AUTHOR: Gudel, Joseph P.
PUBLISHED ON: April 24, 2003

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This article was put on The Christian BBS by permission from Christian
Research Institute-Canada, and was taken from:

              “Forward” Now Called “Christian Research Journal”
              Volume 8  Number 1  Spring 1985

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                          A NEW REFORMATION? 


                          By Joseph P. Gudel

            Taken From The Magazine – “FORWARD” Spring 1985

      `Why would any Christian write an  article  criticizing  Dr.
Schuller?  Isn’t  this being negative?  Isn’t this being unloving?’
  These and similar questions are raised automatically by many people
whenever  one  Christian criticizes  another  Christian;  especially 
when the one criticized is as notable and well-liked as Dr. Robert
    I believe the first question  raised  above  will  be  answered  as 
we examine  the  content  of  Dr. Schuller’s theology.  To test or 
criticize someone whose teachings are aberrational is not being 
negative;  in  fact the  Bible  commands  us  to  do this.  When the
Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, he told them to
“test all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). 
    The question still remains: “Is this unloving?” The most unloving
thing that we could do would be to close our eyes and turn our backs  as 
untold numbers  of  people are being led astray by false teaching.  To
critique a Christian who has erred from the truth is the most loving
thing  we  could do  for  him.  The  Apostle  James wrote:  “My
brethren,  if any among you strays from the truth,  and one turns him
back,  let him know that he  who turns  a  sinner  from the error of his
way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins”
(James 5:19-20). 

                        DR. SCHULLER’S THEOLOGY

    Dr. Schuller  has stated  many  times  throughout  his  many  years 
of ministry  that  his one goal,  his main desire,  is to reach the
masses of unchurched people.  When he and his wife first arrived in
California, they wondered how they could build a church from scratch. 

    “Who would come to our church?…Looking at some statistics,  it was
very plain that half the people in the U.S. had no religious
affiliation.  Our answer  then  came  quickly and clearly.  The
unchurched thousands – this was our opportunity.  We would have to
impress and win  the  people  who, for one reason or another,  had never
before been interested in organized religion.” [1]

    So Dr. Schuller  believes that his calling is that of a missionary.
    “My ministry has, for over thirty years, been a mission to the
unbelievers.” [2]  And as we are about to see, he does not believe that
the way to reach them is by proclaiming the gospel. 
    How does Dr. Schuller believe we can reach the nonbelievers most
effectively?  The most important thing is to find out what they  want! 
    He did  this  for  several years at the beginning of his California
ministry.  And what did he discover?  He found out that nonbelievers
wanted  to  have their  emotional  needs met:  they did not want to hear
about the Bible or about their need for forgiveness of sins and

    “As a missionary, I find the hope of respectful contact is based on 
a `human-need’ approach rather than a theological attack….The non-
churched who have no vital belief in a relationship with God  will
spurn, reject, or simply ignore the theologian, church spokesperson,
preacher, or missionary who approaches with Bible in hand, theology on
the brain and the lips, and expects nonreligious persons to suspend
their doubts and swallow the theocentric assertions as fact.” [3]


    Since  Dr. Schuller  will  not  preach the gospel from the pulpit, 
nor teach from the Bible, what then is the message he propagates?  Los
Angeles Times staff writer Bella Stumbo,  after an  extended  interview 
with  Dr.  Schuller,  wrote:  “In short, Robert Schuller believes that
God placed him on this Earth to preach possibility thinking.” [4] 
Anyone who is familiar with Dr. Schuller’s writing or who  has listened
to him speak will realize that this is not an exaggeration. 
    Throughout his ministry Dr. Schuller has  been outspoken in warning
his listeners about the dangers of negative thinking.  He asks his
audience to consider “that dirty ten-letter-word  `impossible.’  When 
uttered  aloud, this  word  is  devastating  in  its effect.  Thinking
stops.  Progress is halted.” [5]  Elsewhere he states: “Whatever you do,
never verbalize a negative emotion.” [6]
    The gospel that he wants to share with his unchurched audience is 
that they can do anything that they want to,  that everything is
possible for a “possibility thinker”

    There is no problem or situation that cannot be solved. [7]

    …success awaits the man who will “never say never.” [8]

    …this is what I think our ministry is all about.  Helping people
realize they can become more than they ever thought they could be! [9]

    To underscore just how vitally important this message is, Dr.
Schuller once wrote: “I believe in positive thinking.  It is almost as
important as the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” [10]  In addition,  the
titles to some of his books are revealing” Move Ahead With Possibility
Thinking,  You Can Become the Person You Want to Be, It’s Possible, and
Become a Possibility Thinker Now. 

                          THE GOSPEL OF SUCCESS

    Closely  connected  with  his emphasis on “possibility thinking” is
his teaching concerning success.  Dr. Schuller  believes that God wants
us  to succeed in whatever we do. 
    “God’s  will  for  you  is  clear….God  wants  you  to succeed.  He
has promised to “crown your efforts with success!” (Prov. 3:6). [11]  Who
owns the cattle on a thousand hills, mines of ore that have never been
discovered, and is waiting to make millionaires out of simple farm boys? 
Take Christ as your Partner and give Him a chance to work the miracle He
    “I am come that you might have life – and have it more abundantly.”
    If you fail, you do so because you choose to fail! [13]
    Although in  recent  years  Dr. Schuller  has  somewhat  tempered 
this teaching, it is still one of his major tenets. 

