Spiritual Insights Volume 1: God and Creation, by Lee Woofenden

Volume 1 of articles reprinted from Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life is now available in paperback and Kindle formats:

This hefty 507 page tome offers a selection of 53 articles organized into three parts:

  • Part 1: Who is God?
  • Part 2: Who God Isn’t
  • Part 3: Creation

Part 1 presents the beautiful and satisfying teachings of the Bible and Emanuel Swedenborg on the loving, wise, and powerful nature of God.

Part 2 explains exactly why traditional Christian beliefs about God, such as the Trinity of Persons, are unbiblical and false.

Part 3 offers much light on how and why God created the universe, and how God governs everything in the universe, including human society. It also tackles the thorny issue of why, if God is all-loving and all-powerful, there is so much evil, pain, and suffering in the world.

To preview or purchase the paperback edition on Amazon, click here.

To preview or purchase the Kindle edition on Amazon, click here.


Volumes in this series:

  1. God and Creation
  2. The Bible and its Stories
  3. Spiritual Rebirth (not yet published)
  4. The Afterlife (not yet published)
  5. Sex, Marriage, and Relationships (not yet published)

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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Posted in All About God, Books and Literature
19 comments on “Spiritual Insights Volume 1: God and Creation, by Lee Woofenden
  1. this is tempting. Rather than burning my eyes trolling your blog I can just read all the good stuff in book format.

    I have a question: How hard was it for you to get published? Is it the sort of thing these days where you just sign up to amazon and they take care of everything? Or did you have to wrangle with editors and publishers and find a printing deal?

    • Lee says:

      Hi The Iron Knuckle,

      Yes. And the articles are all organized for you in an orderly sequence, unlike on the blog.

      One day I did a little math and discovered that if I put all of the articles I’ve written for this blog into book form, it would amount to fifteen or twenty average-sized books. (This does not include the comment sections, which would probably swell it to forty or fifty books.) However, these volumes so far are rather fat, so it won’t turn out to be that many books. Plus I’m not going publish all of the time-specific and dated material on the blog. Only the articles that are timeless. 🙂 As of now I’m planning for a five-volume set. For me, it’s another format to help in spreading the good news. Plus, there’s more permanence in print publishing than in web-based publishing, and the books can be put into library collections and so on.

      I am self-publishing these volumes through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) service. There is no charge to publish a book in paperback and/or Kindle format on KDP. Amazon makes its money by selling the books and taking its cut. This also means you don’t have to stock, sell, and ship the books yourself. Amazon takes care of all that. The paperbacks are published by Print On Demand, so there is no “stock” of books. The POD machinery just prints a copy whenever someone places an order for a particular book. Sure beats having a garage full of unsalable books that you had to pay for up front!

      However, you do have to have print-ready copy. I am an editor, I have a fair amount of experience in book and page design, and I have the necessary software, so I do the layout myself. (I’m not as good at doing the Kindle versions.) If you’re not able to do that yourself, you’d likely have to hire someone to do it for you, which could run into some $$$.

      The other downside of self-publishing is that no one is going to market your book for you. If you want people to buy it, you’ll have to do your own marketing. So don’t expect to become a bestselling author via self-publishing. It occasionally happens for authors who manage to catch a wave or hit a nerve, but it’s rare.

  2. Brian Lauthen says:

    Hi Lee,

    I was just wondering if you have a relative timeline for books 3-5. I’m currently working through book 1 and even as a long time Swedenborgian I am learning a lot!

    The article about how the Wrath of God is actually the Love of God blew my mind! So now when I read in the bible about God being “angry” or the wrath of God I just swap in how it’s actually God’s love coming closer to us and the evil and selfishness inside of us feels like it’s God’s anger because it doesn’t like being exposed for what it is by God’s love. I never thought of it like that. It also reminds me of the situation when a young child is about to touch a hot stove. The parent yells “No”! The parent is saying that out of love for the child not getting hurt, but the child hears it as the parent being angry because they don’t understand the consequences of touching a hot stove.

    -Brian Lauthen

    • Lee says:

      Hi Brian,

      Good example about the hot stove. It’s one that I’ve used from time to time as well. Glad you’re enjoying the books, and finding new ideas and inspiration in them.

      I do not have a definite timeline for the remaining three volumes of reprinted articles. In recent months I’ve been diverted from the blog and the reprint volumes by some other publishing projects. And before I can publish volume 3, on Spiritual Rebirth, there are at least two more articles I want to write for inclusion in it: one on the meaning of salvation, and the other on the meaning of the Old Testament sacrifices in relation to the New Testament motif of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb.

      However, I do hope to have all three remaining volumes in print within a year’s time. Thanks for asking. Knowing there are readers eagerly awaiting the rest of the books will put that project a notch higher on the priority list.

