Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NewSearch 4 / Tips and Tricks

NewSearch 4

Back in February I let you know about NewSearch 4 being available for purchase. At that point I told you that you would soon be able to order it from the New Church Online Store. There was a bit of a delay but you can now buy NewSearch 4 from the online store.

In that post I also promised to post a full review of NewSearch 4. That may or may not happen. I also promised to explain how I got it working on my Mac. I'm pretty sure I'll do that.

For now I wanted to let you know about the NewSearch Support page ( It's pretty basic but it does the trick. There is a description of a bug and how to get around it; there's a form where you can submit a description of the problem you're having with either the desktop or online version of NewSearch; and there's a known issues page where you can find instructions about how to get NewSearch to install on Windows 7 and how to make it work on the 64-Bit version of Windows 7.

I also want to tell you about a couple of things that I've learned about the online version of NewSearch 4,

There are extensive instructions on the search page but, if you're like me, you've only scanned through them briefly and assumed that you'd be able to figure it out. My main piece of advice is, if you're interested in doing more detailed and powerful searches, read the instructions; and, if you're just interested in doing basic searches, pay attention to the drop-down menu (see my beautiful screenshot).

I assumed that if I wanted to search for Divine and Human I could just put Divine AND Human in the search box and hit Enter. But, if the drop-down menu is on the default ("all of the words"), then I'll get results containing Divine, and, and Human. If I want to use boolean operators like AND and OR, then I need to select "boolean".

People have been looking for the ability to jump directly to a specific passage for a while. Chuck Ebert, who's in charge of the NewSearch project, has said that that's on their list of features to add to the online version. In the meanwhile he's put up instructions about how jump directly to a passage using the search box. Set the drop-down menu to "the exact phrase" and put the passage and number in using this format: Brief Exposition * n. 27. Yes the * needs to be there, unless you're searching for a book in Latin. I've discovered that it also works if you use abbreviations for the book titles—e.g. be * n. 27.

I asked Chuck if it would be possible for him to make a similar feature for searching within just one book. He told me that he'd work on it later this week. So hopefully I'll be updating this post in a couple of days with instructions about how to do that.

As a final tip I should let you know that all of the things that I've mentioned are explained on the homepage ( If you're like me, you have the actual search page ( bookmarked and so never see the homepage. It might be worth checking the homepage periodically to see if they've added any other new features.


Chuck has added a feature to search only within a certain book. Set the drop-down menu to "all of the words" and put what you want to search in this format: "brief exposition n. " regeneration. That will search for regeneration in just Brief Exposition. You do need the quotation marks and you do need the space after the n. and you do need the full title of the book.

It's not perfect. If you search for regeneration in Brief Exposition using this method, it also gives you a result from Conjugial Love that cites a passage in Brief Exposition. But that may be useful in your research as well. I've also discovered that you can imperfectly but usefully search within just one translation of a work by adding the translator's name to the end of your search—e.g. if you search for "True Christian Religion n. " regeneration rose it will mostly give you passages in Jonathan Rose's translation of True Christian Religion that mention regeneration. It will also give you a couple of other passages that happen to include the words true, christian, religion, regeneration, and rose.

Anyway, try it out and if you think of other features that you'd like or other ideas about how to improve the website go to and submit a request.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

General Church Marketting Survey

The General Church has a new marketting consultant, Alicia Simons. One of the things that she's done is build an online survey to find out where current "members and friends of the New Church" are before she surveys people outside of the church. Here's her explanation of the survey:
We are presently launching an online survey for current Friends and Members of the New Church and are very much in need of your help and support to make this a success. This survey is the beginning of a multi-step process to help us learn how to better talk to people in our move towards a million meaningful contacts. In this case we are talking to people who are currently friends and members of the New Church in North America. Later in the process, with a different methodology, we will also talk to people who are less aware or unaware of the New Church. The point in this phase is to understand how friends and members are feeling about their New Church experience, and how the Church is fitting into their lives today. It is also to understand what people who love the New Church love about it. Why do they come? The thought is that this is likely a good reflection of why other people who don't know about the New Church may also want to come. We hope the information we obtain will help us both to understand the thoughts and behavior of current friends and members and also help us on the path to talking to potential new friends or members in the most meaningful language. Please know, in no way can respondents be identified personally, or even by congregation.
Obviously, the more people who take the survey, the better the results will be. If you want to take the survey you can find it here. You need a password to access it. I can't just post it here but you should be able to get it by contacting any General Church pastor or administrator.