                    SELF-ESTEEM: A NEW REFORMATION

    The  prime  focus  of  Dr. Schuller’s  ministry  today  concerns 
the self-esteem of the individual.  This was reflected in most of his 
earlier books,  but  was  never specifically formulated until 1982, 
when he wrote SELF-ESTEEM:  THE NEW REFORMATION.  Dr. Schuller  believes
that  virtually every  problem a person has,  every ill that plagues
society,  all sin and evil in  the  world,  is  a  result  of  people 
having  low  self-esteem.  Therefore, our greatest need is to have our
self-esteem increased.
    “Self-esteem  then,  or  “pride  in  being  a human being,” is the
single greatest need facing the  human  race  today. [14]  I  strongly 
suggest  that self-love  is  the  ultimate will of man – that what you
really want more than anything else in the world is the awareness that
you  are  a  worthy person. [15]  Do  not  fear  pride:  the  easiest
job God has is to humble us.  God’s almost impossible task is to keep us
believing every hour of  every day how great we are as his sons and
daughters on planet earth.” [16]
    According to Schuller, in order to reach the multitudes of
nonbelievers today, a new reformation is needed, a reformation based on
building up their self-esteem.  This reformation must be 
anthropocentric, that is, man-centered, not theocentric, or God-
centered.  Indeed, Dr. Schuller believes that classical theology
seriously errs in insisting that  all theology be centered around God
instead of around man. [17]

                                THE BIBLE

    One might legitimately ask why Dr. Schuller believes classical
theology errs so gravely.  His answer:  Luther and Calvin were
listening to the wrong person!  He asks the following rhetorical
    “Luther and Calvin,  we know,  looked to the Book of Romans in the 
Bible for their primary inspiration.  Were they, unknowingly, possessed
more by the spirit of St. Paul than by the Spirit of Jesus Christ?  Are
we not on safer grounds if we look to our Lord’s words to launch our
reformation?” [18]
    The  implication  is  that  what  Jesus  said  in the gospels
overrides everything else in the Bible.  For Schuller then,  some parts
of the Bible (i.e.,  what  Jesus  said  as recorded in the gospels) have
more authority than other areas of the Bible.  In other parts  of  SELF-
ESTEEM:  THE  NEW REFORMATION, Dr. Schuller is more explicit. 
    “But  can  anything  be  above  the  Scriptures?  Yes,  the  Eternal 
Word transcends the written Word.  Christ is the Word made  flesh. 
Christ  is the  Lord  over  the  Scriptures;  the  Scriptures  are  not 
Lord  over Christ…The Bible must not compete with the Lord for the
seat of  glory. 
    We  are  “saved  by the blood,” not “by the Book.” We believe in the
holy Trinity, not a holy Quadrangle. [19]
    Christ must be, at all times, Lord over the Scriptures.” [20]

                          SIN AND MAN’S NATURE

    For Dr. Schuller sin, a subject he does not like to discuss, has a 
definition very different from the one most Christians give.  “I am
convinced that the deepest of all human needs is salvation from sin and
hell….We come now to the problem of semantics.  What do I  mean by
sin?  Answer:  Any  human condition or act that robs God of glory by
stripping one of his children of their right to divine dignity.  I could
offer another complementing answer, “Sin is that deep lack of trust that
separates me from God and leaves me with  a sense of shame and
unworthiness.”  I can offer still another answer: “Sin is any act or
thought that robs myself or another  human being of his or her self-
esteem.” [21]  Any  analysis of `sin’ or `evil’…that fails to see the
lack of self-dignity as the core of the problem will prove to be too
shallow. [22] Classical Reformed Theology declares that we are conceived
and born rebellious sinners. 
    But that answer is too shallow.  It ignores the tough question:  Why
should love-needing persons resist,  rebel  against, and  reject
beautiful love?  The answer?  We are born non-trusting.  Deep down we
feel we are not good enough to approach a holy God. [23]
    By implication then,  man is basically  good according to Dr.
Schuller.  His  only problem is that he was born with a disability: 
this disability, or original sin, is a low self-esteem or lack of trust.
    “If only we could love ourselves enough to dare approach  God….But
we feel too unworthy.  So one layer of negative  behavior is laid upon
another until we emerge as rebellious sinners.  But our rebellion is a
reaction, not our nature.  By nature we are fearful, not bad. 
    Original sin is not a mean streak;  it is a non-trusting
inclination….do not say that  the central core of the human soul is
wickedness.  If this were so, then  truly,  the  human  being  is 
totally  depraved.  But  positive Christianity does not hold to human
depravity, but to human inability.” [25]
    Dr. Schuller  does  not  believe  or  teach  that  we  are 
ultimately responsible  for  our  sins.  He  attempts  to distinguish
between what he calls “Adam’s Sin” and “Original Sin.”  Adam, created
sinless, knew better. Only he deserved a sermon on sin,  because he
alone  had  a  choice.  Adam “…made a choice, he chose.  He knew
better.  His children, however, were born with a disadvantage.  They
didn’t have that choice.” [26]
    Because we are basically fearful,  but not bad,  and because we need
to have our self-esteem lifted,  Jesus never criticized people or called
them sinners,  according to Dr. Schuller.  Instead,  he  always tried to
uplift them. 
    “He never did call them `sinners.’  He saw great possibilities in
each of these men.  How He tried to give them the sense of self-worth
and dignity that  they deserved!  After all,  they were human beings, 
descendants of God. [27]  Christ always tried to give man’s self-image a
boost.  When he  met immoral  people  He  never them sinners.  Never!
[28]  He believed in the dignity of the individual.  So He never called
a person a sinner.  He always saw the individual as a saint.” [29]
    So Dr. Schuller believes  that if Jesus never  called  people 
sinners, then he won’t either. 

                              MAN AND GLORY

    The  end  result  that  Dr. Schuller  hopes  to  accomplish  is to
show everyone that they are all children of God because they are  all 
made  in His image. “The Father-hood of God is built into our
subconscious,” [30] all we really  need  is  enough self-esteem to
accept this fact.  But it does not stop there.  Because “we were created
to be princes  and  princesses,” [31] we have  an  innate  “thirst for
glory.” Dr. Schuller  believes that “what we need is a theology of
salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every person’s
hunger for glory.” [32]  Dr. Schuller believes that “what we need is a
theology of salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every
person’s hunger for glory.” [33]
    “The  Christian  faith  and  life  is  a gospel designed to glorify
human beings for the greater glory of God.” [34]  The final goal is that
“we can pray,  `Our Father in heaven,  honorable is our name.'” [35]

                        SALVATION AND THE GOSPEL

    In concluding our examination of Dr. Schuller’s  theology we  must 
see what  he  has  to  say  about salvation and the gospel.  First of
all,  he stresses that people will not respond to the gospel until  they 
recognize that  they are worthy of God.  “The unsaved person cannot
perceive himself as worthy of `divine grace’ and hence rejects it.” [36]
    In fact,  Dr. Schuller  believes that the ultimate sin  is  in 
feeling unworthy about yourself: “The most serious sin is the one that
causes me to say,  `I am unworthy.  I may have no claim to  divine 
sonship  if  you examine me at my worst.'” [37]
    Dr. Schuller  believes,  then,  that  God  wants  to  build  up 
man’s self-esteem  and  restore  the  lost  glory  that is our inherent
right as children of God, as people “created to be princes and
princesses.” [38]  “God’s ultimate objective is to turn you and me into
self-confident persons.” [39]
    In accord with this, Dr. Schuller believes that any proclamation of
the gospel  that  puts  “a  person  down before it attempts to lift him
up” is dangerous. [40]  He goes on to state that “you are  not 
preaching  the  Gospel unless you make people happy, because the Gospel
is good news.” [41]
    Finally, what is salvation in Schuller’s opinion?  What does it mean
to be “born again”? 
    “What  does  it mean to be saved?  It means to be permanently lifted
from sin (psychological self-abuse with  all  of  its  consesquences  as 
seen above)  and  shame  to  self-esteem  and  its  God-glorifying 
human need-meeting,  constructive,  and  creative  consequences. [42]
Salvation  is defined  as  rescue  from shame to glory. [43]  To be born
again means that we must be  changed  from  a  negative  to  a  positive 
self-image  –  from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from
doubt to trust.” [44]
    And what is the real effect of being saved? “Glory restored is the
real fruit of salvation.” [45]

                          A BIBLICAL CRITIQUE

                          A FAULTY FOUNDATION

    A  building  is  only  as strong as its foundation,  and every
argument stands or falls on its premise(s).  In Dr. Schuller’s  case we
can readily see that his entire ministry is based upon a defective 
premise.  What  is it?  He  has  knowingly  based  and structured his
theology on what people wanted to hear!  It began with him going from
door to door,  asking people what  type  of church they would like to
attend. [46]  It has continued to this day, albeit more sophisticatedly,
with Dr. Schuller  hiring firms like the Gallup Poll to conduct surveys
on such pertinent topics as self-esteem  of the American people. [47] 
Instead of asking himself what the people needed, he asked  what  they
    Sometimes these two are in agreement,  but more often they are not. 
Instead of  listening  to  the  people,  or  even  to himself,  he
should have asked God what the people needed and how he could help them
obtain it! 
    Imagine someone like the prophet Jonah going to Nineveh and telling
the people only the good things that they wanted to hear.  After all, he
could have reasoned,  thay  would  never  listen  to  some  foreigner 
preaching negative sermons.  Why,  none of the Ninevites even believed
in the Jewish Scriptures.  The result of this type of  approach  would 
have  meant  the destruction of Nineveh and all of its inhabitants. 
A  theology  based  upon opinion polls rather than upon God’s Word is
a direct fulfillment of what the Apostle Paul warned against:

2 Tim. 4:3
    For  the  time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, 
but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, 
they will heap up for themselves teachers in accordance to their own

                          POSSIBILITY THINKING

    The teaching advanced by Dr. Schuller is  clear.  You can  be 
whatever you want to be,  all you have to do is believe in yourself. 
Any and every problem you encounter can be overcome,  just never quit. 
“Set your  goal, define  your  role,  and  pay your toll.” [48]  “What
you can conceive, you can achieve.” [49]  And above all, never verbalize
a negative thought or admit that something is impossible. 
    As  we  have  seen,  the  teaching  of  “possibility  thinking”  is 
a cornerstone of Dr. Schuller’s  theology.  And in and of itself,  there 
is nothing wrong with this.  After all,  there are many biblical verses
which affirm this.  For example:

Luke 1:37
    “For with God nothing will be impossible”

Mark 9:23
    Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,  all things are possible to
him who believes.”
    There  are several problems,  however,  with how Dr. Schuller 
presents this.  First of all,  his emphasis is virtually
indistinguishable from the same type of teachings given in secular
circles (e.g., Dale Carnegie’s HOW TO  WIN  FRIENDS  AND  INFLUENCE
PEOPLE).  The only difference is the fact that the biblical promises of
God’s help apply only to  those  people  who have  a  living
relationship with God;  that is,  people who have accepted Jesus Christ
as their Lord and Savior.  But Dr.  Schuller admits that  the main group
of people he is trying to reach are non-Christians!  Therefore, his
“possibility thinking” teachings from the Bible really would not apply
to them. 
    Second,  in teaching that we can do anything that we can dream of, 
Dr.  Schuller  totally ignores the fact that we do have limitations. 
All of us are limited by our own natural abilities and by  outside 
influences  over which we have no control. 
    A  final  flaw in this type of teaching is that there are times when
we must say unpleasant things or “verbalize negative emotions.” 
    According to Dr. Schuller,  the  Apostle  Peter  would  probably  be one
of the world’s greatest possibility thinkers.  Why?  Remember when Jesus 
began  to  tell His disciples that He had to go to Jerusalem and suffer
many things and be killed  (cf.  Matt. 16:21)?  What  was  Peter’s 
reaction?  He took Jesus aside and lectured Him on the dangers of
negative thinking. 