  3. Doug Webber says:

    Congratulations Lee on getting published! For epub kindle formats I use the Sigil editor, its free, but you have to know a bit about HTML and the internal format

    • Lee says:

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks! The books are actually self-published using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Print On Demand (POD) service, which is free if you have print-ready PDFs and Kindle-ready files. Since I am able to do the typesetting, layout, and editing, KDP provides an easy, cost-free way of making the books available in paperback and Kindle formats. I may take a look at the Sigil editor. Currently I do not have a very elegant way of formatting the Kindle versions.

      In addition to the four books I’ve written so far and the one I’ve translated, I have edited a number of Swedenborg-related books and gotten them back into print via KDP. For the full list, plus a few extras, please follow this link:


  4. Samson says:

    Merry Christmas, Lee.

    I have been trying to find an article written by you on who God is and who Jesus is. But I am not able to find one.

    If you don’t mind, could you please help me understand something that has been confusing me for the longest time ever?

    My grandfather who is a Baptist member tells me that Jesus is not good but instead the son of God. He shows me various verses supporting his position, such as Jesus saying God is greater than he ( Jesus), and that Jesus prays to the Father.

    However, other Christians claim that Jesus is God in the flesh, but my grandfather says there is no biblical support for such a claim. However, he believes only through the son we have eternal life.

    I happen to lean more towards what gramdpa says because of verses like these:

    “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

    It seems God, rather than Jesus, was speaking from the clouds when he got baptized. My brain comprehends this to be two separate “people”, and the person 1 who spoke from the cloud was introducing person 2 who got baptized.

    After Jesus was rose from the dead, this was what he said:

    “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17

    Again, my brain reads this to be that Jesus was going back to person 1 ( God the Father) as being person 2 ( the son of God)

    For example: I tell my mother that I am going to Pastor Lee’s home.

    Can you please explain why most Christians believe Jesus is God in the flesh? Like why do people believe God transformed into a human being and gave himself a new name “ Jesus”?

    Thank you very much for reading. I hope I can come to a final conclusion on this matter, as this has been so programatic for me for years.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Samson,

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

      Here is the article you are looking for:

      Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? What about that Holy Spirit?

      This is also the first article in the book God and Creation, highlighted in the above post. I would certainly recommend that you get yourself a copy if you want to understand the nature of God.

      The Trinity is a complicated matter. That’s why so many people have so many different ideas about it.

      First, people who think more materialistically than spiritually will tend to separate God into different “persons.” This is what happened in traditional Christianity starting just a few centuries after the life of Jesus. However, God is not a material being, but a divine being. Therefore when applied to God, words like “Father” and “Son” should not be taken literally, as if they refer to human fathers and sons that are distinct people, but rather should be seen as metaphors or symbols for different parts or aspects of God.

      Second, during Jesus’ lifetime on earth, he was not fully God. Though he was conceived from the spirit of God, and therefore had an infinite divine side, he also had a finite human side from his human mother Mary. Therefore it would not have been correct for his followers to call him “God” during his earthly lifetime. However, during his lifetime on earth he progressively replaced the finite human part or nature that he had gotten from his mother with an infinite divine humanity that flowed from the “Father,” meaning the infinite divine being that was his own deeper self.

      This is why, in the Gospels, Jesus never calls Mary “mother,” but rather “woman.” He did not recognize her as his mother, because ultimately, she no longer was his mother.

      This is also why Jesus was never called “God” in the Gospels, until after his resurrection. Then Thomas did address him as “my Lord and my God,” and Jesus did not correct him, but chided him for his difficulty in believing this. By the time of Jesus’ resurrection, he was fully divine, meaning he was then simply God. There are a number of Gospel passages in which Jesus makes it clear that he is one with the Father, and that he is indeed God with us. Some of them are quoted in the articles I’m linking for you.

      This second point is not something traditional Christianity has recognized or understood. That’s because once again, its view of the Trinity, and of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is materialistic, not spiritual.

      Here are some articles that provide a fuller understanding:

      You might also find this article helpful in understanding why God came to earth in human form as Jesus:

      The Logic of Love: Why God became Jesus

      I hope this explanation and these articles are helpful to you. If you have further questions as you read, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  5. K says:

    In the writings of Swedenborg, he says that phenomenon like the emergence of the fetus, how seeds germinate, and how bees know how to do bee stuff have spiritual origins, and confirm the Divine in nature.

    But as the Industrial Age went on, things like egg cell division, DNA code and protein synthesis, and emergent complexity (or emergence) were discovered, which seems to make the natural world work entirely naturally. Can there still be said to be spiritual influence in such things, even if such is via correspondence only and not direct action from the spiritual?

    • Lee says:

      Hi K,

      It’s a tricky question. Earlier religious appeals to divine intervention did purport to explain things that we now explain through natural science, such as lightning and the sun traveling across the sky.

