Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Young Oon Kim
The Unification Theology and Christian Thought - Part I
An explanation of the Divine Principle from a theological viewpoint by Y. O. Kim
Not completed yet.
1. The Principle Of Creation
2. Polarity: Creator And Creation
3. Give And Take
4. Purpose Of Creation
5. Growth And Dominion
6. The Fall Of Man
7. The Universality Of Sin
8. The Nature Of Sin
9. The Identity Of The Serpent
some more to come...
The Principle Of Creation
Every generation asks the same vital questions about God, man and his destiny but each puts them in some special form. When in 1966 the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands issued a new and very unusual type of catechism for the laity, among the questions they raised were: "What is the point of this world?" "How did our life begin?" "ls it an accident that things strive upward through such new and wonderful phases -- existence, life, feeling, thought?" Are we then to believe that human history, past, present and future, the whole evolution of the universe, with its pain and anxiety, its loves and joys, and its final end, is a meaningless jest?" "How can we harmonize all the sickness, disappointments and cruelty of this world with an infinitely good origin?"
Similar questions have been raised and pondered through the centuries. The prophets and priests of the Hebrew Bible wrestled with them. So have Christian theologians and philosophers of religion. Earlier, Greeks from Socrates to Plato to Plotinus considered these questions. Nor were they overlooked by Hindu saints and Moslem sages. Even today these same questions are still being asked by Christians and non-Christians, theists and humanists, dogmatists and doubters.
Regardless of one's particular religious faith or lack of it, every individual sooner or later asks himself certain fundamemtal questions about human nature and destiny. Theology itself is merely the systematic and constructive consideration of these basis queries. A man must find his place in the society of which he is a member. He must relate himself in a positive fashion to the wider universe surrounding him. In short, he must come to terms with God.
According to Professor Emil Brunner of Zurich , "The first word of the Bible is the word about the Creator and creation. But that is not simply the first word with which one begins in order to pass on to greater, more important matters. It is the primeval word, the fundamental word supporting everything else. Take it away and everything collapses. Indeed if one rightly understands that which the Bible means by the Creator, he has rightly understood the whole Bible. Everything else is involved in this one word."
Polarity: Creator And Creation
An in-depth study of the meaning of creation would suggest answers to the basic questions regarding the Creator posed by the ancient and modern religions. By understanding the relationship of Creator and creature in its many ramifications, one can discover not only the reality and power of God, but also the nature and destiny of man, the value and purpose of the universe, the significance of human history, and the reasons for our hope of eternal life.
Creation relates the human to the divine. It connects human and cosmic purpose. It brings into clear focus the personal and the transpersonal, joining together the reasons why man acts and aspires as well as the inner causes behind the varied phenomena of nature. The Hebrew Bible (the foundation for Jewish, Christian and Islamic religion) opens with the verse, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In the Apostles' Creed, the first article is "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth." In this Hebraic-Christian tradition, God is the ever-active Creator, an infinite and invisible Spirit who fashioned the universe in the light of His perfect reason and holy will.
Wherever one looks, he beholds the handiwork of God. Whether we read the creation story in Genesis, the nature hymns in the Psalms or the majestic poetry of the theophany in Job, we are taught that behind and throughout everything visible man can sense the presence of a divine reality.
If this be true, the universe reflects the personality of God in much the same way that our facial expressions, gestures and overall appearance reflect our inner nature and attitude. In that sense, the universe becomes God's body. The temporal manifests the trans-temporal or eternal. With what then, does man sense the trans-temporal, the metaphysical -- is it done with just our physical eyes? The Beatitudes teach, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." It is an inner quality, an inner eye, that allows man to sense the living God.
The question then which was posed among learned theologians during the High Middle Ages -- is "Can man achieve this beatific vision directly in its full splendor or merely in an indirect manner?" The Franciscan theologians, such as Saint Bonaventura, declared that we can see God face to face, here and now. Being itself, being in its fullness or being in any of its concrete forms, represents an accurate revelation of the infinite. What occurs in time as a whole and time in any of its various segments provides a full and convincing proof for the existence of the one God of love, beauty and power.
