The Will of God and Thanksgiving


Abridged from a speech given February 12, 1978, New York, NY

By Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon

All of us assembled in this auditorium have various, different backgrounds. We have had different ways of life in the past and come from various cultural backgrounds, and furthermore, in your ancestral lines there are combined a variety of situations, traditions and cultures. Even now our way of life is varied because of our different cultural backgrounds.

Even though our histories are different and our ways of life and traditions are different, our goal is the same. We have one common goal around which we gather together. The most important thing to determine is whether or not that goal is self-centered or world-centered. Indeed, our common goal is the benefit and well-being of the entire world. That common goal is truly the aspiration of all mankind, and some day when we reach that goal everyone on this earth will be happy. That ideal goal cannot happen by money alone, and no matter how much knowledge or power you might possess, they will not make that goal possible either. That goal must be everyone’s aspiration, something which makes everyone on this earth happy and protects their well-being.

What is that common goal; how can we define it? We commonly call it love. We are talking about love here, and must decide whether that love is man’s standard of love or whether it transcends man, whether that love should be changing and tarnished by time, or eternal and unchanging in character. Our common goal must be love, a love which must be eternal and absolute and unchanging in quality. If that kind of love is our goal and if there is a God, then it must be linked to Him.

The question is whether we as men can obtain that kind of love. If that permanent and eternal love is an obtainable goal, then we must consider first that the prerequisite to that love is the existence of God. Why couldn’t an almighty and eternal God make that love prevail with men? Why hasn’t it been fulfilled already? That is the fundamental question which all religious men of history have struggled with. The Unification Church is no exception; however, unlike the rest we know that mankind could not obtain this permanent and absolute love of God because of the fall of man.

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“Bridge of Spies” and Teachable Moments

By Kathy Winings

kathy-winings-2I was just a small child when the Berlin Wall and Cold War took center stage in the news. Though my parents did not speak of such things while I was growing up, my father did talk about the “Red Scare” and “those Communists.” Of course, I would not understand what that meant until I was much older. I could not even imagine the level of fear that many people must have felt during this period of American history with its talk of spies and counterespionage.

I do remember hearing about a pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who was shot down and captured by the Russians. But I did not know the full story and had no idea of the maelstrom that surrounded this episode in history – at least not until I saw “Bridge of Spies.”

Director Steven Spielberg, together with writers Matt Charman, Ethan and Joel Coen, has captured the intense feelings of the Cold War era and the issues surrounding the trial of a real-life Russian spy, an American U2 spy plane pilot, and an American student caught on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall in his latest movie.

This excellent film tells the story of a successful Brooklyn, NY, insurance attorney, James B. Donovan (played by Tom Hanks), who is asked by the U.S. government to defend captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, who was tried for espionage in 1957. In the minds of many Americans, Abel is the personification of all that was evil in the Soviet regime. In this post-atomic bomb era of fear, the average American citizen is certain their government will do the right thing and simply sentence Abel to death, teaching the Russians a lesson they would never forget.

However, the American government sees it differently. As a potential powder keg, it is believed Abel should receive the best defense possible, or at least have the appearance of a strong defense to guard against any retaliation from Russia. What the government does not account for is Donovan’s strong sense of right and wrong. Though it is a foregone conclusion Abel will be found guilty, Donovan has the foresight to convince the presiding judge to sentence Abel to prison rather than condemn him to death.

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The Need for a Critical Edition of Reverend Moon’s Words


By Andrew Wilson

WilsonIn the history of religion, the work of collecting and preserving the founder’s words normally becomes a priority in the years immediately after his passing. Thus the Gospels were collected and written some 40 years after Jesus’ passing, and the leaves of Muhammad’s revelation were collected as the Qur’an within 20 years of his death. This same priority is emerging in the Unification movement.

Although the UM enjoys all the advantages of modern technology for preserving and publishing the words of the founder, technology also makes it easy to edit those words before they reach the printed page. The question of possible distortions introduced by editors, or allegations of such, becomes even more acute in light of the current controversies over Reverend Moon’s words pursuant to claims over succession.

The FFWPU has been consciously setting up a corpus of official writings, all based upon selections from Moon Sun Myung Seonsaeng Malseum Seonjip (Sermons of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon), but the large corpus of his sermons given over more than 60 years, even some of the texts in Malseum Seonjip, may suffer from distortions. There is need for scholars to establish a critical edition of the Rev. Moon’s sermons that preserves what he spoke in exact detail.

Having been involved in editing Rev. Moon’s translated speeches for over 20 years, I learned some of the challenges the task of translation requires. For example, for World Scripture and the Teachings of Sun Myung Moon (2007), the translation work occupied the editors and their staff for two full years. Korean and English are so dissimilar that translation between them is extremely difficult. Furthermore, Rev. Moon had a unique vocabulary and often gave his Korean words shades of meaning distinct from secular Korean. However, while it is well known that many existing English translations fall short, I came to recognize that there are problems in the underlying Korean as well.

