Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Our friends at First Things

July 18th, 2016 by Vader

Occasionally hit one out of the park.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this article is really about Trump.

The man who displays “a confident and optimistic thought pattern can modify or overcome the fact altogether.”

A belief attributed to Norman Vincent Peale, and rightly criticized in the article. This is essentially magical thinking, and it is fundamentally different from belief in the miracles of the Scriptures in that it attributes the ability to alter reality to one’s own will rather than God’s Will.

But the most powerful paragraph is the penultimate one.

Christianity is a religion of losers. To the weak and humble, it offers a stripped and humiliated Lord. To those without reason for optimism, it holds up the cross as a sign of hope. To anyone who does not win at life, it promises that whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake shall find it. At its center stands a truth that we are prone to forget. There are people who cannot be made into winners, no matter how positive their thinking. They need something more paradoxical and cruciform.

I am reminded of one of my most favorite paintings.

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , ,
July 18th, 2016 12:54:51

July 19, 2016

Meh. I didn’t like it. It threw the baby of faith out with the bath water of dirty over-confidence. It presented an incorrect association, or at least an incorrect appearance, between faith and loser-hood and despair.

Faith, as a form of belief, is somewhere on the spectrum between total disbelief and so-called “magical thinking.”

In the eyes of a non-believer, faith in miracles and blessings (and in sacrificing in this life in hopes of a reward in the next life) does look like “magical thinking.”

Faith, as a principle of action (as taught by Joseph Smith), is somewhere on another spectrum between total despair and overweening confidence. Faith as a principle of action _is_ a positive attitude that the action will bring about the desired result. If the attitude/belief and the action are “true” (correct, and in accordance with God’s will) then the attitude/belief and the action are “faith”.

July 19, 2016

The quoted paragraph is spot-on

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