NORMAN_VINCENT_PEALE_AND_THE_POWER_OF_POSITIVE_THINKING.doc

Reinhold niebuhr told the public the peale message

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Reinhold Niebuhr told the public the Peale message was “a partial picture of Christianity, a sort of half- truth,” and added “The basic sin of this cult is its ecocentricity. It puts ‘self’ instead of the cross at the center of the picture ,” ("The Case Against Easy Religion." William Peters. Redbook, September, 1955, p. 92). Edmund Fuller, novelist, book critic, and book review editor of the Episcopal Churchnews took it a step further. “The Peale products and their like are equated blatantly with Christian teaching and preaching. They are represented as a revival or response in Christianity with which they have no valid connection. They influence, mislead and often disillusion sick, maladjusted, unhappy or ill-constructed people, obscuring for them the Christian realities. They offer easy comforts, easy solutions to problems and mysteries that sometimes perhaps, have no comforts or solutions at all, in glib, worldly terms. They offer a cheap ‘happiness’ in lieu of the joy Christianity can offer, sometimes in the midst of suffering. The panacea of positive thinking has been called by qualified people a positive hazard to the delicate marginal areas of mental health ,” (“Pitchmen in the Pulpit,” Edmund Fuller. Saturday Review, March 19, 1957, p. 28-30). Donald Meyer noted Peale's influence over his followers began when "Peale had 'discovered' the power of suggestion over the human mind, and therewith, had caught up with Henry Wood, Charles Fillmore, and Emmett Fox, sixty forty and twenty years before him. He was teaching Mental Photography all over again. Thoughts were things ." (Ibid. p. 264). Meyer described Peale's religion. "Peale's aim in preaching positive thinking was not that of inducing contemplative states of Oneness nor of advancing self-insight nor of strengthening conscious will, let alone sensitizing people to their world. The clue lay here in Peale's reiterated concern that that the operation of his of his positive thoughts and thought conditioners become 'automatic,' that the individual truly become 'conditioned...' But was the automated power of positive thinking liberty or just one more form of mind-cure hypnotism? Was this new power really health or simply further weakness disguised? " (Ibid. p. 268.) After considering all points of view, Meyer answered his own questions, and concluded positive thinking was a religion of "weakness." "Peale's phenomenal popularity represented a culture in impasse. The psychology for which the culture was also religion culminated the treatment of weakness by weakness." (Ibid., p. 258) Donald Trump claims to attend Peale’s Marble Collegiate Church, and Trump has repeatedly praised Peale and cited him as a formative influence though Peale's son wishes he wouldn't. [33] [34] 33. - now-rejects-him/2016/01/21/37bae16e-bb02-11e5-829c-26ffb874a18d_story.html 34. "How Norman Vincent Peale Taught Donald Trump to Worship Himself" .
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One Ernest Holmes , founder of the Religious Science movement , was a mentor to Peale. Peale took
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  • Fall '19
  • New Thought, Norman Vincent Peale, Prosperity theology, Word of Faith

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