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The Prescience of C. S. Lewis


by David Eaton

david_eatonI’m a latecomer to the writings of C. S. Lewis, but through the prompting of my eldest daughter, I finally took the plunge. Putting the finishing touches on my own book, I was looking for several religious-based literary references regarding the perils of postmodernism that might support some of my contentions regarding music, aesthetics, radical egalitarianism, multiculturalism, and the pervasive influence of the celebrity-industrial-complex.

Lewis’ work, especially, The Screwtape Letters (1942) and its sequel, Screwtape Proposes a Toast (1959), provide a trove of insight in the examination of the whys and wherefores of our “fallen” condition in the context of “right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe.”

Lewis admitted that writing The Screwtape Letters was simultaneously the easiest, but least enjoyable work of his career. He apparently went into deep depression after writing it. Given the brilliant exegesis of how the “Lowerarchy” of Satan effectively infects the human soul, it’s no wonder why. The Cold War was the backdrop of the sequel and the narrative of how leftist, neo-Marxist thought subverted academia and the intellectual class in the West underscores Lewis’ work here. The sequel is more ideologically-charged than the original and the perspicacious insights are like a punch in the gut that leaves you breathless — and somewhat forlorn.

The Screwtape Letters are a series of 31 letters written by a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood. The nephew is a younger and less experienced demon, tasked with guiding a man (called “the patient”) toward “Our Father Below” (Satan) and away from “the Enemy” (God.) As Wormwood’s mentor, Screwtape explains many tricks-of-the-trade to his young charge in the process of inculcating him with methods of “the Lowerarchy” (Hell).

In the preface to The Screwtape Letters, Lewis states there are “two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall” when we contemplate Satan. One is to deny Satan’s existence, the other is “to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest” in him. The first error is Satan’s greatest ploy — if he doesn’t really exist, why fret about him? The second error is that we too easily create common bases with the dark side by our “unhealthy interest” in him.

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Thoughts on Sanctuary Church, Revisited


By Tyler Hendricks

14_12_CfE_Tyler 10.55.08 pmMy recent video, “Thoughts on Sanctuary Church,” elicited affirmative responses as well as detailed criticism and ad hominem comments. I’m grateful for it all and want to summarize “Thoughts” and the main criticisms, and respond to the latter.

I began with the logic of Sanctuary’s story, which Dr. Richard Panzer, Sanctuary’s president, affirmed as accurate: True Parents are doing fine; True Parents appoint Hyung Jin Nim’s couple to be their heir; True Father dies and True Mother goes off track; centering on True Father, Hyung Jin Nim’s couple restores True Parents.

I pointed out the error in this logic: If True Mother went off track, then True Parents weren’t really doing fine; if True Parents weren’t really doing fine, the appointment of Hyung Jin Nim’s couple is not valid, which means he’s not the heir of anything.

I understand why some don’t agree with the first point. By “doing fine” I meant the perfection of their marital love as True Parents, from which the Divine Principle says we cannot fall, because to believe otherwise would deny the omnipotence of God, the perfectibility of goodness itself, and the perfection of God (Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 42). Simply put, true love is eternal, so if True Mother has gone off track, then her love was temporary, and she and True Father did not have true love. This means they weren’t True Parents. True Parents is not people as much as it is a relationship.

I then worked backward from the Sanctuary premise that the appointment is valid. If so, then True Parents were fine; if True Parents were fine, then True Mother was fine; if True Mother was fine, then she would not go off track; if True Mother is not off track, then she is True Parents; if True Mother is True Parents, then Hyung Jin Nim has to attend her; if Hyung Jin Nim is not attending her, then he is off track.

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Book Review: “The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies”


by Mark P. Barry

Mark Barry Photo 2The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies, rev. ed., by Michael Breen, New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Griffin, 2004. Adapted from the Journal of Unification Studies, vol. VI, 2004-2005, pp. 165-68.

Although originally targeted for foreign business readers, Michael Breen’s The Koreans has emerged as a modern-day classic on the Korean character and culture. It is often recommended by Korean studies scholars, alongside such earlier general works as the late Donald S. Macdonald’s Koreans: Contemporary Politics and Society (now in its third edition, revised by Donald Clark). In its 1999 Korean translation from the original 1998 UK edition, The Koreans rocketed to the top ten list of Korea’s bestsellers, revealing Koreans’ own enthusiasm to understand themselves from an outsider’s perspective. The U.S. hardcover edition also appeared in 1999, and the 2004 paperback edition reviewed here is slightly revised with a new chapter on events since 2000.

Breen, a British journalist, originally went to South Korea as The Washington Times’ Seoul correspondent. He ended up living there, during which time he also served for three years as president of the Seoul Foreign Correspondents Club, and wrote for The Guardian and The Times of London. He later became managing director of the Seoul office of public relations firm Merit/Burson-Marsteller, and now runs his own company, Insight Communications Consultants.

Unificationists will remember him authoring in 1997 the meticulously researched Sun Myung Moon: The Early Years, 1920-53, based on in-depth interviews with early followers of Reverend Moon. No book has appeared in English since to rival it.

