New Church Perspective is officially taking a break. The volunteer team is moving, shifting responsibilities etc. so we've had to put the project on ice. Feel free to contact us with any thoughts for the future. In the meanwhile, you can keep reading other places, like: newchristianwoman.com, newchurchlife.org, newchurchconnection.org.
New Church Perspective is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.
The Writings hold many beautiful teachings about what it is to live a happy, useful, heavenly life. But we have to live those teachings in order to feel their impact. Mary shares about a church and a pastor who have helped her to see the Writings in a new light. -Editor.
So why do you keep visiting Kentucky? An experience with a new kind of New Church.
In the past year I have traveled to Louisville, Kentucky seven times and I am heading there again for a month this summer. No I have not found a new passion for fried chicken or horse racing. I keep going back because of the Church of Truth. If you have not heard about the Church of Truth, it is located in the inner city of Louisville and lead by Brother Edward Miller. It is New Church (i.e. following the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg) but it is not under any other New Church organization (i.e. it is not part of the General Church or the Convention etc. and no other organization is funding what they are doing).
The Writings teach that truth on its own is not enough. This week Joel uses a few passages from the Bible as well as other ideas from the Writings to look at why we need more than truth to have a complete perspective. -Editor.
Give therefore your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil: for who is able to judge this great people of yours? (
1 Kings 3:9)
Affection for truth makes the church. What is affection for truth? It is loving the truth for its own sake and also because it leads to the good of life. As children we are born with the potential to be truly human, to be wise and loving, but in order to become so it is a long, even a lifetime process. The first step is education: we need to learn knowledge and truth. This is why children are so receptive to soaking up new information like sponges. When we become teenagers we need to develop the rational mind, Ishmael. This first rational is harsh, untempered, but another step along the journey.
Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. —Editor
Swedenborg writes that salt is a symbol for longing (Arcana Coelestia 10300). Salt is all over the place in the Bible. In the Old Testament, priests were ordered to season the offerings with “the salt of the covenant of your God” (Leviticus 2:13). All the offerings were called a “covenant of salt forever” (Numbers 18:19). Associating salt with a covenant points to how salt on a spiritual level of meaning plays a part in the coming together of things or the longing for certain things to come together in covenant. The chemistry of salts suggests this spiritual meaning as well—they are ionic compounds that are always “longing” to be electrically neutral (apologies to any chemists out there who might be cringing at my amateur and anthropomorphized description). Personally, I just have to think of salt and my mouth starts watering.
Todd concludes his look at life prolonging technology and our desire to control the future. He looks at what could happen if we stopped fearing death, and the peace that comes with relying on God. -Editor.
The last couple weeks we've had a look mostly at Raymond Kurzweil's view of the not-too-distant future. The main theme is robots and technology become a part of us, and we gain the ability to escape death. Kurzweil's future isn't that far off, about 30 years or so, but what if we take a look farther into the future? Then what can we hope for? Funny you should ask, because a man named Robert Monroe, a fellow who I've referenced before in an NCP article (http://www.newchurchperspective.com/essays/2010/9/17/weird-ii-what-kind-of-weird-are-you.html) had a out-of-body experience where he was taken into a potential future for the earth, sometime beyond the year 3000.
Carrying on from last week's article about technology prolonging life, Todd ponders why humans might want to extend their time on earth. Why be afraid of moving on? Is it good to live longer or are we trying to outsmart God? -Editor.
Last week I introduced you to Raymond Kurzweil, a prominent inventor and futurist. Kurzweil believes computer intelligence is advancing so rapidly that in a couple of decades, machines will be as intelligent as humans. Soon after that they will surpass humans and start creating even smarter technology. By the middle of this century, the only way for us to keep up will be to merge with the machines so that their superior intelligence can boost our weak little brains and beef up our pitiful, illness-prone bodies. His predictions for the future are somewhat like the Borg from Star Trek, in that we will be assimilated into cyborgs, but with a more immediate timeline for these developments that is like the Terminator movies. Oh, except in Kurzweil's future the machines will be nice. Great!