Key Concepts in Swedenborg’s Theology: God

God is the absolute “distinguishable One,” both within and transcending all space and all time, by nature incapable of being less than wholly present. The fundamental nature of the universe is therefore coherent at all times and in all places: the same fundamental laws apply everywhere, as indeed science assumes, either intuitively or of necessity.

To help us grasp the nature of that infinite oneness, we may distinguish the primary features of infinite love, wisdom, and power

—love being ineffective without wisdom,

—wisdom inert without love, and

—power the wholly natural result of their oneness.

God is one in the essential sense that there is no conflict within the Divine: love does not bid one course of action, with wisdom counseling another. This is a qualitative monotheism, not simply a numerical one.

Love is intrinsically personal, and God is therefore the essential and only person, the definition of the human person. There is no other source of life, which is in its essence love.

We have been created not “out of nothing,” but quite literally “out of love,” since love is by nature self-giving and self-expressive. We are in that sense differentiated from the Divine but never separated (again “distinguishably one”); we are recipients of being rather than beings.

We differ from each other not in the presence of the Divine within us, but in our acceptance of or receptivity to the Divine.


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