June 26, 2005

Worst List

Another book list, this one looks at the ten worst Christian books of the modern era.

No. 10 is: "Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking", about which the blogger writes, "A little happy narcissistic Pelagianism never hurt anyone, right?"

I came to a similar conclusion about Peale last year although I still find it an interesting topic. One of Peale's prescriptions was to repeat the phrase "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me" ten times every morning, which is ironic given that that verse from St. Paul would seem to be about as anti-Pelagian as it gets since it is Christ giving us the strength. Since grace builds on nature rather than obliterating it, it would be lame to take no responsibility for one's thoughts and simply assume that it's God's job to have us think positively. I'm thinking aloud here, but the danger seems to come in attempting to use God as a means to our end, i.e. to our improved mental health, instead of allowing Him to use us for His end.

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