• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,386,681 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,275 other followers

  • Recommended Reading

  • Advertisements

The American Culture Of Narcissism

Dr. Ross Porter, licensed Clinical Psychologist, is the founder and Executive Director of Stillpoint Family Resources. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) and M.Div. (Master of Divinity) degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary, where he first became interested in the integration of psychology and spirituality. Dr. Porter writes and presents workshops and seminars on issues dealing with psychology and spirituality. He has created the The Virtue Project, a unique and practical vision of healing and hope that integrates psychological truth with theological and philosophical wisdom. The following excerpt is from Dr. Porter’s article on “Reclaiming Virtue and Wisdom”:

There was a time when reality-testing was a hallmark of good mental health. The presumption was that a psychologically well person could distinguish between what was objectively good behavior and what was inappropriate; what was natural and what was unnatural; what was creative and what was destructive. Psychologically unhealthy people, in contrast, struggled consistently with making these same kinds of fundamental discernments. Responsibilities, both to self and others, were understood and taken seriously. Duty was not a four-letter word, and giving back was not the punch line of a joke.

We need no Gallup poll to confirm current American culture is not our grandparent’s generation. The increasingly self-indulgent, secularized, nihilistic America that followed The Great Depression and World War II has left our culture both psychologically immature and morally confused about meaning and purpose. Like never before in America, subjectivity is becoming the sole source of both reality and truth. And there’s the problem, pure subjectivity does not provide a shared standard for judging reality or truth.

How does this exhibit in our culture? Americans increasingly fall prey to a phenomenon known as the “self-serving bias”, exhibiting a reliable tendency to interpret events in ways that are favorable to them, or show them in the best possible light; even when objective facts don’t justify these judgments. So all successes are attributed to me, but all failures are blamed on others. If I get the job it’s because I’m wonderful, but if I don’t it’s because I was discriminated against. If I stay with my wife it’s because I’m wonderful, but if I leave it’s because she wasn’t meeting my needs. If my son excels in school it’s because he’s my son and I’m wonderful, but if he rebels it’s because of the school. This is consistent with what Paul Vitz has called “selfism”, and what Christopher Lasch has called “the culture of narcissism.”

Read “Reclaiming Virtue and Wisdom” here. . . .

Advertisements

The Conversion Of Your Children

William Scribner writes here about an expectation that many Christian parents neglect. This is the expectation that parents should encourage the conversion of their children at an early age. Scribner writes:

Although praying for our children is clearly a biblical duty it is too frequently neglected. Often this arises from a secret unbelief in regard to the likelihood, or possibility, of conversion and real religion in childhood and early youth. This has arrested and prevented prayer and effort for this great blessing.

The early conversion of all the children of the Church should be intensely desired and incessantly prayed for. Many who are converted only as adults suffer from evil habits developed in their youth. Not only would these be prevented, but habits which none but a true Christian prizes — habits such as daily and systematic prayer, determined fighting with sin in its various forms, generosity, watchfulness over self, and others of a similar kind — are usually formed strongest when young.

In addition, we should expect the conversion of the children of believers as much as, if not more than, others who attend the church and who are not yet believers. The same means of grace have been enjoyed and the exhortations and warnings of the gospel are as understandable to a child as to an adult.

The biblical evidence that it is God’s will that the children in the Church should be born again at an early age, is found in Matthew 19:14:

“Let the little children to come to Me.”

Often children are not converted because parents leave their work to others. valuable though Sunday school teachers are, no parent can be released from the obligation of striving by his own personal efforts to lead his children to Christ. We are commanded to bring our children up “in the fear and nurture of the Lord.” In the case of the children of believers, parental training should be the first and usual means of their salvation. The work to be done by parents includes:

1. Instructing them in the faith.

2. Setting them a holy example.

3. Restraining them.

4. Praying for them.

(Based on “An Appeal to Parents to Pray Continually for the Welfare and Salvation of their Children” by William Scribner)

%d bloggers like this: