Articles From the March 1995 Unification News
Essentials of the Unification Principle - by Thomas Cromwell
Reviewed by: Andrew Wilson
When Thomas Cromwell published Essentials of the Unification Principle last year, it quickly sold out, and with good reason. Essentials is a detailed exposition of the Principle suitable for a non-Christian audience. Rev. Cromwell's long experience as the director of the Middle East region has enabled him to understand the spiritual needs of Muslims, Jews, and God-seekers who do not share the Bible-based presuppositions or Bible-quoting style of traditional Protestant Christians. Recognizing that they could not absorb Divine Principle in its standard form, he was given authorization to write an exposition suitable to their needs and tastes. The second edition of Essentials has been thoroughly revised. Its publication of is indeed welcome.
Education in God's truth, like any education, occurs in stages. It is not human nature to expect that everyone will have the foundation to be able to receive the Principle in its authorized form, through the text Divine Principle. Wherever education is successful, it bridges the gap between the level of the prevailing culture and the goal of full understanding. If our church is to grow, we cannot just wait for those chosen few to come along who have the foundation to understand the authorized text. Rather, we should research the level of the culture and design educational materials suitable to them. They should be part of an integrated curriculum which begins from the lowest level and moves by stages to complete understanding.
For example, in Japan, which lacks a Christian foundation, guests are taught the Bible on their way to understanding the Principle. Here in the West, the problem is not the lack of a Christian foundation but too much of it. Many people are turned off by Christianity, and likewise by a Christian approach to the Principle. They should find in this book a good alternative avenue into the depths of the Principle. Its clear style and solid spirituality make it a dependable text.
Essentials of the Unification Principle is a full, 250-page exposition of the Principle. In line with its interreligious purpose, it does not use any quotes from the Bible and, where appropriate, it adds support from the Koran. It includes a chapter, "Global Preparation for the True Parents and the Rise of Asian Religions," which gives an appreciative assessment of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Greek philosophy, and includes a positive assessment of Judaism in conjunction with the discussion of Moses' course. Furthermore, it uses the terminology "True Parents" instead of "Messiah" or "Lord of the Second Advent."
Other attractive features of this book are a concluding chapter, "Applying the Unification Principle to Life," and a glossary of terms.
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