The survey takes about 20 minutes. You'll be able to take it up until June 13th, I believe.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why You Might Want to Invest in a Latin Copy of True Christian Religion

Freya Fitzpatrick has been working for a couple of years on a new Latin edition of Vera Christiana Religio (the book that's called True Christian Religion or True Christianity in English). The new Latin edition is now available and I wanted to share with you a little advertisement / explanation of why having new Latin editions is important that Freya wrote.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! A new Latin edition of True Christian Religion is available now at the low price of just $45 for a handsome red-bound, gold-lettered set of two volumes.

Well, OK, so you haven’t been sitting on the edge of your seat just waiting for this new release. And, maybe you’re wondering why you’re even being told about this when you can’t read a word of Latin – well maybe one or two words, but no more.

This project is important to you, and to me, and to the whole world because the Latin editions of the Writings are the foundation upon which translation into every other language depends.

Why can’t we just use existing Latin editions? Well, the first editions, published by Swedenborg himself are out of print, and extremely expensive if you could find them. The next editions were done in the 1800’s in Germany. They’re out of print too. The third Latin editions were edited and published in the USA in the early 1900’s, and these can still occasionally be found.

Newly edited editions (rather than reprints of older editions), however, are urgently needed because of the emergence of a new field of study called Neo-Latin. Neo-Latin generally describes Latin from the 1500s on, in other words, the Latin of Swedenborg’s day. Up until just about 1960 or so, Neo-Latin was not a recognized field of study. Scholars certainly knew that Latin was used during this period of history, but scholars had not studied the Latin of that era as unique in its own right.

This means that even the editions of the Writings from the early 1900’s are edited by people who “corrected” Swedenborg’s Latin to fit patterns of classical Latin – which are often very different in rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation than Neo-Latin. Also, Neo-Latin contains words that certainly didn’t exist in classical times, and in some places in older Latin editions, editors have attempted to suggest “correct” words to replace the words Swedenborg used – which as it turns out are legitimate Neo-Latin words.

This means new Latin editions are vital. But as you can imagine, the readership is infinitesimally small! We can sell less than half of the minimum number of books required for a print run.

You can support this use by purchasing a set of Vera Christiana Religio for: $45 plus shipping ($5 domestic, $30 international).

You can:

1) Display this Latin work with pride.
2) Designate it to be donated to a Latin student at Bryn Athyn New Church College ( or a minister.
3) Designate it to be donated to a Neo-Latin scholar.

If you would like to support this use at less than $45, send a check in any $5 increment and specify whether it is for donated set for a student, minister or scholar.

Checks should be made out to:

Academy of the New Church, memo: Publication Committee
And mailed to: Publication Committee, Leslie Alden, PO Box 45, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Next Journey Campaign

There's now information available about the next Journey campaign. (Journey campaigns are spiritual growth programs that involve sermons, small groups, and readings.) The title of the campaign is "Pause: Make Space for God." You can read a summary of the program on the Welcome page. You can also watch a 6 minute video in which Anna Woofenden and Rev. Mac Frazier introduce you to the program. And there's also a Program Overview page where you can get an overview of the content of the program week by week.

If you're new to the idea of Journey campaigns I recommend that you take a look at some of the other campaigns listed in the Spiritual Growth Program Materials section. If you go to the Program Materials page for last year's campaign, "Living Courageously," you can download a PDF of the workbook, listen to sermons, and look at Sunday School materials for it.

"Pause" is going to launch October 3, 2010 and January 30, 2011.