Search this Site

(Enter your email address)


 Subscribe in a reader

You can also subscribe to follow the comments.

Join us on Facebook


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 revelation (7)


The New Jerusalem Part 2

Continuing here with part 2 of this article, this week Malcolm looks at further places Jerusalem is talked about, what it means that Jerusalem is “the church”, the new Jerusalem is the new church, and where we fit into that. Find part 1 here -Editor.

Last week we looked at some of the places that Jerusalem is mentioned in the Old testament. The word “Jerusalem” occurs 806 times, and together they paint a varied and contradictory picture of the city’s meaning. This week we continue on to look at some of the places it’s mentioned in the New Testament, Writings, and where we belong in this holy city.

Click to read more ...


The New Jerusalem Part 1

Having marked the anniversary of the establishment of the New Church this week, today we share the first of a two part article looking at what the new Jerusalem is, what it means that it is Jerusalem, and what it means to be a part of the “the holy city, New Jerusalem.” -Editor.

Why Jerusalem? Have you ever wondered about that? Why not Bethel or Bethlehem? Maybe I should back up a bit.

We’re talking about the establishment of the New Church today (the actual anniversary was on the 19th). Often around June 19th we talk about stories from the book of Revelation because some of the elements in the stories are symbolic of the New Church. And at the end of the book, chapter 21 and 22—the last 2 chapters of the whole Bible—there’s this vision of a huge, golden, holy city, coming down from heaven.

Let’s read a little bit of the vision.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2

Lots of different aspects of this city are described and the detail that caught my attention this time was Jerusalem. It’s called “the holy city, New Jerusalem.”

Why Jerusalem?

Click to read more ...


Left Behind? 

Coleman manages to take boring sounding technical words like "eschatology" and explain them in everyday language. In this essay he looks at modern and historical ideas about the end times and helps us understand how the New Church perspective may fit within the common categories of thought on the subject. And just how does Nicholas Cage feature? -Editor

Will you be left behind at the rapture? If you live in North America—and quite possibly further afield—chances are you have at least a vague idea of what that question means. It calls to mind visions of a literal apocalypse, with the “saved” being taken up into the sky while the world descends into 7-year tribulation, at the end of which 144,000 more are saved and the world is destroyed. This is perhaps the most influential view of “end times” in modern western culture, popularized especially by Hal Lindsey in the 1970 book The Late Great Planet Earth and in more recent years by the “Left Behind” series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins—soon to be a major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage! (No, really.)

But what many people do not realize is that this particular theology of the end times—or to put it more formally, this “eschatology”—is less than two hundred years old, and has been popular for significantly less time than that.

Click to read more ...


How I View The Writings Part II

In part two, Coleman addresses what the Writings tell us about themselves. For reasons laid forth below, he takes them at their word. Find the first part here. -Editor.

2.) What do the Writings say about themselves?

Up to this point I’ve been focusing on what the Writings say about reading the Old and New Testaments, since that’s where they have the most to say about how to read revelation from God. But in coming to my current understanding, I also paid a lot of attention to what the Writings say about themselves – the ways they’re similar to the Old and New Testaments, but also the way they’re different.

First of all, as I mentioned, I reached a point in my life where I was convinced that the Writings were true, and I’d take Swedenborg’s word for it when he described what they were. And over and over again, I saw them claiming that they were directly from God. The most well-known passage on this is probably True Christian Religion 779:

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...


Other Revelations

Stephen brings our attention to how the Lord is revealing himself to us, and to others, in the present. He challenges the notion that the Bible and Swedenborg's writings are the exclusive and static emanations of a God who only wanted to speak twice. The water is still moving under the bridge. -Editor.

This is a New Church perspective on other revelations. Other revelations meaning: revelations from God through human beings other than those who wrote down the Bible and the Heavenly Doctrines.

The great thing about the New Church doctrines is that they allow for the validity of other religions and place all value in the embodiment of faith through action, good will and love.

But what about revelations? Don’t we consider the Word, including the Writings of Swedenborg, as the Divine Truth? We do. And sometimes those words “Divine Truth” get to have overtones that make it sound like “Final Truth,” or even “the Only Truth.” But that would be ridiculous, don’t you agree? That would be similar to asserting that the Hindu, Muslim or Native American religions are invalid, and they are not.

Click to read more ...