New book by Cromwell: Jesus in the Divine providence
Thomas Cromwell calls for a revolution “in the way we understand Jesus” in Jesus in the Divine providence, published by East West Publishing in December 2022. The key to getting to know who Jesus really was, according to the new book by Cromwell, is a clear understanding of God’s providence – “the invisible hand of God that guides humanity to the fulfillment of our original purpose.” (p. xi)
And there is an “original and unchanging purpose” to what God has been doing all these years. The goal is “to raise up sinless replacements for Adam and Eve who can establish a new Eden, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.” (p. xiii)
The first part of the well-structured book, the first 11 chapters, deals with the providential preparations for Jesus – how God prepared a nation and the world for the long-awaited Saviour. Although much space is given to the Biblical account of the millennia to lay a foundation for Jesus, Cromwell also goes into the providential significance of other religions and spiritual movements, including the faiths that appeared in Asia some centuries before Jesus was born – Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism.
The second part of the new book by Cromwell deals with the life and person of Jesus, seen from the perspective of him being a new Adam. We get a detailed look at the providential role of members of Jesus’ immediate family and his influential relatives – John the Baptist and his family. They had the responsibility to embrace Jesus and give him all the support they could. They didn’t. Nor did other key leaders in Judea provide the assistance the Saviour desperately needed.
The third part shows how God has been working to lay a foundation for the second coming of the Messiah. Cromwell points out,
“Finally, the Bible’s narrative ends with the lives of the earliest followers of Jesus, notably the 12 disciples and the apostle Paul, leaving us without a scriptural basis for understanding the providence as it has developed over the past 2,000 years.” (p. xvi)
Cromwell analyses major historical events from the perspective of the Divine providence.
One concept emphasized by the British/American author is the Cain-Abel paradigm. Cromwell has in fact previously devoted an entire book to this subject, his 2021-publication The Triumph of Good – Cain, Abel and the End of Marxism.
As the Unification Principles point out, the original Cain-Abel conflict between two brothers developed into a global conflict in our time. Since the Enlightenment, Cain-type and Abel-type ideologies have emerged. It is these in particular that the author describes, but he also links them in an interesting way to the conflict-filled world today. In addition, he relates them to the problematic relationship between the biblical Adam and Eve’s two sons, and the equally tragic relationship between Lucifer and Adam.
But an interesting aspect of such an analysis is that Cain and Abel should actually have been reconciled at the dawn of time. That was what God wanted. In the same way, God sees the struggle between Cain and Abel forces in today’s world as a struggle between “brothers”.
Cromwell uses the Cain-Abel paradigm to describe Jesus,
“He came on the foundation of victories by Abel as described in the Old Testament. Before him there had been many Abel-type figures in Israel […], but he was the first Abel-type person who was sinless and therefore exemplified an absolute, perfect standard of virtue.” (p. 17)
The same paradigm has as well implications for those who believe in Jesus,
“Because Christianity is the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus, the absolute Abel, its purpose is to represent Jesus to the world as an Abel-type force for good that can liberate Cain from the dominion of Satan. This mission has broad implications in all fields, from religion to science and politics.” (p. 271)
Cromwell delves into the Cain-Abel paradigm in several of the chapters and looks at “Christianity as global Abel”, “the challenge to save a Cain-dominated world”, “the importance of discerning Cain from Abel”.
The paradigm is applied to the discussion of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and Christianity and Marxism.
The culmination of the Divine Providence is a Kingdom of Heaven being established here on the earth. Cromwell emphasizes,
“Our original mind yearns for Eden before the Fall, for a world under the dominion of our Creator, free from sin and evil. We instinctively recognize that the work of salvation is not done until this kingdom becomes a reality. It is not enough for God to rule in a spiritual realm only; this must happen on earth too. Otherwise, the dominion of Satan on earth will not be ended and the children of God will continue to suffer under Cain-type individuals and governments.” (p. 361)
In the new book by Cromwell, he describes his first encounter with Jesus at the age of 13 and growing up in an Anabaptist Christian movement founded in a Germany just recovering from World War I – the Bruderhof community.
Cromwell was also attracted to the writings of C.S. Lewis and his ability to translate Christian ideals into “the real world of our experience”.
About 50 years ago, Cromwell met a former member of the Bruderhof community. She invited him “to visit a group she was living with called the Unified Family.” He writes,
“The members were followers of a Korean religious leader called Sun M. Moon. I found their teaching challenging but intriguing. The ideas they shared shed a whole new light on what I had learned from the Bible, and provided a clear set of answers to many of my questions.” (p. 376)
Over the years, Cromwell has also met and studied a wide variety of other religions. He worked for 25 years in the Middle East as a journalist, newspaper publisher and peace activist.
Featured image above: The front page of the new book by Cromwell: Jesus in the Divine Providence. Photo: Knut Holdhus
“Impressive new book by Cromwell” – text: Knut Holdhus