Key Concepts in Swedenborg’s Theology: Universality

To refer for a moment to the first paragraph of these “Key Concepts,” there is one respect in which the difference between Swedenborgian theology and traditional Christian theology emerges with no subtlety whatever. That is, Swedenborg insists that the Lord is effectively present all religions, with the result that “the good individuals” of all religions are saved. He speaks far more affirmatively, in fact, about non-Christians than about Christians. For him, a God who did not provide at least the means of salvation to everyone must be unloving, unwise, or ineffective.

Yet there is no hesitation in his insistence that the Incarnation of God in the person of Jesus was the turning point of all history, and that genuine Christianity is therefore the most perfect of all religions. Perhaps the most straightforward way to explain this apparent paradox is to state that in Christianity we see everywhere. It is a distortion of that religion itself to claim that salvation is for Christians alone.


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