Dominican theologians, however, approached this cosmological question in a different manner. Following in the steps of Saint Thomas Aquinas, these men claimed that the universe provides only indirect revelations of the divine presence, heeding the Biblical warning that no man has ever seen God. That is, one can only reason from the finite and the temporal to the infinite and the eternal by means of analogy. To quote Augustine,
And what is this God? I asked the earth and it answered 'I am not He'; and all things that are in the earth made the same confession. I asked the sea and the deeps and the creeping things, and they answered: 'We are not your God; seek higher.' I asked the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars and they answered: 'Neither are we God whom you seek.' And I said to all the things that throng about the gateways of the senses: 'Tell me of my God, since you are not He. Tell me something of Him.' And they cried out in a great voice: 'He made us.' My question was my gazing upon them, and their answer was their beauty.
Much later, the Puritans in Great Britain formalized and systematized their concept of God. In 1640, at a crucial stage in this movement, the Westminster Assembly issued a theological statement which became a classic Protestant definition. The Presbyterian divines declared:
There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
The previous opinions intimate precisely what Divine Principle states: that God is perceived both indirectly and directly. We can perceive God indirectly through nature, but in a much more direct manner through man. Man was created in God's image.
God's likeness is in man. For theologians, this, of course, is not a new concept. As the Russian Orthodox philosopher Vladimir Lossky points out in his book, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, the early Church Fathers sought to find God's image in man and variously defined it as the soul, the intellect, the power of inner self-determination, as well as man's position as lord of the terrestrial world. In addition, it was identified with the gift of immorality, the ability of knowing God and the possibility of sharing the divine nature.
According to one of the early Eastern Fathers , St. Gregory of Nyssa,
His reason for creating human life is simply this -- because He is good. Such being the nature of God, and such the one reason why he undertook the creation of man, there were to be no half measures when He set about to show forth the power of his goodness. He would not give a mere part of what was His own, and grudge to share the rest.
For Unification theology the fact that man was created in the divine image indicates that God had applied the same principle operating within Himself directly in the creation of man and indirectly in the creation of the universe. By recognizing the fundamental principle of creation inherent in both man and the cosmos, we can comprehend the basic nature of God.
Looking at ourselves we discover that man is both heart and body, inner self and its outer expression. Thought, emotion and will are reflected outwardly in one's facial expressions and indeed in one's whole body. The body is quite clearly directed by the heart its inner cause and underlying purpose. Though the heart of man is invisible and his personality may not be known directly, we can know another's inner feelings by observing his behavior. To a considerable degree, a man is what he does, because he embodies what he thinks. The outer man we see mirrors the inner man that is otherwise hidden.
An examination of the world around us also indicates that outer man we see mirrors the inner man that is otherwise hidden.
An examination of the world around us also indicates that purposiveness characterizes every level of existence. Life in a variety of forms is directed toward specific goals. In different ways, creation demonstrates its teleological character. Existence manifests design.
As a man embodies an inner spirit, so does the universe as a whole. There is a definite cause or purpose to all existence, which could be called the cosmic heart. Extraordinary new experiments reveal that even plants have emotions and memory. Everything visible is the expression or revelation of an invisible and eternal aim. This heart of all creation is God. He is reflected in all that we can see or hear or touch. He makes His presence known in the totality of creation which serves as His body, exemplifying His sovereignty and providing the outer form of His being.
From man and nature, which both contain the polarity of internal character and external form, we can see that their Creator, their Cause also exists in polarity. The energy, the force behind all matter, is God's external form, whereas the inner qualities of emotion intellect and will constitute God's internal character. It should be pointed out that emotion and intellect are quite distinct.
Feeling is more basic and within the heart or mind of God is the guide, the subject, while reason as its object is a tool; together they work to bring a loving and intelligible direction through God's body. God's heart is subject and His body is object in the same way as man's mind is subject over his body. In the sense that energy is present in all creation, God is omnipresent; and to the degree that God's love, God's truth and God's will are present in men, so is God present.
Because God has mind and man has mind, their relationship with each other has often been similar to the relalionships between men. This has led some to seek the nature of the Most High by an examination of interpersonal communication. Though often the language of Biblical devotion stresses the majestic authority of God by comparison with our human weakness, there is central to Biblical faith the notion that man and God can enter into a covenant as responsible partners. From this, they can enter into compacts of mutual assistance in the interest of justice and righteousness.
St. Paul said in Romans 1:20: "Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." We have heretofore examined the polarity of God's nature in terms of inner and outer. However, there is another fundamental polarity that is "perceived in the things that have been made." Particles consist of both a positively charged part and a negatively charged one which exist in a paired, complementary relationship.
