Thursday, January 17, 2008

Good Definition of Good

The Heavenly Doctrine often speak of good and truth. Arcana Coelestia 6427 provides a good working definition of good.
...when the truth of faith is lived, it becomes good, and is called the “good of truth,” but in its essence it is truth in act.

UPDATE: Theolog Coleman Glenn pointed out that I misread this passage. See the comments for his correction and some other passages about good.

2 comments:

Coleman said...

I think that's actually a good definition of "living truth" - I think the point the passage is making is that good that's done from truth is actually truth, whereas good that's done from good or love is actually good. Sorry to confuse a simple post.

Malcolm said...

Thanks for the correction. Arcana Coelestia 7255 supports your statement that good really has to do with love.

Inasmuch as good makes heaven with man, and evil makes hell, it is of the utmost importance to know what good is, and what evil is. It has already been said that good is that which belongs to love to the Lord, and to charity toward the neighbor; and that evil is that which belongs to the love of self and the love of the world. Hence it follows that it is from the loves, and from these alone, that it can be known what good is, and what evil is.

Another great passage about good is Apocalypse Explained 979:2. I like it because it tells us how to become more good.

When a man shuns evils as sins he daily learns what a good work is, and the affection of doing good grows with him, and the affection of knowing truths for the sake of good; for so far as he knows truths he can perform works more fully and more wisely, and thus his works become more truly good. Cease, therefore, from asking in thyself, 'What are the good works that I must do, or what good must I do to receive eternal life?' Only cease from evils as sins and look to the Lord, and the Lord will teach and lead you.