It has always amazed me when popular Christian speakers and writers trace the roots of their ‘Successful Christian Living’ theology back to Norman Vincent Peale’s 1952 book: “The Power of Positive of Positive Thinking.” Curiously, Peale’s book was instantly accepted as the break-through ‘How-to’ handbook for self-help Christianity. It catapulted him to super-stardom, and thereby gave Prosperity Preaching the new Father-figure it seemed to have been waiting for. I say, “curiously” because ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ is, believe it or not, just a “Christianized” version of all the other ‘Positive Thinking’ books of that day. You can’t read Napoleon Hill’s 1937 book: “Think and Grow Rich,” without wondering if Peal should have been sued for borrowing heavily from Hill’s philosophies. That may seem to be of no real concern to you and me, except that ‘Think and Grow Rich’ bases its belief system on (obvious) Eastern philosophies. Hill “Westernized” them, and Peale “Christianized” them.“So What?” And that is a very good question…My point being, it should horrify citizens of the Kingdom that, for the last 70 years, Christians have increasingly sought the answers to ‘Successful Christian Living’ beyond the pages of scripture. Some Motivational-Speakers and Writers are of good character. But even amongst them, there has been a tendency to present the Bible as supporting a Secular Success philosophy. At best you will learn some very good ideas about focusing your energies more effectively. But the problem comes when Christians are convinced that Jesus has bought into the lifestyles promised by modern ‘Successful Christian Living’ philosophy. Jesus promises ‘True Riches’ as defined by him, not us!
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