Atoms consist of a nucleus of protons (of positive charge) and an electron cloud (of negative charge). Molecules exist in cation (positively charged ions) and anion (negatively charged ions). Plants have stamen and pistil in one plant or the masculine and feminine part exist in separate plants. In animals too, we see these complementary pairs: rooster and hen, stallion and mare, ram and ewe. And finally in man, we see man and woman.
This basic polarity of positivity and negativity -- masculinity and femininity -- is fundamental in the structure of existent being; therefore we can assert that God Himself exists in such a polarity. In his Gifford Lectures entitled Nature, Man and God, Archbishop William Temple wrote:
In nature we find God, we do not only infer from Nature what God must be like, but when we see Nature truly, we see God self-manifested in and through it. Yet the self-revelation so given is incomplete and inadequate. Personality can only reveal itself in persons. Consequently, it is specially in Human Nature -- in men and women -- that we see God.
Adam alone does not provide a complete image of God: but, Adam and Eve together are God's image. Male and female he created them. Adam and Eve stand on a ladder of polarity which descends to the protons and electrons at the base of the realm of matter. Man and woman relate to each other by divine design; physically and psychologically they complement each other's outer and inner structure.
In his theological anthropology, Man in Revolt, Professor Brunner indicates that the biological difference between the sexes is basic and deep-seated. Spiritually, he tells us, man expresses the productive principle while the woman exemplifies the principle of bearing and nourishing. Man turns more to the outside world while the woman concentrates more on the inner realm. The male seeks the new and the female longs to preserve the old. While the man likes to roam about, the woman prefers to make a home.
One may have already recognized this concept as the ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang. Yang refers to positivity: the sun, man, male animals, positive electrical charge; yin refers to negativity (not with a derogatory implication): the moon, woman, female animals, negative electrical charge.
Positivity is subject and negativity is object; that is, subject refers to the initiating force and object refers to the responding power. The male Adam represents the assertive, aggressive thrust of love while Eve suggests the receptive yet creative energy, responding with beauty. Thus the creation of man and woman as a pair provides a psychosomatic and objective manifestation of the fundamental bipolarity of God.
This aspect of God has not been emphasized in Western Civilization; traditional theology has seen God as masculine.
The psychotherapist Eric Fromm asserted, however, that from a psychological standpoint there are deficiencies in a society based on the worship of an exclusively male deity. Fatherly love makes demands, sets up principles of appropriate behavior and establishes laws of correct action. Filial love thereby depends on the obedience of the son to paternal demands. However, if the child cannot live up to the demands, he may feel a lack of love and by self-accusation cut himself off from his father's love, thinking he could not possibly receive or deserve it. The result of this is frustration and depression.
Maternal love by contrast is unconditional, all-enveloping. According to Fromm, it does not need to be acquired, but comes as a natural gift of physical birth. The children come from the mother physically and psychologically, and she loves them simply because they are hers -- not because they obey her commands and fulfill her wishes. The physical intimacy and psychic dependence are universal.
For Fromm, an understanding of God as both Father and Mother would lead to a more rounded and stable personality in its adherents. He pointed out, however, that even in a strict patriarchal society, Mary and the Church in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are referred to as "Mother". Also Martin Luther's "justification by faith alone" implies a maternal love from God, in that we need not prove that we deserve it. Whether we accept Fromm's assertions or not, it is clear that considering God as both Father and all-embracing Mother broadens and clarifies what we need and seek in God. Each aspect by itself is incomplete and one sided.
In his book The Hebrew Goddess, Raphael Patai points out that comparative religion reveals that man represents the nature of God in both masculine and feminine ways. Judaism is no exception to this pattern. In the Old Testament we learn that for about six centuries, from the arrival of Israelite tribes in Canaan to Nebuchacdnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem, the Hebrews worshipped the goddess Asherah as well as Yahweh. Asherah symbolized the great mother and her statue was put in the temple at Jerusalem. When Elijah killed 450 prophets of Baal, he did nothing to the 400 prophets of Asherah. Patai concludes that she must have been regarded as the necessary or at least tolerable female counterpart of Yahweh.
