The Little Way

There’s something about St. Thérèse. Until a year or two ago I’d never heard of Thérèse of Lisieux.  I was introduced to her by Tomas Halik in his book Patience with God. There he wrote about her “dark night of the soul” leading up to her death, where she seemed to have lost her faith [Read More…]

The Seventh Blind Man of Indostan

Recently I ran across a reference to the poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant” by John Godfrey Saxe (although for the life of me I can’t remember where), and it reminded me of the little-known final stanza of the poem.  It’s little known because it’s never been published; I discovered it written in invisible [Read More…]

The Christmas Tableaux

On Sunday evening, the Dawson Creek Church of the New Jerusalem held their annual Christmas tableaux service – the first I’ve participated in as resident pastor.  “Tableaux” is short for “tableaux vivants,” meaning “living pictures.”  In a tableau vivant, the actors stand completely still to form a still picture; when it’s done well, it can [Read More…]

Glory to God in the Highest

This past Sunday, I preached on the appearance of the angels to the shepherds, declaring the good news, the gospel, that the Lord had been born.  The essential teachings about who the Lord is and what the gospel is are contained in the angel’s words: “I announce good​ ​tidings to you of great joy that [Read More…]

Book Review: The Hidden Levels of the Mind by Douglas Taylor

At some point in college, I got fed up with theological charts and diagrams.  Attending religion classes at the Academy of the New Church high school and Bryn Athyn College of the New Church, I saw plenty of them.  There were a few reasons I got fed up with them, but mostly it had to [Read More…]

Babies Love Justice

[Edit: Note that this blog has a new URL: www.patheos.com/blogs/goodandtruth/ (changed from www.patheos.com/community/goodandtruth/).  RSS feed: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/goodandtruth/feed/.  Links from the old URL and its RSS feed should still work, but it’s probably a good idea to update your bookmarks anyway.] Stephanie Pappas, senior writer at LiveScience, writes of a new study indicating that infants as young [Read More…]

The Deeper Meaning in Tiffany’s Swedenborgian Angels

On Monday I received my copy of Tiffany’s Swedenborgian Angels by Mary Lou Bertucci and Joanna Hill, currently featured on the Patheos Book Club. I’ve been reading it in bits and pieces over the last few days.  It’s not a long book, but it’s one that invites pausing and reflecting. First and foremost: this is a [Read More…]

How Helen Keller (And I) Would Help the World

There’s a scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that I imagine most Swedenborgians can relate to.  It’s where Lucy is trying to convince her siblings that she really did visit Narnia, and they respond with various degrees of derision and condescending disbelief.  And of course they go into the wardrobe to try [Read More…]

Sermon on Jacob’s Ladder

This past Sunday, I preached on the story of Jacob’s Ladder.   One thing I’d add to the end, because I think it’s the primary point of John 1:51 (“And He says to him, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, Henceforth you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon [Read More…]

Profanation: The Unforgivable Sin?

In the comments on my previous post, Kendall pointed out that it’s important to be careful with the way we talk about “profanation.”  Without a doubt, I think the teachings on profanation are some of the most frightening in the Writings, and I think it’s important to look at them more closely.  I’m going to [Read More…]