Matt. 16:22
    Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him,  saying,  “Far be
it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to you!”
    We all know the rest of the story.  Jesus rebuked Peter for not
setting his “mind on  God’s  interests,  but  man’s.”  Elsewhere,  Jesus 
actually commands us, under certain conditions, to verbalize negative

Luke 17:3
    “Take  heed  to  yourselves.  If your brother sins against you, 
rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”
    The danger of Dr. Schuller’s  teaching  on  “possibility  thinking” 
is that he only shows one side of the coin and thus distorts God’s

                          THE GOSPEL OF SUCCESS

    In attempting to marshal together biblical evidence to back his 
claims that God wants us to succeed in whatever we do, Dr. Schuller has
taken one verse  after another out of context.  For example:  “God’s
will for you is clear….God wants you to succeed.  He has promised to
`crown your efforts with success!'” (Prov. 3:6). [50]
    It is no accident that Dr. Schuller quotes Proverbs 3:6 from The
Living Bible, which is a paraphrase, not a translation.  Proverbs 3:6, 
according to  the  Hebrew Masoretic text,  reads:  “In all thy ways
acknowledge Him.  And He will direct thy paths.” [51]  The Hebrew word
for “direct”  is  “yashar,” meaning  “To  go  straight  or  direct  in 
the  way”  or “to make (a way) straight.” [52]  Thus God is promising to
guide us as we walk with Him, not  to make us succeed in everything we
    Many examples could be cited to show Dr. Schuller’s frequent
distortion of scriptural passages in order to justify his theological
positions.  For instance, what does Dr. Schuller say Jesus really meant
when He taught His disciples to pray for their “daily bread” (Matt.
    “`Give  us our daily bread.’ What does the word bread mean?  Bread
refers to life’s basic  needs.  God  doesn’t  promise  that  we  will 
have  the crust….What  is  the  crust  that  God  offers?  We call it
possibility thinking. [53]  `Give us this day our daily bread.’ God will
give us  what  we need.  And what is that?  It is creative, inspiring,
possibility-pregnant ideas.” [54]
    Dr. Schuller  is guilty of even more blatant distortion when he
equates the  “rivers  of  living  water”  Jesus  referred  to  in  John
7:38  with self-esteem. 
    “And I can feel the self-esteem rising  all  around  me  and  within 
me, `Rivers  of  living  water shall flow from the inmost being of
anyone who believes in me’ (John 7:38, TLB).  I’ll really feel good
about myself.” [55]
    Did Jesus really equate “rivers of living  water”  with  “self-
esteem”?  The  Apostle  John  (who  I think was in a better position to
tell us what Jesus meant than Dr. Schuller is) tells us exactly what
    Jesus was saying:

John 7:39
    But  this  He spoke concerning the Spirit,  whom those believing in
Him would receive;  for the Holy Spirit was not yet given,  because
Jesus  was not yet glorified. 
    More examples could be cited showing how Dr. Schuller  takes verses
out of context and/or distorts their meaning, but these will suffice. 
    One of the most lamentable aspects of Dr. Schuller’s “Gospel of
Success” is in the effect it can have on people who genuinely try  but
fail.  For people like this I cannot think of anything more pernicious
than to tell them that “if you fail, you do so because  you choose to
fail.” [56]  William  Kirk  Kilpatrick, associate  professor of
educational psychology at Boston College, makes the following
    “If you lead people to believe that by the power of their mind  they 
can become  rich  and change their life,  and if in fact that doesn’t
happen, not only are they going to feel frustration but also more guilt 
for not having enough faith.” [57]
    Christians may oftentimes be successful in their earthly endeavors,
but God has not promised this to us.  In fact, many of the greatest men
and women of faith were total failures in the world’s eyes  (cf.  Heb. 
11:35-40).  Worldly success may be a by-product of obedience to God, but
it should never be our primary goal. 

                    SELF-ESTEEM: A NEW REFORMATION? 

    We must  first  address  the  question,  is  it  wrong  to  have 
high self-esteem?  The  biblical  answer  is no!  In the book of Genesis
we are told that man was  created in God’s own  image  (Gen. 1:26-27). 
In  other places  the Scriptures state that “we are the temple of the
living God” (2 Cor. 6:16), and that we are “sons and daughters” of God
(2 Cor. 6:18).  In Eph. 2:10    we  are  told  that  “we  are  His 
workmanship.”  The  word “workmanship”  comes  from  the Greek word
“poiema,” from which we get our English word “poem.” Just as a poem is
an artistic expression of the poet, so we are artistic expressions of
God.  How unique  and  special  is  each person?  When a baby is
conceived, it  will  be  a combination of the genetic content of one of
the mother’s 400 ova with those of one of,  say,  360 million
spermatozoa released  at the  same time.  The child you conceived might
have been any one of about 144 billion distinct distinct human beings, 
assuming  that  all  of  the spermatozoa  really  had  an  equal  chance 
to fertilize that ovum.  The slightest difference in the timing of the
sex act would have  tipped  the odds  in  favor of a different
spermatozoon – and resulted in a different child.  No other couple could
produce a child identical to  yours. [58]
    Truly King David was right when he proclaimed:

