Video Series by Dr. Hendricks (UTS’78) Explores the ‘Victorious Gospel of True Parents’
- by Douglas Burton M.Div. (UTS ’82)
Dr. Tyler Hendricks (UTS ’78), a theologian and ministry professional who helped edit the collected Unificationist scriptures, including Chambumo Gyeong, has completed 11 videotaped lectures, including 9 on what he calls the “Victorious Gospel of True Parents,” the religious path of True Mother, UTS News has learned. The first of the 15-minute talks, will be posted by Oct. 17, 2015 to Dr. Hendricks' YouTube channel, and every few days after that a new video in the series will appear, according to Hendricks.
Dr. Hendricks, who earned his PhD from Vanderbilt University, graduated from UTS in 1978 with a Diploma in Religious Education; he later became vice-president and then president of Unification Church USA, and from 2000-2010 served as president of UTS.
Doug Burton of UTS News asked Dr. Hendricks how the project came about and its purpose.
UTS News: “How did you get the idea of doing these lectures on videotape?”
A: “Father often said that after his passing, judgment would come very quickly. When I heard that, it intrigued me but I had no idea what he was talking about. Now, of course, we can see it taking place—what was hidden has come quickly into the light, and we all have to decide where we stand.
“I reflect on what happened after Jesus’ passing. When Jesus was on earth, the providence was all about him, but once he passed, we learn all about the Holy Spirit. So too, once Father passed, we began to learn about Mother. When Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit became the driving force on earth, empowering the faithful disciples and moving God’s providence in seemingly new directions. So too, Mother has become the driving force, and she is empowering the faithful disciples and moving the providence in what some see as new directions.
“I was called to help edit the English translations of Father’s words, and as I did, I highlighted, inter alia, lots of passages that jumped out at me, including Father’s words about Mother. At the conclusion of that task a couple of months ago, Dr. Ki Hoon Kim (UTS ’96), the Continental Chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), North America, called me to give a presentation about True Parents’ history during the Seonghwa third anniversary events in Korea. For that purpose I compiled those passages that I had highlighted. As I read them altogether, I discerned a deep pattern in True Parents’ providence built around Eve, around woman, around True Mother.”
UTS News: How would you sum up the pattern that you found?
A: “The significance of God’s longing for a female object partner as the starting point of creation itself — the Alpha, jumped out at me. Based on that, I grasped True Father’s insight that God’s dream culminated in the perfection of woman, and Father’s mission to bring into being the representative woman and thereby liberate all women. As God created Eve from Adam’s body, as flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones, God created True Mother from True Father’s body—his blood, sweat and tears, his deaths and resurrections—and with them and through them, God created True Parents and the three-generation True Family — the Omega. This all leapt out at me. For decades, I have been seeking “the Gospel” of True Parents, and I feel that I have found it, or at least have made good progress toward it. And I had to call it a ‘Victorious Gospel.’ I’m usually not one for dramatic words, but for this one, I’ve got to call it ‘victorious,’ because it’s God’s victory, their victory and all humankind’s victory.”
After that presentation in Korea, at which time I had not really sorted it all out, I proposed to Dr. Michael Balcomb (UTS ’94 & ’09), president of FFWPU USA, that I present my findings in a series of short You Tube videos. He agreed to support it with a FFWPU HQ grant and technical help recording and rendering the videos.”
UTS News: What was the process of deciding the content?
A: “The Korea presentation turned into eleven videos. In nine of these we present “The Victorious Gospel of True Parents,” which consists first of Father’s words on why it is important to study history, that his history will be written only after he passes, and on why it’s appropriate to engage biblical art as a vital context to understand the path of True Parents. There follow seven videos tracing Mother’s course through Father’s words. The sub-titles are: “True Daughter,” “True Sister,” “True Wife,” “True Leader,” “Representative Woman,” “Embodiment of God,” and “Queen of Peace.” The ninth video is a short reflection.
“In the process of creating these, two offshoots appeared that merited separate treatment, so I made a video for each. One focuses on Father’s words about his succession, and the other on World Sanctuary Church in Pennsylvania. Understanding True Mother’s course naturally illuminated my thinking on both the succession and successor, and hopefully it will do the same for others who are asking the same questions that I am asking.”
UTS News: Can you give a summary of your first video, which will be your reflection on the significance of the Sanctuary Church?
A: “The first video will include the observation that Sanctuary Church provided a service by, in Kant’s words, “waking me up from my dogmatic slumbers.” Sanctuary’s criticisms made me realize the responsibility we have — especially the first generation — to articulate our deep beliefs. As a member of the first generation, I take it for granted that everyone knows certain things — even that I myself know things — that really aren’t well-known or well-explained. So, by bringing those up, I believe, it will be a good basis for inviting people to look more closely at True Mother’s course, especially from Father’s point of view.
“The Sanctuary video has a simple story line — a look at the logic of its position, at the implications of its position, and at what Sanctuary is doing in light of two teachings I consider core to the Bible and Principle, having to do with parents and children, and husband and wife.”