Philo the Alexandrine Jew suggested that the cherubim symbolized two aspects of God: God the Father (Reason) and God the Mother (Wisdom). When the Torah uses the name Elohim to denote God, it refers to the Divine Father, Husband, Begetter and Creator. When the scripture speaks of God as Yahweh, it indicates the Divine Mother, Wife, Bearer, and Nurturer. Patai records Reb Qetina's (a Babylonian Talmudist of the 3rd-4th century) information that when Jews made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem the priest would roll up the veil hiding the Holy of Holies to show a huge statue of cherubim intertwined with one another as an illustration of the male and female characteristics of divine love. These two aspects of God later typified Talmudic theology and medieval nystical Judaism.
Divine Principle then recognizes that the very essence of the paternal and maternal instinct come from, and are perfected in, God.
Give And Take
When Moses asked God for a name by which He could be called, He replied rather enigmatically, "I am who I am." (Exodus 3:4) According to Father John Courtney Murray, this Biblical definition of the divine name could mean any or all of three very diferent things. It could mean God is being itself and be translated "I am He who is." It could mean God is the Creator and be translated "I am to be whatever comes to be." Or it could imply God is the ever present "I shall be there with you in power."
Divine Principle asserts that God is perpetual, self-generating energy, the first cause and the primal source of all that exists. This ultimate source energy is the outer form as heart is the inner character of the Godhead. The give and take between them forms the foundation for His eternal existence. Causing the visible creation and operating through it, God is responsible for the innumerable types of patterns which energy forms to make the world we touch, see and know.
Repeatedly the scriptures emphasize the amazing power and inexhaustible energy of God. In the Psalter, He is revealed in a wild storm: in the lightning flash and thunder He shakes the cedars of Lebanon and frightens the deer into giving birth to their fawns prematurely. In the book of Judges, Samson was possessed with divine strenght so he could pull down a Philistine temple with his bare hands. Some scholars say that Mount Sinai was considered sacred because it was a volcano symbolizing the awesome majesty of Yahweh. To quote an Old Testament authority,
If this God has to be typified in one word that word must be Power; or, still better, perhaps, Force. Everything about and around Yahweh feels the effect of this. He as it were electrifies his environment.
The Hebrews spoke of God as a mighty king, an exalted judge or the commander of a vast army, literally the Lord of hosts. But even the purely moral attributes ascribed to Him are dynamic qualities. When we say God is love, God is justice, God is truth, we mean that He is a God of overwhelming power. Consequently, men of faith are known for their remarkable courage, steadfast conviction and lasting influence over others. God comes to man, as the Pentecost incident relates, like the rush of a mighty wind. Those gripped by His Spirit therefore become virtually irresistible and indomitable, men of granite and steel.
In his book God and the World, theologian John B. Cobb, Jr. claims that "God can be conceived as a very special kind of energy-event." Obviously, God is not physical in the usual sense of the word; He is physical, Cobb maintains, in the sense that there is a 'physical' energy-event behind each element of the world of matter, and that those energy-events include mental and spiritual phenomena.
In what direction and for what purpose, then, does this energy move? We have heretofore seen that every element in the universe is part of or divided into subject-object pairs. Yet, if the elements existed by themselves, without a force or energy which causes them to be attracted to their complement, there would be no life, no multiplication, no existence. Therefore the universal source energy emanating from God operates to stimulate and produce a give and take action between the subject and object. For example, through this source energy, protons and electrons interact to form atoms; positive and negative charges create a flow of electricity; male and female animals unite to produce young. This give and take process also extends to the exchange of energy between life systems; in an aquarium the plants utilize carbon dioxide exhaled by fish and discharge oxygen which is used by the fish in return. (In fact, the awareness of the give and take process, exemplified in the complex behavior of plants and animals in a specific geographical environment, is central to the new interest in ecology.) Zoologists speak of a vast web of life in which each constituent part plays both a productive (giving) and a receptive (taking) role.
The source energy from God is in a vertical relationship to everything else while the energy produced through give and take between other subjects and objects is horizontal. Hence, there is no creation in which God's spirit is not at work. This universal law of give and take is another aspect of God's omnipresence; nothing can exist without this connection to the living, ever-active God.
Through the union provided by the give and take action, a receptive base is made between a subject and object and new life is produced. Each receptive base serves as a launching pad for new action by the spirit of God. In addition, through the receptive bases, the whole creation continues its existence and maintains its motion.