Ps. 139:14
    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. 
    There must be a proper balance in our evaluation of man.  We  need 
to see  ourselves  as  God  sees  us.  How  does God view man?  He sees
us as beings of tremendous value and worth.  In John 3:16 the word “so”
is often overlooked:  God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for
our  sins, that we could be reconciled with Him. 
    Once again,  however, there is a flip-side to the coin.  God sees us
as His creations (not as His peers) who have willingly rebelled against 
Him.  Dr. Schuller  rejects  this  fact in his evaluation.  He believes
that the greatest need of man is having his  self-esteem  built  up,
[59] therefore  we should  never  say  anything  derogatory  about man. 
    Man’s main goal,  he believes,  should be seeking to have his self-
esteem built up high  enough that  he  can respond to God’s love.  The
only reason people do not accept God is because they have a low self-
esteem and thus fear Him. [60]
    The main question is,  “Is Dr. Schuller’s  analysis  of  man’s 
problem correct?”  We will consider the scriptural answer to this in the
following sections dealing with “Man’s Nature” and “Jesus and Sinners.” 
Right  now, though,  I believe that simply by looking at the evidence
before us we can see that Dr. Schuller’s logic is faulty. 
Lewis Smedes,  a professor at Fuller Seminary and the  author  of 
Love Within Limits, makes the following cogent observation:
    I  have  seen  a  hit  man  of the Mafia who says “I feel very good
about myself.” I have talked to  prostitutes who  have  felt  very  good 
about themselves,  and  I’m  not judging them,  but I have talked to
saints who felt very badly about themselves.  The crux in this whole
business is not whether we feel good about ourselves, though that is
important,  but what is the truth about ourselves? [61]
    If  Dr. Schuller  is  correct,  if  the  only reason we run from God
is because we have a low self-esteem and fear Him,  then people  who 
have  a high  self-esteem  should  all  become  Christians and also
should not sin anymore!  But we know from practical experience that this
is not the case. 
    William Kirk Kilpatrick states that a high self-esteem  often 
inhibits people from coming to God:
    Like the rich man who will have such a hard time getting into
heaven, his riches  protect him from the knowledge of how utterly
dependent on God he is.  In the same way the man who is brimfull of
self-esteem is unable  to see how utterly broken he is, how we all are.
    It  is  both interesting and significant that recent psychological
studies have confirmed what the Bible has always taught:  man’s problem
is not low self-esteem  but  rather  pride.  While  at times this is
expressed in low self-esteem it is also very often manifested as  an 
inflated  self-image. 
    Dr. David Myers, a  professor of psychology at Dr. Schuller’s  alma
mater, Hope College, comments on this in his article, “The Inflated
    “What  an  intriguing  irony it is that so many Christian writers
are now echoing the old prophets of humanistic psychology at the very 
time  that research psychologists are amassing new data concerning the
pervasiveness of  pride.  Indeed  it  is  the orthodox theologians,  not
the humanistic psychologists,  who seem closest to the truth that is
glimpsed by  social psychology.” [63]
    Church history also refutes Dr. Schuller’s teaching on self-esteem. 
He believes  that  we  are entering a “new age of church growth” and
that the only way the Church can succeed is to  build  up  people’s 
allegedly  low self-esteem. [64]  Dr. Schuller must answer a significant
question:  why didn’t the  early  Church  preach a theology of self-
esteem?  They were virtually surrounded by non-believers, people whose
greatest need,  according to Dr.  Schuller, was to have their self-
esteem lifted.  However, the early Church followed the example of Paul,
and preached “Christ and Him crucified,” not any  gospel of self-esteem 
(e.g., 1 Cor. 2:2; 1:18,23; Rom. 3:10-18).  We find no examples in the
preaching of the apostles that man’s basic problem was a low self-
esteem.  Instead we find that it is a need for  forgiveness of his sins. 

                      AN ANTHROPOCENTRIC THEOLOGY?

    As  we  have seen,  Dr. Schuller  believes that the Reformers
seriously erred in centering their theology around God instead of 
around  man.  The verse  people  like Dr. Schuller  usually cite to
support this teaching is Mark 12:31, “You shall love your neighbor as
yourself.”  Their argument is that  we  must first learn to love
ourselves,  to have our own self-esteem built up, and only then can we
love others. 
  But what is the context of this verse?  A scribe came up to  Jesus 
and asked Him what was the greatest commandment. 

Mark  12:29-31
    Jesus answered him,  “The first of all the commandments is:
    `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. `And you shall
love the Lord your God with all your heart,  with all your soul,  with
all your mind, and with all your strength.'”  This is the first
    “And  the second,  like it,  is this:  `You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”
    Two things stand out from Jesus’ words.  The first is  that, 
according to  Jesus,  our  theology must be primarily God-centered not
man-centered, because the first commandment was to love God  with 
everything  we  have. 
    The  second  thing  that  stands out is that we were not commanded
to love ourselves.  We are  commanded  to  love  our  neighbor  just  as 
we  love ourselves.  This agrees with what the Apostle Paul wrote: “For
no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” (Eph.
    In truth,  a theology that is centered around man inescapably
becomes a not-so-subtle  attempt  at  self-worship.  A  theology  that 
is  based on self-esteem is really only a  new  narcissism.  In  `Beyond 
Personality’, which  was  first  published  at  the  same  time  Dr.
Schuller  was  an  undergraduate  at  Hope  College,  C.S. Lewis 
succinctly  critiqued  and destroyed any attempt at a theology based on
man’s self-esteem.       
    Christ will indeed give you a real personality:  but you must not go
to Him for the sake of that.  As long as your own personality  is  what 
you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all.  The very first
step is  to  try  to  forget  about the self altogether.  Your real, 
new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is
His) will not come as long as you are looking for it.  It will come 
when  you  are looking  for Him….Look for yourself,  and you will find
in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair,  rage,  and decay. 
But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else
thrown in. [65]


    Along with telling us that our greatest need is a high self-esteem 
and that our theology must be man-centered, Dr. Schuller has also said
that we do not have to worry about pride. 
    Do  not  fear pride:  the easiest job God has is to humble us. [66] 
But the Bible warns believers against pride and  exhorts  Christians  to 
practice humility as a safeguard against pride:

PROV. 16:18
    Pride goes before destrction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 

1 PET. 5:5
    Likewise  you  younger people,  submit yourselves to your elders. 
Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with
humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
  In the book of Isaiah we find that Lucifer,  the “star of the
morning,” was cast down from his eminent position because of the great
pride that he possessed  (Isa. 14:10-14).  His  end  result  was  to be
“thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (v. 15). 

                                THE BIBLE

    One of the reasons Dr. Schuller has drawn so much criticism is that
his theology and teachings are not based on the Bible.  In fact,  as  we 
have just  seen,  they  are  oftentimes diametrically opposed to what
the Bible says in context.  He believes that Jesus’ words are the  only 
safe basis within which we can build any theological framework. [67]
In one place in SELF-ESTEEM: THE NEW REFORMATION he writes:

    A simple and very wise man once said:  “If you really want to know 
to  a person’s  deepest  desire and most conscientious concern,  study, 
if you can,  his unvarnished prayers.  Stealthily approach him in  his 
intimate closet and try to overhear what he is really praying about
passionately.” [68]
    I think that this is excellent advice.  To find out what our view
of the Bible should be, we will look at what Jesus said about Scripture, 
and we  will begin by looking at one of the most passionate prayers
Jesus ever uttered, His prayer to His Father just before His passion and
    In John 17 Jesus is praying for His disciples,  whom He  will  soon 
be leaving.  He asks His Father to:  “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy
word is truth” (John 17:17). 
    Jesus evidently believed that all of God’s word is truth, not just
part of it!  Just before this,  Jesus stated that he had guarded His 
disciples and  that  none of them had perished except Judas,  “the son
of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (verse 12).  Again, 
Jesus  plainly believed that whatever the Scriptures said would take
place, would. 
    In  John 10:35  Jesus stated that  “the Scripture cannot be broken.”
In Matt. 5:18  He said “until heaven and earth pass away,  not  the 
smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is
    Dr. Schuller’s  grave  error  is  that  he attempts to make a
dichotomy between Jesus’ words and the rest of the Bible.  He  claims 
to  base  his teachings  and  his  hope  for  “new  reformation” on what
Jesus said.  In reality,  he simply accepts the sayings of Jesus that he
agrees  with  and ignores the rest! 


