St. Louis sem prof offers insights into `The Secret`

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is offering a theological resource about the self-help book The Secret.

The resource — an audio-video “podcast” — features Dr. David Lewis, assistant professor of exegetical theology, and is available for free download on the seminary’s www.concordiatheology.org Web site.  It also is available on “Concordia Seminary on iTunes U” at itunes.csl.edu under “In the News.”

The Secret, a best-selling book written by Australian television producer Rhonda Byrne, has been a topic of discussion on TV talk shows such as “Larry King Live” and “Oprah.”

Claiming to reveal the secrets of the universe through the “law of attraction,” The Secret claims that if a person envisions good things, the universe is bound to return good outcomes.

In his response, Lewis points out that the idea that positive thinking can produce positive results is not a new concept, dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s.  He also argues that the underlying ideology of The Secret is a form of gnosticism.

While Lewis grants that it is better to have a positive attitude than a negative one, he finds three major theological shortcomings of the “law of attraction” in light of fundamental Christian doctrine.  The Secret, he concludes, fails to take into consideration the First Commandment, the utter depravity of man, and the vital role of Christ and the resurrection.

Posted May 30, 2007

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