The ultimate in the series of give and take relationships is the love between man and woman, husband and wife. They are the separate images of God's fundamental polarity and therefore have the natural inclination and capacity to form a perfect reciprocal relationship. In so doing they feel exciting and stimulating joy; thus, they bring great happiness to each other and build a harmonious unity between them. From such a unity, children are produced. In Unification theology these three stages are called origin, division and union (God, male and female, children).
This process in turn establishes four positions: origin, subject, object and union. With God at the center, these four positions provide the basis on which the purpose of each being in creation is fulfilled. This 'group' with God at its heart is called in Divine Principle terminology the "base of four positions."
The base on the family level, parents and children with God at the center, provides the natural foundation of human society. This becomes the pattern for all other bases of four positions. On the community level, for example, the four positions would be God, the leadership, the people and the community formed among them. Of course, if the leadership were centered on God, then we would and could have an ideal community. Societal national and international relationships are also derived from that pattern.
The importance of give and take on a cultural level was stressed by Arnold Toynbee; he calls this 'the challenge and response factor', and points to it again and again in his multivolumed study of different civilizations. The Hellenic ideal, for example, interacted with the Roman, the Judaic and the Egyptian. Christianity itself has often been described as a result of the creative give and take between the Hebrew and the Greek. In our own century we are witnessing a world-wide meeting of East and West, a cross-cultural exchange of vast significance.
According to many sociologists and historians interaction of this sort is the very stimulus required to produce the flowering of a civilization or a step forward in its cultural evolution. To cite a single instance, the culture of Western Europe might have stagnated in the Dark Ages had the Crusaders not been introduced to the art, philosophy and general refinement of the Arab world.
Looking at the world today however, we see the give and take principle in action in society at large is not achieving the same effect as the give and take principle in nature. In nature, we see an infinitely delicate harmony, whereas in man we see a world of conflict. This is a result of the quality of the give and take as well as the 'cargo'. If the cargo were love, and it was transported with understanding, then the result would be a world of harmony and cooperation. The reason why Christianity has flourished is because of its emphasis on the primacy of love. Love unites one to another and creates interpersonal harmony; the New Testament envisions a loving fellowship which binds together very disparate kinds of people -- the Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian, male and female, slave and freeman. However, we must have a warehouse from which to receive this cargo of love. It is somewhat like the people in a poor but partially industrialized nation; the railroad tracks are there, the train can come through -- yet if there is no food the cargo, the people cannot be satisfied. That is, in the world today the lines of give and take are established -- and the foundation for a harmonious, satisfied society is being laid -- we need more cargo.
St. Paul said: love is higher than faith or hope or the glory of martyrdom. The author of I John wrote:
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love ... God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. (4:7-8, 16b)
Harmony among people can be achieved because they first love God; they have access to the warehouse and can pass this cargo of God's love to the rest of their neighbors. That is what Paul did: spreading this new faith throughout the Hellenistic world, he was well aware that in Jesus' eyes, the commandments to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself were the most important of the hundreds in the Torah. He knew that harmony on the horizontal level was dependent on the vertical relationship with God; that give and take flows freely between men only when it flows between men and God; that "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (II Cor. 3:17)
Purpose Of Creation
A. Traditional Viewpoints
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the purpose of man's creation is to attain deification. As St. Athanasius and other Church Fathers put it, God became man in order that we might become God. The Divine became human so that the human could become divine.
According to one such Orthodox explanation God appointed man to unite in himself the whole of created being. At the same time man was challenged to reach perfect union with God. From this, a true state of deification of the whole creation could be achieved.
To do this, it was first necessary that man should sublimate his sexual drive. He would thereby follow the impassible life according to the divine archetype. This idea is based on a Biblical interpretation of Genesis that sex was not part of the life of man the Garden of Eden but is instead one of the most obvious marks of later or fallen humanity. Scholars differ as to whether such a conception was a natural outgrowth of the ascetic practices common to the pursuit of the monastic life or whether in large part it was derived from the dualistic world view of pagan Hellenism.
In the Eastern Orthodox view, by sublimating his sexual drive, man will be in a position to reunite Paradise with the rest of the earth. He would first bear Paradise within himself. Through ceaseless communion with God he could then transform the whole earth into a new Garden of Eden.
After this, man must overcome spatial limitations in his spirit and also in his body. The totality of the sensible universe, both the heavens and earth, must be reunited.
Having passed the limits of the sensible, man would be able to penetrate into the intelligible universe with knowledge equal to that of the angels. Finally, there will be no barriers between himself and God.
