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Text: English (translation) Original Language: Latin
About the Author
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him the position of overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was given a seat on the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ which resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.
True, not exactly. In this two volume set, Swedenborg takes us through a journey into the New (Jerusalem) church. Where things were previously hidden from us, they are now opened. In 1757 the "new" revelation came through Swedenborg. Makes for good science fiction, but...........
There is no doubt there are sound beliefs here, much of this exhaustive, extensive, overlapping, repetitive, confusing, and very complete work, is. Swedenborg refers to scripture and explains their meaning, plays devils advocate where appropriate, and where questions are raised they are answered. But where I find he excels is in his amazing scientific mind----conceptual for the time period. He was a man clear in the sciences; was ahead of his time in biology, physics and chemistry; and he uses this gift metaphorically. As a physician he refers to biology to use as a comparison to spirituality. His main treatise is on faith, charity, freedom of choice, and repentance. He breaks in with what he calls "memorable relations": conversations he has had with men struggling with the truth. The falsities are subtle throughout, so this work demands concentration and discernment. Swedenborgism is still alive and well today.
Here are some of Swedenborg's very unusual beliefs and my questions: 1) He tells us of his direct interaction between peoples of heaven and hell through his "memorable relations": Does he really believe there is an interaction----an intermediary between the two chasms or is he just using a fantasy to tell a story? 2) He sees and talks to angels: Is this just an analogy----a way of getting what he believes across? 4) Is Swedenborg the revelation of the new heaven and church described in the bible?......No. 5) He has special communication with angels and spirits........? 6) Believes in an intermediary realm (purgatory) between heaven and hell, as do the Catholics: There is nothing that tells us this. 7) Believes there are higher cultural levels in heaven......? 8) Believes in a sort of upper hell where one can be taught the truth and be reestablished into heaven.
Swedenborg is the latest chosen prophet, but revelation is over according to our bible. This "new church" teaches a much different trinity; were we then lost until he came? If I understand correctly, he believes he was God's elect or part of the second coming and that many of the prophesies have come to pass in the 18th century.
After reading other books on comparisons in beliefs covering Swedenborg I agreed with their conclusions, but only after many pages of hard reading of True Christian Religion. Swedenborg does a remarkable job of sweeping you in and hiding his cultic beliefs in a mass of superb writing. Although the individuals who made the comparisons agree that Swedenborg was brilliant, he was also able to distort the truth brilliantly. Some major concerns: 1) becoming a prophet after meeting Christ, 2) visions of heaven and hell, 3) man determines his own destiny, 4) God judges no one, 5) his "New Jerusalem" was to be the world's final religion, 6) conversations with angels, devils and the dead, 7) anti-Trinitarian, 8) not by faith alone, and 9) convoluted faith and charity beliefs. Being this church is a member of the National Council of Churches should be alarming.
I believe that this man was very close to God and he has a good insight on what God want Christians to know . I have just started to read this and its hard for me to take in all that is being said . May God give you the proper tools to understand what is being said ! May God Bless You in this book .