Saturday, March 10, 2007

"A Wonderful Plan for Your LIfe"

From time to time I like to search the web to find out what people have to say about my web site. My last search netted the following interesting link from a book that quotes an extensive portion of my site. The book is called The Way of the Master: How to Share Your Faith Simply, Effectively, Biblically. The authors quote from my website (here).

The book argues that those who proclaim the gospel as "God has a wonderful plan for your life" are missing much of the Bible message. It argues that the Biblical message was about repentance.

The authors quote with favor my discussion of the failure of many Christians to find the happiness that is sometimes claimed to be a product of the faith. They agree that those who try to reach Non-Christians by proclaiming that God has a wonderful plan for their lives, when they themselves realize that they are not happy and are struggling with a difficult life, are making a false promise.

The authors emphasize repentance and turning to righteousness. I agree that we all need to turn from the thoughtless ways that we often treat others, and live better lives. But I disagree that the Bible has the best blueprint to achieving that good life.

The book offers an interesting alternative to the popular "Our Therapist Who Art in Heaven" view of Christianity. Those who sell God as a divine therapist who is on call 24/7 need to explain why so many believers are struggling in their inner being.


LorMar said...

I don't mean to get off topic, but what are your thoughts on "The Secret"? (as presented on Oprah)

Noogatiger said...

From Wikipedia:

Karin Klein, editorial writer for the LA Times, called The Secret "just a new spin on the very old (and decidedly not secret) The Power of Positive Thinking wedded to 'ask and you shall receive.'" The editorial pointed out a few of the common criticisms of The Secret, characterizing the film as "another get-rich-quick chimera" and a recycling of "well-worn ideas of some self-help gurus" customized for "the profoundly lazy" and repackaged with "a veneer of mysticism." The editorial also gives voice to the common criticism that the film provides a dubious recipe for material greed, social apathy, and blaming the victim.[2]

Journalist Jeffrey Ressner, reporting in Time magazine, writes that some critics are concerned with the film’s attitude toward "using ancient wisdom to acquire material goods." In one example in the film, "a kid who wants a red BMX bicycle cuts out a picture in a catalog, concentrates real hard, and is rewarded with the spiffy two-wheeler."[6]

Jerry Adler of Newsweek notes that despite the film's allusions to conspiratorially suppressed ancient wisdom, the notions presented by the motivational speakers who make up the film's cast have been commonplace for decades. Adler notes that the film is ethically "deplorable," fixating on "a narrow range of middle-class concerns — houses, cars, vacations, followed by health and relationships, with the rest of humanity a very distant sixth." Noting that the scientific foundations of the movie are clearly dubious, the Newsweek article quotes psychologist John Norcross, characterizing it as "pseudoscientific, psychospiritual babble." [3]

Noogatiger said...

Just to add this point.

I think a positive attitude can cary a person a long way. In fact I think a positive attitude is the key to a happy life. However we all realize that life can be pure hell at times, and sometimes the only thing which can help you overcome it, is the proper medication. Depression is not just a state of mind, it is a real medical issue. If you have never experienced it you are totally clueless.

So what are the keys to a happy life for me. Good friends, tolerence of family, a spouse who loves you, adult beverages, and good medication when needed. Oh and a positve attitude, when you can get over all the shit thrown your way.

LorMar said...

I believe it is a good idea to keep a positive attitude which also includes being realistic. For me, resilience is key.