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Founder’s Address: UTS Inaugural Convocation


The following address was given by Reverend Moon at the Inaugural Convocation of Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, NY, 40 years ago on September 20, 1975. Click here to watch the highlight video of the event.

by Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon

Honorable Mayor, distinguished guests, respected seminary faculty and students, ladies and gentleman:

It is my utmost pleasure to extend my warmest welcome to all of you present this morning at the Inaugural Convocation of our Unification Theological Seminary.

I deeply appreciate your coming here. I feel honored, especially because to my knowledge the attendeess here are, without exception, those who have been greatly concerned about the Unification Church. We have recently had the close attention of American society drawn to us, and the unreserved encouragement and support from many of you justified and strengthened our work.

As the founder of the Seminary, I want to assure you that we will do our very best to repay your friendship and good will toward us. May our mutual friendship be a lasting one in the divine will of God!

In history, there have been philosophies and religious doctrines working in the backgrounds of politics, economics, the arts and religion. Nevertheless, the reality is that they are all stalemated, resulting in confusion and chaos, without having brought about the realization of their promised ideal worlds.

Faced with this stalemate, people are turning in every direction in search of someone to take up the gauntlet for all people and pioneer a new way for humanity, straightening and guiding their direction towards a clear and achievable goal.

The people cry in unison, “Something is desperately wrong!” We have tried every possible way to diagnose and cure the sickness in society. We have finally concluded that the cause of the sickness is an internal disease and not external. By having emphasized the external elements, we have lost the intrinsic and central element of our existence. We are left without hope.

What is the intrinsic and central element which man lost? If we go back to the very beginning, we can readily understand that the greatest cause of the sickness is that man lost God, who is the very source of his life. With the loss of God, man lost sight of the absolute value and focal point of life.

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The Long Trek Home: Resolving the European Refugee Crisis

Refugees in Hungary2

by Kathy Winings

kathy-winings-2Thirty thousand, 12,000, 21,000, 3,000, 150,000, 442,000. . . These are just some of the refugee numbers connected with the current humanitarian crisis facing Europe. 30,000 – the number of refugees who have entered Croatia. 12,000 – the number of migrants who have entered Slovenia. 21,000 – the number who have been accepted by Sweden.  3,000 – the number who have drowned at sea while attempting to cross into Europe. 150,000 – the number who made it to Greece. The last number, 442,000 – the number of refugees who have arrived in Europe by boat.

Thousands are continuing to cross borders into Europe on a daily basis. Germany expects 800,000 migrants to reach its borders by year’s end. Each number represents a hope,  dream and vision for a better life, one safe from physical and emotional violence.  Even the United States is considering raising its annual ceiling of 70,000, the total number of refugees it accepts on an annual basis, to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017.  But that is a drop in the bucket compared with the vast numbers of men, women and children fleeing to Europe from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere for a better life.

This is being hailed as a “humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.” What does it represent? What are the issues involved? Can it be effectively resolved? We have seen mass migrations before; what makes this one different?

First, this migration is occurring in the 21st century. It means more communication is taking place among the migrants by cellphones. As families and groups of migrants move, they are in constant contact with those who have gone before them, learning where to go, what to avoid and what to expect on the road ahead of them. Digital technology also gives them access to GPS, web maps and news.

Second, the reasons why people are migrating are diverse. Previous migrations were often defined by major or cataclysmic events such as war, devastating natural disasters or religious/cultural upheavals. This resulted in mass migrations defined by singular issues.

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Rationality and Unification

Unification copy

By Keisuke Noda

Keisuke_NodaThe idea of “Unification” is central to the Unification Movement. The current reality of the movement is that there is no clear path toward this ideal. This lack of a path, be it conceptual or real, is critical to a movement that carries the banner of “unification” both in doctrine and title.

This issue can be approached from various angles. I examine two types of “rationality,” instrumental and dialogical, and how they are tied to two different understandings of and approaches to “unification.” By highlighting the benefits of dialogical rationality and the type of unification associated with it, I call for further discussion of the idea of unification. This article makes a reference to Hans-Georg Gadamer’s “Philosophical Hermeneutics.”

Why Rationality?

“Rationality” is a key issue in philosophy. Why do we need to care about “rationality” in philosophy and otherwise? Reasoning supports the presentation of a case, justification of a claim, or the establishment of an argument. The question then is what type of reasoning is used, consciously or unconsciously. Whatever type of rationality is used guides the discourse at a most fundamental level, and is critical to understand what kind of reasoning dominates one’s process of thinking. When one solves math problems, for example, he or she may use calculative rationality; in making moral judgments, one may use “prudence,” which requires experience and a sense of balance.

Instrumental Rationality

What is the primary or even dominant rationality today? Martin Heidegger, Jürgen Habermas, and other thinkers identified it as “instrumental rationality.” They argue that instrumental rationality has been dominating discourse since modernity without our even being aware of it; that is, we use reason as an instrument to realize pre-set goals and purposes in the most efficient manner.

The instrumental use of reason is common in the technological era, which seeks efficiency and control. Its exclusive focus is gaining what you want in the most efficient and cost-effective way. This type of reasoning is efficient and effective in handling material. Modern technological developments and production were so successful, they argue, that we consciously or unconsciously adopted this type of reasoning in all spheres of life.

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