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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 heavenly doctrines (1)


How I View The Writings Part I

In this essay, the first of two, Coleman shares principles for how one might approach the Writings most successfully. He advocates carrying an affirmative attitude toward what the Writings literally say, a watchful eye for weighing the larger messages in scripture against any apparently incongruent truths, and an openness to being found incorrect. -Editor.

In a lot of the discussions that happen on this website, a question arises: how should we read the Writings? I think it’s pretty clear from the discussions that the answer to this fundamental question affects everything else in the way we approach New Church teachings. This article is about my own understanding of the best way to read the Writings; I’m hoping it sparks discussion from lots of other points of view.

For starters: I assume the Writings are true. Why is that? Well, it’s a long story, which I shared in detail on an old blog. In summary, though, I got to the point where I said, “I see the truth in the these books, and it seems to be truer than any other truth I’ve seen before – so I will trust that what they say about themselves is true.” Part of that willingness to make the commitment came from teachings in the Writings themselves: that unless you commit to the truth and start living by it, you’ll never really see the truth in it. The more I live by the teachings of the Writings, especially about repentance, the more truth I see in them.

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