Book Review: In the Presence of Angels

This blog post is part of the Patheos Book Club discussion of In the Presence of Angels: Reflections on Mattie Pearl and Emanuel Swedenborg by Andrea R. Garrison In the Presence of Angels is a short, simple meditation by Andrea R. Garrison on the passing of her mother, Mattie Pearl. Garrison recounts her own spiritual [Read More…]

God Means It For Good

In the sermon I preached this past Sunday (available here), I mentioned a book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming by Rod Dreher. As I mentioned, the events described in that book – as well as the effects the book has had on those who have read it – provide a beautiful (though at times heartbreaking) [Read More…]

The Most Important Website You Will Ever Visit

OK, the blog title may be a bit of an overstatement. Or maybe not. For the past eight years, Rev. Mark Pendleton has been developing a spiritual-growth program called “Begin a New Life,” based on Swedenborgian, Biblical teachings about the path of repentance. It’s finally ready for public release, and you can find it here: [Read More…]

Is the New Church a Cult?

I’m not a huge fan of using the word “cult” to describe religions one considers heretical, for reasons similar to those outlined by Roger E. Olson. I’m even less of a fan of people calling the New Church a cult. I’ve talked to a number of people in my congregation who have been deeply hurt [Read More…]

Sermon: Act Precedes, Willing Follows

My sermon from this morning – a summary of the story of Jacob and Esau from their birth to their reunion after Jacob’s decades away – is now available at newchurchaudio.org, here. And I figured out how to post the children’s talk and lessons as separate audio files! It’s the little things. [Read more…]

Sermon: Jacob’s Fear

Audio for the sermon I preached on Sunday at the Dawson Creek Church of the New Jerusalem in Dawson Creek, BC can be found here. The audio there includes readings, but leaves out a key one that was included in the children’s talk; it is Genesis 32:24-30: 24And Jacob remained alone, and a man wrestled [Read More…]

Does the World Need Another Book on Johnny Appleseed?

This post is part of the Patheos Book Club roundtable discussion of The Core of Johnny Appleseed: The Unknown Story of a Spiritual Trailblazer by Ray Silverman. When I heard that Ray Silverman (a former professor of mine at Bryn Athyn College) was publishing a book on Johnny Appleseed (or John Chapman, his real name), I [Read More…]

Brothers

This post is part of the Patheos Book Club roundtable discussion of Ghost Brother Angel by Grant Schnarr. On my to Bryn Athyn, PA, to visit my family with Anne! I’m sitting on a plane as I type this, and I just finished reading Grant Schnarr’s new book, Ghost Brother Angel. Although there are descriptions of strange [Read More…]

Is There Marriage in Heaven?

Are there marriages in heaven? The most obvious answer would seem to be no, based on Jesus’ words to the Sadducees as recorded in Luke 20:27-38, Matthew 22:23-32, and Mark 12:18-27. Here’s the Luke account: But certain of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying, “Teacher, [Read More…]

A Happy Announcement

You may have noticed that posting has been light (i.e. non-existent) on this blog for the last month and a half. Of course, with this blog that’s not an unheard of occurrence, but this time there’s a very good reason for it. At the beginning of August I flew to Singapore to visit my girlfriend, Anne [Read More…]


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