By Warren McWilliams
Publication by means of McWilliams, Warren
Read Online or Download Christ and Narcissus: Prayer in a Self-Centered World PDF
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Additional info for Christ and Narcissus: Prayer in a Self-Centered World
98 Truth or Consequences 100 11. Real Life, Real Answers 103 Yield! 104 No Pain, No Gain? 107 12. Prayer as Lament in an Age of Self-Control 113 The Power of Negative Thinking 116 Don't Do It Yourself Without Us 119 13. This Is Living! 121 Prayer Is an Age of Self-Fulfillment 123 Prayer, Problem-Solving, and Priorities 130 14. Prayer as Transformation of Self 136 When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough 137 God's Calling Cards 139 Christ and Character 140 Notes 143 Bibliography 153 The Author 160 Page 9 Preface On a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon in England, I noticed a friend looking for a small statue of Shakespeare in a gift shop.
The ethic of self-fulfillment was basically an ethic of duty to sell. Books such as Looking Out for # 1, Self-Creation, and Pulling Your Own Strings reflected this trend to narcissism or self-absorption. 5 This new ethic avoided the extremes of self-denial and me-first thinking. More recently Robert Bellah and others have investigated the tension between individualism and commitment in American society. 6 Individualism has always been an important factor in American life. These studies by Lasch, Stern, Yankelovich, and others point, however, to an intensification of individualism and consequent narcissism.
If prayer is neatly compartmentalized into a religious or spiritual part of life, the rest of our actions may be contrary to the will of God. Frank Burns was publicly very pious, but his private life was not consistent with his prayers. Page 16 Earlier in 1 Corinthians Paul criticized people who assumed the spiritual and bodily dimensions of life were unrelated. These people argued they could do anything they wanted with their bodies (1 Cor. 6:1213). Paul reminded them that any physical action was integrally related to life in the spirit.