      However, when it comes to biological processes, the scientific picture is nowhere near so clear. Although we can describe many biological processes with considerably accuracy, we still don’t know on a scientific basis exactly what life itself is. We can see its effects, but we can’t explain it. From a spiritual perspective, that’s because life is not a physical phenomenon, but a spiritual one. As long as a biological organism is alive, it is inhabited by a more or less organized spirit. When the spirit departs, life ceases.

      In other words, right in front of our noses, it is actually spiritual action and influence that is powering all the processes of life.

      This does not, however, conflict with scientific inquiry. Under the principle of correspondences, everything in the material world is a specific expression of some spiritual reality, object, or process. And since spiritual things operate according to definite laws, so do material things—once again, by correspondence. This means that scientifically, we can depend upon physical and biological laws operating consistently on the material plane, making science itself possible.

      Another way of saying this is that spirit operating into matter does not abrogate material laws such as the laws of physics because those material laws are themselves an expression of spiritual laws, and remain consistent precisely for that reason. The spiritual laws themselves are expressions of divine laws, which never change. This is the entire basis for the consistency of physical laws that science itself depends on.

      • K says:

        So like I guess, there’s no “God of the gaps” when considering nature itself (even with stuff science does not yet understand), but nature can be seen as an expression of the spiritual?

        • Lee says:

          Hi K,

          Yes. It’s not God of the gaps. It’s just the way the physical world exists and unfolds as an expression of the spiritual world, and ultimately of God. Everything we see in nature, including all of its orderly following of natural laws, is an expression of God and spirit via correspondences. There are no gaps. Everything is a seamless whole.

        • Lee says:

          Hi K,

          I know you’ve read it before, but for those reading in, here is an article that deals with some of these issues, from a philosophical perspective:

          God: Puppetmaster or Manager of the Universe?

  6. K says:

    Supposedly no one is a copy of anyone else according to Swedenborg, but it looks like there’s only a finite – vast but still finite – number of combinations for faces and DNA code. If the universe is infinitely big, or if creation continues indefinitely, wouldn’t that mean there would be “twins” here and there and now and then anyway (even if separated by eons or vast light years)?

    • Lee says:

      Hi K,

      Our particular human DNA is only one kind. Every animal has a somewhat different pattern of DNA. Human life on other planets wouldn’t have a copy of our DNA pattern. They would have their own distinctive pattern. There would be no end to the possible variations upon variations.

      Further, DNA by itself doesn’t determine everything about a human being’s appearance and structure. Consider that “identical twins” really aren’t identical. They are very close, but those who know them well can tell the difference even if they dress and groom themselves the same. Where do those differences come from? Clearly it must be from something other than their DNA, because their DNA started out as identical copies of each other. How exactly this works I don’t have enough genetic knowledge to say. But I seem to recall from my high school science classes many years ago that there are other elements of the cell, such as RNA, that also have an influence on the organism.

      Further, I have my doubts that even the 100,000 or so genes in human DNA would be able to direct the exact development, appearance, and function of everything about a human body. For one thing, humans are estimated to have thirty trillion cells, which is orders of magnitude more than the number of genes in the human genome. Something more than DNA is telling all those cells what to do.

      Finally, even if every human did have identical DNA, no two humans have the exact same environment and experience. These affect a person not only intellectually and emotionally, but physically as well. Two people with identical DNA could eat differently, or get more or less exercise than one another, or be in a cleaner or more polluted environment, and so on. There are so many variables affecting the appearance, function, health, and character of a person that it simply wouldn’t be possible for them all to be identical and produce two identical people. DNA is as important factor, but it is not the only factor.

      Long story short, no, there could not ever be two people who are completely identical. In fact, there can be no two of anything that are completely identical, even if time and space are infinite (which they probably aren’t).

      • K says:

        Even without DNA, there’s only a finite number of combinations for the look of a human face though.

        But like you said, even then two with the same face would still be different beyond that.

        • Lee says:

          Hi K,

          Why do you think that there is only a finite number of combinations for the look of the human face? I don’t see why that would be so.

        • K says:

          I guess an easy way to think of it is a really high resolution image: there’s a vast number – but still a finite number – of configurations of human face within that image.

          (of course real life isn’t a raster image made of pixels, but there’s still configurations so close they’d be indistinguishable)

          If God intends to keep creation going forever, there’s going to be repeat designs sooner or later, or at least that’s how I see it.

        • Lee says:

          Hi K,

          I’m not convinced that the material world is digital, or pixelated. Maybe it is. But no matter how closely we look at a human face, we will not see pixels. Even under the most powerful microscopes, it will still be analog, not digital.

          Material things probably aren’t capable of true infinity of the sort that exists in God. But for all practical purposes, the number of human variations that are possible even in the material world are endless within the available frame of time and space.

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