    Perhaps the most insidious aspect of Dr. Schuller’s  teaching method
is the  way  he redefines biblical terms at will.  A prime example of
this is how he redefines sin.  According to  Dr. Schuller,  sin is 
anything  that robs  us  of  our  “divine  dignity” – or,  sin is a
“deep lack of trust.” [69]
    According to the Bible, though,  sin is rebellion and lawlessness on
man’s part. 
    …sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). All 
unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17).  Jesus gave another definition of
sin.  He said that when the Holy Spirit came,  He  would  convict  the
world  “concerning  sin,  because they do not believe in Me” (John
16:9).  Thus sin is defined as any refusal to believe in Jesus. 
    Dr. Schuller  believes that we  should  never  discuss  people’s 
sins, because  to  do  so  would  be  an  insult  to their dignity. 
R.C. Sproul addresses this type of attitude in his book IN SEARCH OF
DIGNITY: There is a road to redemption where every human being has 
dignity.  Many reject  this  road  because they think Christianity
destroys self-esteem, disparaging human value with woeful denunciations
of  the  evil  of  man.  Preachers  rail  against corruption,  calling
man a wretched sinner.  Did not David cry out, “I am a worm and not a
man” and Job grovel in the dust moaning, “I hate myself”? 
    These grim statements make it seem that Christianity has a low view
of human dignity.  But the point often overlooked is that the  character 
of sinfulness  in  no  way  diminishes  the worth of persons.  It is
because humanity is so valuable that God takes sin seriously… 
  By taking sin seriously we  take  man  seriously.  Evil  may  mar 
the divine  image and cloud its brilliance,  but it can never be erased. 
The most obscene symbol in human history is the cross; yet in its
ugliness it remains the most eloquent testimony to human dignity. [70]
  If we Christians,  especially the leaders  who  are  shepherds  in 
the Church,  are  ever  going  to help anyone,  we must start by being
honest.  This means that we do not close our eyes to mankind’s true 
condition.  We need to have the courage to speak “the truth in love”
(Eph. 4:15). 

                              MAN’S NATURE

    What  is  man’s  true  condition?  Dr. Schuller  believes  that  man
is basically good.  “By nature we are fearful, not bad.” [71]  What does
the Bible say? 

Rom. 3:10-12
    As it is written:  “There is none righteous,  no,  not one;  There
is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.  They have
all gone out of the way;  They have together become unprofitable;  There
is none who does good, no, not one.”

Rom. 7:18
    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;
for to  will  is present with me,  but how to perform what is good I do
not find. 

                            JESUS AND SINNERS

    Perhaps  one  of  the most incredible statements Dr. Schuller  has
ever made is that Jesus never called anyone a sinner.  He reasons that
if Jesus never people sinners,  then neither should he.  This is a
perfect  example of  how  Dr. Schuller  picks  and  chooses  from among
the words of Jesus, accepting only what he likes and leaving the rest. 
Did  Jesus  ever  call people sinners?  Yes, many times. 

John 8:24
    “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you
do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

John 8:7
    He who is without sin sin among you, let him be the first to throw a
stone at her.

Mark 2:17
    When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no
need of a physician,  but those who are sick.  I did not come  to  call 
the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

    Jesus knew  what type of a heart each person  had  (cf.  John 2:24-
    If they were genuinely repentant for their sins, He would forgive
them and then  lift them up.  But if they were hardhearted and
antagonistic,  Jesus would speak very harshly to them.  Dr. Schuller 
does  not  believe  this:
    “Jesus,  when  he  confronted  secular  unbelievers as well as
conspicuous sinners,  still refrained from insulting or embarrassing 
them.  He left their dignity intact.” [72]
  Once again Dr. Schuller  purposely ignores the parts of the Bible 
that he finds distasteful. 

John 8:44
    “You are of your father the devil,  and the desires of your father
you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning,  and does not 
stand in the truth,  because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a
lie, he speaks from his own resources,  for he is a liar and the  father 
of it. 

Matt. 23:16,27
    “Woe to you,  blind guides, who say, `Whoever swears by the temple,
it is nothing; but whoever swears be the gold of the temple, he is
obliged to perform it.”  “Woe to you, scribes and  Pharisees, 
hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear
beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all
    Dr. Karl Menninger, a renowned psychiatrist and the head of the
Menninger Clinic, wrote a book over ten years ago entitled WHATEVER
BECAME OF SIN?  His thesis was that the reason so many people  are 
confused  and lost is because people no longer think of themselves as
sinners.  He concluded that if we really want to help people, then we
should “tell  it like it is,” we should point out their sin to them so
they can turn from it and be healed. 
    “Some clergymen prefer pastoral counseling of individuals to  the 
pulpit function.  But  the  later  is  a  greater  opportunity  to both
heal and prevent.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of  cure, 
indeed,  and there  is  much  prevention  to  be  done for large numbers
of people who hunger and thirst after direction toward righteousness. 
Clergymen have a golden opportunity to prevent some of the  accumulated 
misapprehensions, guilt,  aggressive action,  and other roots of later
mental suffering and mental disease.                                                         
    How?  Preach!  Tell it like it is.  Say it from  the  pulpit.  Cry 
it from the housetops.” [73]
  Man’s  greatest need is not to have his self-esteem built up or to
have his “lost glory” restored.  His greatest need is to have his sins
forgiven and thus be reconciled to God!  The joy of  forgiveness  and 
of  restored fellowship  with  our Creator is the greatest joy man can
experience.  The person whose sins have been forgiven can then sing out
with King David:

