Friday, February 15, 2008

Seeing the Lord

A key teaching of the New Church is that we are to worship a visible God (True Christian Religion 787. But what does this mean? In “Seeing the Lord,” a 1990 article in New Church Life, Rev. Brian Keith explores this and other questions in a systematic and interesting way. He also talks about a number of teachings that I had never heard before.
How do we see the Lord? From Scripture and artistic renderings we all have those vital sensual images upon which our thinking must rest. But is that all? How is the Lord visible to us? How will the Lord be visible to us in the next life? ...

In recent years there has been an emphasis on forming a clearer picture of the Lord in the New Testament as the visible God. In a culture that places increasing importance upon personalities this is necessary, especially for those who have perhaps neglected all but the birth and crucifixion stories. As we acquire a greater understanding of the New Testament, it can better be infilled with the truths about the Lord now revealed so that our sight of Him as the Divine Man will be enhanced.

Another valuable way to see a visible God is through the various representations that He elsewhere utilizes. How did the Lord manifest Himself to previous churches? How does the Lord show Himself to people on other planets? And most importantly, how does He now appear in the other world? (Will we “see Him face to face”?) Examining these manifestations should expand our understanding of the Lord and increase His visibility for us.

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