liberal and radical religious books. That wasn’t always the case. These "Confessions of a Christian Publisher" are the fruits of his personal journey from publishing books he’s ‘too embarrassed to mention’ to those by authors of a wide spectrum of beliefs.
It makes compulsive reading. It’s what I liked about the book. There are no footnotes or endnotes and no index. We feel we are in the author’s company, carried along by his fervour. But like all great spiritual books, the fervour is undermined by a radical acceptance of life. After all:
"Religion is nothing special. It’s not something you do on Sundays or in quiet times. It’s not something you can separate from loving and living. It’s not different from washing the dishes, or dreaming at night... It’s our response to life that determines what it means for us, rather than some uncertain idea of life itself". (page 31)
It left me wanting more; more about the practice of religion that shapes such a response to life. ~ Stephen Mitchell, Sea of Faith Network
An absorbing and highly readable book, profound and wide ranging. ~ , The Unitarian
This is a well-informed and daring book in its call for a radically new approach to religious understanding. Expertly summarising vast conceptual and historical stretches...even readers who find his conclusions objectionable should be thankful for his effort. It is a hopeful and exciting book. With challenges and epiphanies on every page it is a rewarding encounter with the art of believing in God and living accordingly. ~ , Nimble Spirit
I salute him. He is exactly the kind of christian the church must produce if it is to live another 100 years! ~ John S Spong, Former Bishop of Newark and author of A New Christianity for a New World
Very accessible for every man and woman who cares about their faith, I would like to see it made compulsory reading for every budding theologian before he is allowed to put pen to paper. ~ , The Presbyterian
John Hunt is to liberal theology what Richard Dawkins is to evolutionary biology...a readable, thoughtful and challenging work. ~ , Christian Marketplace
I found much to enjoy and even sympathise with. ~ Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
Highly readable and well informed, this book is a refreshing personal view of the evolution of Christianity and the spiritual condition of our time. John Hunt is now the managing editor of O Books with its fine list. ~ , Network Review
A most enjoyable and exhilarating book. ~ , Interreligious Insight
Knowledgeable in theology, philosophy, science and history. Time and again it is remarkable how he brings the important issues into relation with one another... thought provoking in almost every sentence, difficult to put down. ~ , Faith and Freedom
The best modern religious book I have read. A masterwork. ~ Robert van de Weyer, author of "World Religions Bible", "Celtic Fire", and many other titles
Answers all the questions you ever wanted to ask about God and some you never even thought of. ~ Richard Holloway, former Primus Episcopus, author of "Doubts and Love"s and many other titles