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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 growth (5)


The Love to Change

People can and do change, but it't not so glamorous, romantic and spontaneous as movies and books often make it seem. It isn't easy and it isn't always pretty but, as Clark discusses in this week's article, Jesus provided us with many examples and many tools that we need in order to change and grow into our "authentic" selves. Even if that change is so slow it isn't completed in this world. -Editor.

The movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” was recently released. While it may seem to be an excellent study of human nature, I will not go see it because any message about positive human change will be quite obscured by the salacious content. The message will be completely missed by most viewers who only want to be titillated (yes that is a word. Go look it up!).

The Word is full of examples of how humans change. Sadly, we are not shown very many examples of it in the various forms of media these days. There are many movies that purport to show how a person learns a lesson about their humanity through experiencing their depravity. While such a book or movie may be an excellent study of human nature, any message about human change is hidden from most readers and viewers who only want to be voyeurs. There are a number of movies that more accurately and appropriately reveal the mechanism of change in human beings. They are not as viscerally exciting because they portray how change really happens: human change is a process that begins within the individual human spirit, when God’s love and wisdom are voluntarily brought to support an individual’s motivation, thought, speech and act.

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Part 3: Obey

This is the final article in a three-part series looking at the model Jesus provided for evangelisation. Here Todd focuses on how Jesus asked people to obey Him. Todd views this as matter of common sense. If you have come to believe in Him, doing what He says is the only rational path. When the storms come, and we do as He instructed us, we survive. Our lives then become a testament to the power of His teachings and may draw others. -Editor

How do we grow the church? The purpose of these articles has been for us to take a look at how Jesus started the Christian church. Up to this point we've looked at asking people to follow us, to just see for themselves the healing teachings. After a while, Jesus asks them to believe. Now that they've seen and believe, things actually do take a different turn. This is the practical part, the “do” part. They were asked to obey.

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An Interview with Frank Rose, Part 2

Here, in the second section, Frank and Alanna discuss the limited role of women in the church, which is a potential stumbling block for newcomers. Frank then shares two scenarios that the Theological School could take to enrollment. Each attracts a different student body to dramatically different ends. Where does the church want to go? Read the first part here. -Editor

F: So what’s another question you might have?

A: Well, one thing I’ve been thinking about is gender equality. I went to two different weddings recently. One was a Lutheran service led by a young female minister, who was my age, and another was a Jewish wedding led by a female Rabbi. I talked at both places to people about the structure of their churches, asking when women were welcomed into those positions and how that took place. The responses I got from each were similar - the shift took place in the 1970s and 80s. It felt odd to see that the church that I identify with is thirty or more years behind where I see other churches. I realized that if I brought someone new to the church it would be hard for me to explain to them why a woman couldn’t be a minister.

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An Interview with Frank Rose, Part 1

This is a lightly edited transcript of an interview with Frank Rose. In this, the first of two sections, they discuss systems that encourage church growth. Frank's experience provides evidence of what works and what doesn't. This culminates in a vision for the future success of the church, if it is willing to lead with its weakness. The second piece is here. -Editor


A: Welcome

F: Thank you.

A: So, your name is Frank Rose, and you have been a minister in the General Church for—how long? Sixty...

F: Sixty years, yeah.

A: Sixty years. So, before we begin our conversation, I think it would be helpful to make it clear that when we are speaking about ‘the church,’ we are referring to the General Church specifically, as opposed to a universal church within the minds and hearts of people worldwide.

F: Yes.

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A Taste for Sweetness

Alanna writes about the development of taste in infancy - sweet first, and only later salty, sour, bitter and savory - and how this progression mirrors spiritual growth. -Editor.

I recently listened to an interview of the chef Grant Achatz conducted by Terry Gross for her program “Fresh Air.” Achatz was diagnosed with tongue cancer. His treatments were ultimately successful, but he lost his sense of taste in the process. Remarkably, his sense of taste has been gradually restored, beginning first with sweetness and then progressively incorporating the others tastes- bitterness, sourness, saltiness, and umami. Achatz reasoned that this process followed the basic development of the sense of taste in infants, which begins with an appreciation of sweetness. This idea instantly reflected a few truths to me about the Lord and his relationship to us. It mirrors how the Lord leads us through pleasure.

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