Ps. 32:1-2
    Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,  whose sin is 
covered.  Blessed  is  the man to whom the Lord does not impute
iniquity,  and in whose spirit there is no guile. 
    To avoid mentioning sin is to preach a  distorted Gospel.  R.C.
Sproul eloquently summarizes this as follows: 
    The preacher who smiles  benignly from his pulpit,  assuring us that
“God accepts you just the way you are” tells a monstrous lie.  He
sugarcoats the gospel of love with  saccharine grace.  God  does  not 
accept  the  arrogant;  He  turns His back to the impenitent.  He
maintains love toward His fallen creatures, inviting them back to
restored fellowship, but strings are securely attached as we must come
on bended knee. [74]

                              MAN AND GLORY

    Many times throughout his writings Dr. Schuller asserts that we are
all children  of God.  Is that what the Bible teaches?  No,  the Bible
teaches that we are God’s creation,  it does not state that we are His
children by nature.  Because we have rebelled willingly against God, we
are “by nature children of wrath”  (Eph. 2:3).  Only by asking Jesus
into our lives do we become adopted children of God:  “But as many as
received Him,  to them He gave the right to become children of God, even
to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12; also cf. Romans 8:15,23;
Galatians 4:5). 
    There are some Scriptures referring to the glory believers will
possess (e.g., Col. 3:4; Rom. 9:23; John 17:22).  However, any “glory”
ascribed to believers  is  glory  derived from Jesus Christ and is a
reflection of the divine glory. 
  Because of his misunderstanding of  man’s  nature  and  man’s 
greatest need, Dr. Schuller has developed a doctrine that teaches the
glorification of the human being.  Christianity  with  its  doctrine of
salvation is a faith designed by God for the glory of the human being
for the greater glory of God. [75]  Because of this we can pray, “O God,
I am great.” [76]
  It is no coincidence that Dr. Schuller  rarely cites Scripture
passages to buttress his teachings.  The reason is twofold:  he does not
believe in the total authority of the Bible,  and (as this article
demonstrates)  the Bible  often contradicts what he teaches!  What do
the the Scriptures tell us about glory?  Is it something we deserve
because “we were created to be princes and princesses?” [77]  Or is it
something that only  God  deserves?  The Bible is explicit on this. 

Rom. 11:36
    For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be
glory forever.  Amen. 

Luke 2:14
    “Glory to God in the highest,  and on earth peace,  good  will 
toward men!”

Isa. 42:8
    I am the Lord,  that is My name;  and My  glory  I  will  not  give 
to another, nor  My praise  to graven images.  What can  we boast of,
then?  What can  we glory in?  The Bible tells us to “glory in Christ
Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). 
    Elsewhere the Bible states “But he who boasts,  let him boast in the
Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17; also cf. Gal. 6:14; Acts 12:23; Jer. 9:23-24). 
    It is at this point that Dr. Schuller  crosses the  line  from 
harmful teaching to blasphemy.  He states: “And we can pray, `Our Father
in heaven, honourable is our name.'” [78]  He has gone to the  extreme. 
He has attempted to lift man up to the level of God! 
    The  highest  pinnacle  of  pride  and deception is to attempt to
deify oneself.  This is what Lucifer did;  he said “I will make myself
like  the Most  High”  (Isa. 14:14).  We cannot place ourselves on the
same level as the Creator of the universe.  We can never place  our 
name  on  the  same level as God’s name! 
    This  is not the only time Dr. Schuller  has done this.  At other
times he has  attempted to  lower God to man’s level.  He  writes: 
“God’s  need for glory compels Him to redeem his children from shame to
glory.” [79]
    God  does  not  “need glory”  as the Creator of the universe He
already possesses all glory!  And God is not “compelled” to do anything. 
Whatever He does it is because He has chosen  to  do  it.  As  the  God-
man,  Jesus Christ  is  intrinsically  worthy  of  all  honor  and glory 
(Rev. 5:12).  However, on the Phil Donahue show Dr. Schuller  attempted
to portray Jesus as being an egotist. 
    But  the  cross  sanctifies  the  ego trip.  That’s very
significant.  In other words, Jesus had an ego.  He said, “I, if I be
lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Wow, what an ego trip He was on.
    This  type  of  teaching  is  indefensible  blasphemy.  Jesus 
“humbled Himself” by His Incarnation  (Phil. 2:8).  We are told that
“though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through
His poverty might become rich”  (2 Cor. 8:9).  To talk of Jesus, the
eternal God made flesh, as being on an ego trip is heresy! 

                            IS MAN WORTHY?

    Dr. Schuller  teaches that nonbelievers do not respond to  God 
because they  do not feel worthy of Him.  His goal is to tell people
that they are worthy of God:  “The most serious sin is the one that
causes me to say, `I am  unworthy.  I  may have no claim to divine
sonship if you examine me at my worst.'” [81]
    The truth of the matter is that even at our  very  best  we  are 
still unworthy  of  God.  Jesus said:  “So likewise you,  when you have
done all those things which you are commanded, say,  `We are
unprofitable servants.  We have done what was our duty to do.'” (Luke
    A  story  from  Jesus’  life  also illustrates this.  A Roman
centurion came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant.  Jesus agreed
to go  with him  and  heal  his servant,  but the centurion replied: 
“Lord,  I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.  But just say 
the  word,  and  my servant will be healed” (Matt. 8:8). 
  What  was  Jesus’  reaction?  Did  He say “Don’t you know it’s a sin
to feel unworthy?  Why of course you’re worthy  of Me,  after  all  you 
were born  to  be  a  prince!  Don’t have  such  low  self-esteem.”  No! 
Jesus replied,  “I tell you the truth,  I have not found anyone in 
Israel  with such great faith” (Matt. 8:10). 
  God  accepts us only because of one thing:  what Jesus did on the
cross of Calvary  (Rom. 5:9;  1 John 1:7).  He does not accept us
because of our self-worth, or because of any works that we do (Eph. 2:8-
9; Isa. 64:6). 

