Q Why do the Writings and the Bible contain statements about the natural world that today appear outdated?
a Scientific information present in sacred scripture is present as illustration of spiritual realities. In addition to this immediate, illustrative function, this information also provides examples of how, as scientific information increases, we can further enrich our ideas of spiritual realities through natural representations, and this can go far beyond the scientific illustrations present in the Writings. However, new scientific information cannot establish spiritual truth. It is a wonderful gift from our Creator that we have the freedom to consider the relationship between scientific fact and spiritual truth.
Q Is the theory of evolution compatible with New Church belief?
a Many New Church scientists believe that evolution and New Church doctrine are wonderfully integrated. Scientific evidence shows that all of us—from bacteria to humans-are of common physical organic descent. Evidence shows that we have one ‘origin’. New Church doctrine teaches that natural laws were created by God. Our existence on this earth follows natural laws. This does not preclude our spiritual nature. We are part of the evolutionary process. God through evolution has created an organic vessel that now has the ability to transcend the natural. Humans are able, by divine design, to rise above this natural plane, receive spiritual influx from the Lord, and become spiritual beings.
Q Does New Church spirituality connect with the ideas of Intelligent Design?
aNo it doesn’t. The ‘intelligent design’ movement denies that we are biologically connected to all other living organisms. This movement claims that humans were created from dust as explained in Genesis in the Bible. The New Church sees the explanation of creation in Genesis as metaphorical for the creation of our spiritual being, not the natural world. The New Church does teach that the Lord designed the universe and human kind in his infinite love and wisdom.