NORMAN_VINCENT_PEALE_AND_THE_POWER_OF_POSITIVE_THINKING.doc

As donald meyer quotes peale as saying no man however

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"techniques," which he claims will give them the power of God. As Donald Meyer quotes Peale as saying, " No man, however resourceful or pugnacious, is a match for so great an adversary as a hostile world. He is at best a puny and impotent creature quite at the mercy of the cosmic and social forces in the midst of which he dwells. " Meyer noted that Peale always "reacted to the image of harshness with flight rather than competitive fight," ("The Positive Thinkers." Donald Meyer. Pantheon books, 1965, p. 261), and the only solution Peale offers out of this state of helplessness are his auto-suggestive "techniques," which he claims will give people the power of God. Meyer adds that the proof that positive thinking cannot work is that according to Peale, even with God's power on one's side, one still cannot face negative reality, which is always stronger. Meyer, like Seligman, notes that such unrealistic thinking by a positive thinker could easily be fatal . "Faith that you could defeat an opponent who could run faster than you would be contemptible since it could only mean you expected God to lend you power He refused to lend your opponent or that you hoped your opponent lacked self-knowledge, lacked faith, and hence failed to use his real powers. Such faith could be fatal if it led you into competitions it would be fatal to lose. As for those competitions where luck or accident or providence might decide, certainly the faith which looked to luck or accident or providence would be contemptible, and also possibly fatal." (Ibid, p. 284) Theological critique Episcopal theologian (later bishop) John M. Krumm criticized Peale and the " heretical character " of his teaching on positive thinking. Krumm cites "the emphasis upon techniques such as the repetition of confident phrases ... or the manipulation of certain mechanical devices," which he says "gives the impression of a thoroughly depersonalized religion. Very little is said about the sovereign mind and purpose of God ; much is made of the things men can say to themselves and can do to bring about their ambitions and purposes." Krumm cautions that "The predominant use of impersonal symbols for God is a serious and dangerous invitation to regard man as the center of reality and the Divine Reality as an impersonal power, the use and purpose of which is determined by the man who takes hold of it and employs it as he thinks best." [20] 20. Krumm, John M. Modern Heresies , Seabury Press, 1961, p. 35 Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Professor of Applied Christianity, Union Theological Seminary, reported similar concerns about positive thinking . " This new cult is dangerous. Anything which corrupts the gospel hurts Christianity. And it hurts people too. It helps them to feel good while they are evading the real issues of life ." ("The Case against Easy Religion," William Peters. Redbook Magazine, September 1955, pp. 22–23, 92-94).
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  • Fall '19
  • New Thought, Norman Vincent Peale, Prosperity theology, Word of Faith

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