ONE of the big issues atheists have against religion is that many of the stories in the Holy Bible seem irrational and do not stand up to either scientific scrutiny or today’s enlightened sociological sensitivities. However, having been a scientist himself, Emanuel Swedenborg’s contribution to theology was unparalleled in allowing the human understanding to probe rationally, and even scientifically, the mysteries of faith.
Let me address a handful of important points in question with this short blog post.
Swedenborg offers unexpected evidence for the inerrancy and authority of God’s Holy Word. For instance, in John 1:1-3 of the New Testament, it states that in the beginning was the Word, God was the Word, and that everything created in the universe was created by the Word.
For the above premise to be true, the Holy Word must be equally infinite as God is and contain the patterning principles for the design of the universe. Although Holy Scripture is a large book containing over a thousand pages, it certainly is not infinite. Furthermore, the narratives of the Bible don’t seem to communicate principles of universal structure. Or do they?
Swedenborg discovered that God’s Holy Word contain deeper levels of meaning, which allow it to convey inexhaustible knowledge. These deeper levels of meaning, by quantum jumps back toward their origins, lawfully abstract and free themselves from their involvement with time and space. Therefore, the Holy Word, which first existed in a non-material heaven, has a non-local and pre-Planck dynamic.
Scientists who probe the mysteries of reality based on observed evidence can reach similar conclusions from Swedenborg’s multi-leveled exegesis (interpretation) of the Holy Word’s inner content. The various levels of meaning within the scaffolding and architecture of Holy Scripture represent the top-down causality between first principles and irreversible physical events. From a scientific standpoint, this means that there is a mathematically precise analog or similitude between the distinct levels of communication in Holy Scripture. Swedenborg called this multi-leveled similitude the science of correspondences.
The patterning principles in God’s Holy Word are also organic and anticipate the emergence in creation and evolution of higher order structure and bio-complexity in nature. This is why Holy Scripture is called the living Word. Amazingly, Swedenborg states that all the levels of meaning and information in the Holy Word are ordered and arranged according to the various functions of biological organs and processes of the human anatomy. The reason for this is that all co-existence and unified cooperation among particular parts of a system are mirror images of the mutual and spiritual love of heaven—which is an expression and derivative of God’s essential character of Divine Love.
Unfortunately, a researcher would have to plow throw fifty or more of Swedenborg’s books that span both science and theology to appreciate and get an intellectual handle on this novel worldview. I have attempted to shorten this process of investigation with my book Proving God. It covers how theology, when properly understood, can not only logically interface with science but also how it offers new solutions for the mysteries that still plague contemporary scientists.
I have just scratched the surface. This new book will give both atheists and believers plenty to of new information chew on.