Two Witnesses

The Two Witnesses: A Sermon on Revelation 11

I delivered my final sermon in the Dawson Creek Church of the New Jerusalem this past Sunday. Certainly a bittersweet experience - it was great to give one last sermon in that building, and of course sad to say goodbye (we do have one more service, but it will be an outdoor service at a campground, together with the group from Grande Prairie). It's been a blessing to serve here. The topic of the sermon was the two essentials of the New Church, as represented by the two witnesses in Revelation … [Read More...]

Domenico_Fetti_Unforgiving_Servant

As We Forgive Our Debtors: A Sermon on Forgiveness

Here's the message on forgiveness that I delivered this morning at the Church of the New Jerusalem in Dawson Creek. Sermon audio is available here.Readings are  Ezekiel 33:10-20; Matthew 18:21-35; and the following excerpt from Arcana Coelestia 9014: It is believed by many within the church that the forgiveness of sins is the wiping out and washing away thereof, as of filth by water; and that after forgiveness they go on their way clean and pure. … But be it known that the case with the for … [Read More...]

Doing the Truth, Coming to the Light

I have a new post up over at New Church Perspective on how to act in a way that opens us up to belief (as opposed to forcing ourselves to believe in an artificial way). The post was partly inspired by a great conversation a few months ago between Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher, David Sessions, and Noah Millman, exploring the connections between life and faith (or lack thereof). The main question they were discussing was the extent to which our feelings, actions, and experiences shape what we believe … [Read More...]

Giotto - Entry into Jerusalem

The Zeal of the King

I delivered the Palm Sunday message yesterday at the Dawson Creek Church of the New Jerusalem; for the sermon, I focused on the Lord's first act upon entering Jerusalem as recorded in the gospel of Matthew: to enter the temple and cast out all those who bought and sold there. Sermon audio is available at the New Church Audio site. Sermon text is below; reading the readings is highly encouraged! (For more passages and thoughts about "the wrath of God" and zeal vs. anger see this previous post, as … [Read More...]

An Even Better Description of Post-Modernism (from 1768, again)

My last post quoted a long conversation in the afterlife among several "learned" people from the 1700's, who reached the conclusion, basically, that they would never reach a conclusion on anything. I mentioned the parallel to postmodernism - that the conversation illustrates the kind of silliness that results from never reaching a conclusion on anything. The thing is, though, it's not REALLY postmodern in that the assembled folk were trying to reach conclusions, but never did. Postmodernism as … [Read More...]

A (Literally) Visionary Critique of Postmodernism – from 1768

The idea that we can never come to any firm conclusions on whether or not something is true is a hallmark of our postmodern age. But apparently something of that attitude has existed for a bit longer than just the last few decades. The conversation recorded by Emanuel Swedenborg in this vision of the afterlife sounds eerily similar to quite a few conversation I’ve heard (OK, and participated in), particularly among the academically inclined. It was first published in the book Conjugial Love in 1 … [Read More...]

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Peace, or a Sword?

Yesterday we reached the conclusion of our sermon series on the Days of Creation. We focused on the final day, the day of rest, and I talked about the difference between temporary peace and eternal peace, or worldly peace vs. the peace that the Lord offers. Here's the sermon, in audio and text. Readings are Genesis 2:1-3; Psalm 85; Mark 2:23-28; and Arcana Coelestia 10360; as always, I highly recommend reading the readings before listening to the sermon. Feedback is welcome!Audio is … [Read More...]

Creación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel)

Becoming Human

Over the past six weeks here at our church in Dawson Creek we've been following the story of Creation from the first chapter of Genesis. Yesterday we reached the sixth day: the creation of land animals, and ultimately, the creation of man, male and female, in God's image and after God's likeness. We've been following the interpretation of the story as laid out in the Doctrine of the New Church, specifically in the book Arcana Coelestia, which describes these days as representing the stages in a … [Read More...]

Days of Creation as Stages of Regeneration

I see that my last post was on November 5th. As it happens, our son Samuel was born a week + several hours later on November 13th, and (surprise, surprise) blogging has been non-existent since then. In other big news - we'll be moving to South Africa in June, to serve at the New Church Westville near Durban. With those major changes going on, we'll see how much time I have to keep up with the blog...At the church here in Dawson Creek I've been preaching a sermon series on the days of … [Read More...]

Our Life After Death cover

Our Life After Death

This blog post is a reflection on the book Our Life After Death, recently published by the Swedenborg Foundation and currently featured in the Patheos Book Club. The book is essentially a long excerpt from Emanuel Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell, focusing primarily on what happens in the days, weeks, and months after we die, as we are prepared for and enter either heaven or hell, in an intermediate ground called “the world of spirits.”  (The terminology here can be a little confusing: Swedenborg ref … [Read More...]


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