In an act of utterly ineffable love man would return to God the whole created universe gathered together in his own being. God could then in His turn so completely give Himself to man that by the gift of grace man could possess all that God possesses by nature. Man and the whole created universe would experience complete deification. According to the Eastern Orthodox view, since this task was not fulfilled by Adam it has become the work of Christ.
Since the time of St. Cyprian and more especially St. Augustine, Roman Catholics have generally identified the continual and final purpose of God with the life and ultimate triumph of the corporate Church, thought of as the Body of Christ. Man obeys God and lives according to the divine purpose on the earthly plane by nourishing his spiritual life with the sacramental graces provided by the altar and priesthood. Through his faithful membership in the institutional Church, his obedience to its instructions and his participation in its devotional life, he is promised divine guidance and help until death releases him and he is enabled to experience in its fullness the beatific vision. While the Church continues to preserve the story of Adam and Eve as part of the sacred canon, that account plays but a secondary role in the actual understanding of human nature. As for any final recreation of the world, this is left to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at some unpredictable and remote future date. While there are differences of opinion about such matters among the theologians and possibly even more variety among the laity, in general the emphasis is placed on the role of Jesus Christ rather than the creation story.
Protestant churchmen are even more divided in their views about the purpose of creation, partially because highly critical scriptural study has been prevalent in the theological seminaries for more than a century. Moreover, both clergy and laity have felt the brunt of attacks made upon the whole Christian world view since the Enlightenment of the 18th century.
Evangelical and evangelistic Protestants still lay great stress upon the Fall of man and the fact of original sin. This inevitably results in continual emphasis upon Adam and Eve, but seldom does the account of the first human pair become any sort of model for the present or the future. Such Protestants use the Fall of man to explai why our present world is a pathetic vale of tears and that man longs for the eternal bliss of a heavenly afterlife. Because man has fallen and without divine grace would be destined for everlasting hellfire, evangelicals plead that their fellow creatures abandon a life of pleasure-seeking and keep themselves unstained by the world. Christ rather than Adam plays the chief role in their understanding of human nature and destiny. Life here is treated as a temptation or at least a trial. Real concern is therefore restricted to resistance to the allure of this world in order to be rewarded with an eternity of supernatural happiness thereafter.
Though all evangelicals believe in a literal second coming of Christ, a last judgment and a millennial kingdom of divine righteousness to be established on a recreated earth, most hesitate to predict when such events will take place. They generally expect a speedy second advent because of the woeful state of the world, yet they tend to be safely vague in their predictions and almost uniformly critical of any apocalyptic movements which appear in their midst.
Liberal theologians for their part have abandoned belief in an infallible Bible, a literal last judgment and an actual second coming. For them the Adam and Eve story and the creation account represent primitive legends derived from Babylonian mythology and revised to suit the theological opinions of early Hebrew priests. Those of individualistic or mystical bent believe that the final purpose of man here on earth can be achieved by means of personal fellowship with God; this, coupled with brotherly love for one's fellowmen under the guidance and inspiration of the spirit of Jesus, illustrates God's pattern for a good life. Liberals of reformist temper identify the coming kingdom with every effort to better the human condition individually and socially. This goal is to be achieved gradually, over a long period of time.
Finally, Neo-orthodox thinkers between World War I and II turned against the liberal theology and criticized it for its facile optimism and its lack of prophetic realism. Returning to the classic theology of the Protestant Reformation, they were inclined to use orthodox and Biblical language wherever possible but treated the meaning of such in highly symbolic fashion. For example, Reinhold Niebuhr used the traditional language about the Fall and original sin but frankly confessed that in his mind the first was "legendary" and the second had "dubious connotations." Similary he placed strong emphasis on New Testament eschatology with its special symbols of the Christ and anti-Christ meaning merely, as he put it, "that both good and evil grow in history and that evil has no separate history, but that a greater evil is always a corruption of a greater good."
B. Divine Principle View
The purpose of creation is three-fold yet one. Although nature is created for itself, its own beauty, joy and fulfillment, at the same time it exists for man-to please, serve and glorify him. Man too is created for himself, for his pursuit of happiness and his selffulfillment; at the same time, nevertheless, his existence, the realization of his desires and his attainment of a mature state of mind are ultimately achieved in relationship with his Creator. In other words, man finds joy and achieves meaning in life by serving and glorifying God. Finally, God created man and nature for Himself so He could experience the fulfillment of His will and be joyful.
