Allen explains the atomic tensions that are the root of all the variety we witness in the universe. From this exploration he is able to glean spiritual truths that mimic this fundamental creative dynamic. This was first published in the student newspaper of the Bryn Athyn College, BACON Bits, in April of 2009. -Editor.Teaching chemistry at Bryn Athyn College, a New Church institution, I have the opportunity to explore science and religion in a Swedenborgian context. Seeing the physical world as God’s creation and therefore reflecting, at least in its matter and forces, God’s intent, opens up additional dimensions of meaning embedded in physical law. If the natural and spiritual worlds are both created by God, and created as a whole rather than as wholly separate cosmoses, then we can expect to find in our study of the natural world insight into the spiritual world as well. In the New Church these connections are often called “correspondences,” a term used many times in English translations of Swedenborg’s theological works. I find pursuit of these connections more satisfying than engaging in debates about the authority of science and religion. Rather than determining which perspective should have more standing, I feel that each has standing in its own context, and that the tension sometimes created between the two can enrich both.
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.
Entries in freedom (4)
Norm offers an unconventional perspective on the destruction of the Twin Towers. He finds the 9/11 Commission Report to be frightfully inadequate. As a Swedenborgian, he cannot accept un-rational explanations for events that have shaped our foreign policy so drastically over the last ten years. -Editor.
"Thought from the eye closes the understanding but thought from the understanding opens the eye" (Divine Love and Wisdom 46).
To speak out and challenge the official findings of the 9/11 Commission Report on the events of September 11th even in a relatively free society is ventured into with some degree of trepidation. Yet openness, and a willingness to express a divergent viewpoint from the norm is essential where truth and its pursuit are fundamental to freedom and democracy.
Joel describes the process he uses when flooded with doubt. He draws a distinction between the experience of doubt, and the choice to see beyond it, by taking loving actions in spite of his emotions and thoughts. This essay was first published in Beacon, the Bryn Athyn College newspaper. Joel's contribution wraps up our themed series on doubt. You can find the lead essay in the series [here]. -Editor.
Doubt is a topic that has always been important to me. I think this is because I have a very skeptical personality. I like to disbelieve things until they have been absolutely proven to me. This is a problem, as I also strive to have a strong faith in the Lord. This conflict has led me to try to understand what faith really is, and what place doubt has in the context of faith. Often, I am confronted by the question, “How can I have faith when I am experiencing such strong doubt?”
First of all, it is important to have an idea of what faith is. On one level, it is all those things that I think are correct.
One of the things Chad does is raise children. Here he shares an anecdote of hiking up a mountain with his kids. Through analogy, and reference to the work Divine Providence, Chad explores ideas about the Divine perspective when caring for His Human children. This essay comes across as humorous and light hearted while conveying satisfyingly grounded philosophical conclusions. -Editor
Lately I have been thinking about the Lord as the Perfect Parent and Divine Providence as His consistent implementation of a flawless parenting philosophy based on the everlasting mercy of His Divine Love and Wisdom! I like this approach because it helps me think of Him in a more intimate way: He is the Person who has been in my life from the very beginning, making things work and loving me unconditionally—rather than my boss, or my coach, or my best buddy or some of the other perfectly acceptable ways of thinking about God. What I like best about this concept of the Lord is that, being a parent myself, it helps me: understand the limited nature of my own freedom; recognize some of the ways that the Lord is raising me toward heaven; and accept that I cannot grow up to be an angel unless the Lord lets me learn from my own mistakes and the mistakes of others.