If the Word Did Not Exist, No One Would Know about God, Heaven, Hell, or Life after Death, Still Less about the Lord

There are people who put forward the idea (something they have become inwardly adamant about) that without the Word people would still know of the existence of God and of heaven and hell, as well as the other things the Word teaches about. You cannot deal with such people on this basis of the Word; you have to use the earthly light of reason, because they believe in themselves, not the Word.

Investigate by using the light of your reason and you will find that there are two faculties of life in us. They are called the intellect and the will. The intellect is subject to the will, but the will is not subject to the intellect. The intellect only teaches and points out what we should be wanting and doing. As a result, many people have sharp minds and understand life’s morality better than others, and yet do not live by it. Things would be different if these people wanted to be moral. Investigate further and you will find that we identify with our will. From the day we are born, our will is evil, and that produces falsity in our intellect.

When you have found this out, you will see another thing: left on our own, we do not want to understand anything that does not come from the self that we experience in our own will. And if there were no other source of knowledge, we would have no desire to understand anything unrelated to ourselves or our world; everything beyond our world would be in pitch darkness. For example, when we saw the sun, the moon and the stars, if we happened to think about their origin, we could not help thinking they originated from us. This thinking is no deeper than that of scholars in our world who acknowledge the existence of nature alone even though they know from the Word that all things were created by God. What would they be thinking if they had known nothing from the Word?

Did the classical philosophers such as Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, and the others, who wrote about God and immortality of the soul, originally derive those concept from their own intellects? No, they derived them from others who passed them on from still others who first learned them from the ancient Word that we mentioned earlier [Sections 264-266]. The writers of natural theology, too, derive none of this type of thought from themselves; they merely use their rationality to establish concepts they learned from their church, which has the Word. There may even be some among them who defend spiritual concepts and yet do not believe them themselves.

from True Christianity, Section 273

Notes:

Sections 264-266: Published 9/14/2020-9/16/2020

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