Let us elaborate and see what was the intention behind man's creation. In its interpretation of the following well-known passage of scripture, Divine Principle reveals a clear and dreep purpose: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion..." (Gen. 1:28b) God is bestowing three blessings on Adam and Eve: be fruitful (unite with Him); multiply (unite with each other); have dominion (unite with creation).
In the history of theology man's relationship with his Creator been characterized in several ways. The divine-human encounter is compared to a ruler and his subject, a master and his slave, a craftsman and his craft. Unification theology, however, insists on the importance of the most personal analogies: father and child, lover and beloved, bridegroom and bride. The intimacy possible with God not only allows man to reason with God, but also to live in joyous love with Him. By acting according to God's heart, man can establish a vital rapport between himself and God, resulting in perpetual, ever-expanding joy.
Such was God's intention: be fruitful by uniting with Him. As Thomas a' Kempis wrote in The Imitation of Christ: "Ah, Lord God, most faithful lover, when thou comest into my heart, all that is within me dost joy! Thou art my glory and joy of my heart, my hope and my whole refuge in all of my troubles."
Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian religious poet and philosopher, is no less ecstatic:
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new. At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable... Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure, knowing that thy living, touch is upon all my limbs. I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truth which has kindled the light of reason in my mind. I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my heart and keep my love in flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat in the inmost shrine of my heart. And it shall be my endeavour to reveal thee in my actions, knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act. I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards. Now it is time to sit quiet, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.
Despite God's intention, the purpose of creation has not yet been realized; it is unrealized because man has not responded fully to God's love. He has not become perfect (You must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Matt. 5:48) He has not become God's temple (Do you not know that you are God's temple and God's Spirit dwells in you? I Cor. 6:19) Therefore, for God, man has not become fruitful; consequently neither God's joy nor man's joy has been consummated.
When this first blessing is realized (to develop the capacity to respond to God's love is still the divinely ordained purpose of existence) God intends to bless men and women in true marriage.
Had there been no Fall, Adam, Eve and their children would have formed the first God-centered four position foundation on the family level. Man experiences great vitality in his life when he finds a mate whom he can love with his whole being, and be truly loved in return. In this united state a woman and a man could be joyous, sensitive objects to God. Through their love, children would then be born and the parents would experience their own creation of another person who would reflect and anplify their own nature. Such a family would serve as the foothold for God's sovereignty in the physical world and a fountainhead of love for each member of the family. A child first would learn to receive love from his parents and love from God; however, as he grows he would learn to give love to others in a mutual relationship; this would culminate in the ultimate giving of one's self to another in marriage. Finally, as a parent, he must be willing to love his children unselfishly.
Although traditional Christianity has considered marriage a sacrament through which one receives divine grace, marriage is not given the central position as in Divine Principle. Mystical religion, Eastern and Western, commonly culminates on the level of individual deification. Unification theology proceeds to an even higher goal to transcend the individualism of the ordinary mystic: from I and my Father are one to I and my spouse are one, centered on God.
The third blessing, "Unite with creation" (have dominion) is fulfilled when spiritually mature men and women understand and appreciate the creation as God does. The creation then, would respond with beauty, abundance and a festive glow, According to the Bible, the creation eagerly awaits the sons of God (Rom. 8:19); though we may sometimes glimpse a vision of that eternal beauty in and behind creation mankind as a whole has never realized its true value, nor presided over the earth in a true dominion. Though man was to be the lord of creation, he has often either been oppressed by his material environment or shamefully exploited his physical resources.
This base of four positions (God, man, creation, kingdom of God on earth) would complete the series of three bases of four positions and bring to fulfillment the promise of God's three special blessings for man. By becoming one with God, man establishes the base of four positions on the individual level (God, mind, body, perfected man) and thereby inherits God's all- encompassing love; with this love he grows and is blessed in marriage, forming the base of four positions on the family level (God, man, woman, children); finally, with God's standard of value and love, he and the creation become one in purpose in returning joy to Him.
We have been dealing with the purpose of creation centered on man. If man were created for God, so that God could see His image reflected and give and receive love from man, then why did He create the universe, the creation apart from man?
According to Divine Principle, its purpose is to bring joy to man and at the same time realize its own life. Since joy is produced when the object resembles the subject, God made all things after the pattern of man. In the animal kingdom, from the simplest to the most complex, all structures, forms and elements resemble man in varying degrees. In plants also, the root, trunk and leaves correspond to man's stomach, heart and lungs. One can even compare the structure of the earth itself to that of the human body. The earth's vegetation, crust, substrata, underground and surface waterways, and its core and molten lava correspond in essence to the hair, skin, musculcature, blood vessels, fluids, skeleton and bone marrow of the body.
Thus, all things were created after the model of man and resemble him particularly in their subject-object relationships. In everything we see the objective display of man's inner polarity. The give and take between subject and object in all things produces a state of oneness in which man feels joy. Ideally, if man cared for and truly loved the creation, every part of it would respond with beauty and service to him. Through man, then, the creation is glorified and becomes a substantial object to God and pleases Him. This is the base of four positions which fulfills man's dominion overr all things.
This resemblance to man is not confined to nature, but extends to human society. The organs, structure and function of society resemble the organs, structure and function of the human body. Like a brain, political leaders provide executive direction for a nation; like the heart and lungs religious spokesmen and intellectuals revitalize a society with warm blood and fresh air; like the digestive system, agriculture and industry promote national growth; while like arms and legs, workers and soldiers offer means for social movement and self-defense. The entire creation is a creation of resemblance. Nature and society resemble man and man resembles God. Since all creation resembles God directly or symbolically, a single person or any one part of creation is a concrete expression of divine truth.
The final and most important question is what does God gain from man and nature?
The almighty Creator is a God of heart and the essential desire of heart is to experience lasting joy. What is the source of joy? Joy is produced when a subject projects his inner and outer nature into a substantial object and perceives his own nature in the object's response. As long as an artist merely conceives an idea without embodying it in a work of art, his joy is not fulfilled. But when his idea is perfectly expressed in some actual work, he feels great satisfaction.
In a similar fashion, as long as the Word (Logos), the divine idea, remained unrealized inside the divine mind, God's creative plan was unfulfilled. So, projecting His whole nature into His work, God produced man to manifest His invisible self in the form of a visible and tangible image. Thus, God created man to experience joy. However, great joy is born from love and love remains incomplete until it is reciprocated. Even God as the ultimate subject requires an object for the give and take of His love; God wants to pour out His infinite love to man and receive man's full, uninhibited response.
Being spirit Himself, why did God have to create man with both soul and body? God needs man to be the mediator for heavenly dominion. He cannot receive joy directly from the physical world but only through man.
The reason man and the physical universe are similar in structure and elements is so that man might have complete give and take with the visible world as well as dominion over it. The physical and spiritual worlds are entirely different. Things which belong to the former alone lack the inner sense by which to perceive the heart of God. He cannot relate to them directly with truth and love.
Being spiritual man can communicate with God and the invisible world, at the same time, being physical he can relate to the visible world. Through man these two realms have give and take: man becomes the dynamic center of joyous harmony between them. The infinite beauty, love and joy of God manifested in the material world, when felt by man, make earthly life heavenly. On the other hand, the beauty and love of our physical universe- when sensed by man-are reflected in the spiritual realm, filling the heavens with joy. Thus God needs man to serve as a medium of conjunction and interaction between Himself and creation.
This is not only true of man in a collective sense but also on an individual level. As each one comes to the point where he can communicate with God through his mystical senses, a new relationship between them is made possible. Because God is infinite and man finite, God needs an infinite number of finite objects to complete His joy in which each relationship is different and each person reflects a special aspect of God's loving personality.
When man achieves lordship God can enjoy fully the creation through man. As the Creator can then fully appreciate the physical realm through man, the incarnation of God is at last fulfilled. In such a way without limiting Himself to the finite, God assumes a human body and receives everlasting joy from both worlds. Thus, the prophetic words in Revelation 21:3 come to pass: "I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them.' "A kingdom of heaven-a garden of Eden-would be the reality on earth. All of this waits to be realized.
The purpose of each person or thing is dual, with an aspect of the individual and an aspect of the whole. The purpose of the whole is causative, while the purpose of the individual is resultant. Therefore, the individual purpose depends on the whole. Furthermore there is complete harmony between the purpose of each individual and that of the whole, though, in a limited view, conflicts may seem to exist. In all its movement, the universe is a unit of one purpose.
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