                              THE GOSPEL

    In proclaiming the Gospel, Dr. Schuller  believes you  must  never 
put another  person down.  “In fact, you are  not  preaching the Gospel
unless you make people happy, because the Gospel is good news.” [82]
    The mistake Dr. Schuller  makes is assuming that everyone who hears
the Gospel has an open and receptive heart.  If they do, then they will
likely respond to it happily.  But many people have no desire at  all 
to  change their lives. 
    What  was  the  reaction when Peter and John preached the Gospel
before the Sanhedrin?  The Jewish leaders were “cut to  the  heart”
(Acts  5:33).  How  did  the  Jewish  leaders respond when Stephen
proclaimed the Gospel?  Likewise,  they were “cut to the heart” and
began “gnashing their teeth at him”  (Acts 7:54).  When  Paul  preached 
the Gospel in Jerusalem,  a riot broke out (Acts 22). 
    These responses were not because Peter and John and  Stephen  and 
Paul were preaching  “possibility thinking.”  The people were not were
not “cut to the heart” because they were told that they were children 
of God  and deserved  to have their lost glory restored.  Why were all
of these people offended?  Because of the “offense of the cross” (Gal.
    The Apostle Paul proclaimed:  “For I determined to know  nothing 
among you  except  Jesus Christ,  and Him  crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).  To
the Jews this  was  “a stumbling  block.”  To  the  Gentiles  it  was
“foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:23), and to Dr. Schuller it would be  insulting
(if  he is  con-sistent with his own teachings) because it reminds
people of their sins! 
    There are many times when we have to point out  something  negative 
to people  before  we can help them.  Alcoholics Anonymous has had
tremendous success in helping alcoholics quit  drinking  because  they 
have  used  a biblical principle:  before they can help an individual
quit drinking,  he must first admit that he has a problem.  Only after
he admits that  he  is an alcoholic can he be helped. 
    It is much the same with the Gospel: there are many negative aspects
to it.  First of all, you are a sinner.  Second, there is nothing that
you can do to help yourself.  And finally, if you are  not  helped,  you 
are going  to  hell.  If  these things are not pointed out to the
nonbeliever, then the Gospel has not been presented. 
    But someone might ask,  “What about the testimonies of people who 
have been converted through Dr. Schuller’s ministry?” It is true that
there are testimonies of people who have come to the Lord by reading his
books or hearing him on television.  But it is also true that  there are
many non-Christians who have felt better about themselves after
listening to Dr. Schuller, but were totally unaware of the fact that
they are lost sinners who are destined for hell unless  they accept
Jesus Christ!  Michael Nason, in his biography on Dr. Schuller, records
several such “testimonies”:
    Although I am of the Jewish faith, you have helped me to realize
that through God and  love all things are possible. [83]  “We’re
Jewish,” the gentleman said.  “In fact, our son is a rabbi,  but we love
to watch you, Dr. Schuller….” [84]
    The terrible tragedy is that there are untold thousands of
nonbelievers who think they know what Christianity is all about because
they watch the “Hour of Power” or have  read one or more of Dr.
Schuller’s books, yet who never heard the true gospel. 


    As we have seen, Dr. Schuller  believes that salvation is being
rescued “from shame to glory.” [85]  For him being “born again” means 
to  “be  changed from  a  negative  to  a  positive  self-image  – 
from  inferiority  to self-esteem,  from fear to love,  from  doubt  to 
trust.” [86]  Dr. Schuller’s problem  is  that  he  has  (as he often
does) confused an effect with its cause.  Salvation,  or being “born
again,” gives us a  basis  for  a  high self-esteem  and to have a
greater love and trust.  However,  salvation is not a synonym for self-
esteem.  According to the Bible the new birth is  a spiritual
phenomenon, not a psychological one (John 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5). 
    What  is the “real fruit” of salvation?  It is not a restoration of
our pride and glory.  Rather,  it is a restoration of our fellowship
with God.  It  means  that  we now have a living relationship with our
Maker and have been saved from the punishment that we justly deserved. 

                                A PARABLE

    A modern-day, adapted version of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and
the Publican  (Luke 18:10-14)  will  aptly  conclude  our  study  of 
Robert Schuller’s New Reformation.”
    Two men went up into the church to pray,  one a possibility thinker,
the other a negative thinker.  The possibility thinker stood and was 
praying thus  to  himself,  “God,  I  thank Thee that I am not like
other people: people with low self-esteem,  people who think they are
unworthy of  You, or even like this negative thinker.  I think only
positive thoughts for I was created to be a prince, I am worthy of
glory, honorable is our name!”
    But  the  negative  thinker,  standing  some  distance  away,  was 
even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven,  but  was  beating  his 
breast, saying,  “God,  be merciful to me, the sinner.”  I tell you, the
negative thinker went down to his house  justified  rather  than  the 
other,  for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,  but he who
humbles himself shall be exalted. 


1] Robert H. Schuller, Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking (Old Tappan,
  NJ: Spire Books, 1967), p.20.
2] Robert H. Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation (Waco, TX: Word
  Books, 1982), p.12.
3] Ibid.
4] Bella Stumbo, Schuller, “The Gospel of Success,” Los Angeles Times,
  29 May 1983, part 1, p.24.
5] Robert H. Schuller, You Can Become the Person You Want to Be (New
  York: Pillar Books, 1973), p.65.
6] Ibid., p.39
7] Robert H. Schuller, It’s Possible (New York: Fawcett Gold Medal,
  1978), p.28.
8] Schuller, Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking, p.189.
9] Stumbo, “Schuller: The Gospel of Success, “loc. cit.
10] Michael Nason and Donna Nason, Robert Schuller: The Inside Story
    (Waco: Word Books, 1983), p.152.
11] Robert H. Schuller, Daily Power Thoughts (Irvine, CA: Harvest House
    Publishers, n.d.), p.May 29.
12] Schuller, Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking, p.112.
13] Schuller, It’s Possible, p.29.
14] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.19.
15] Robert H. Schuller, Self-Love: The Dynamic Force of Success (New
    York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1969), p.21.
16] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.57.
17] Ibid., p.64.
18] Ibid., p.39.
19] Ibid., p.45.
20] Ibid., p.136.
21] Ibid., p.14.
22] Ibid., p.15.
23] Ibid., pp.63, 64.
24] Ibid., p.67.
25] Ibid., pp.66, 67.
26] “Self-Love: How Far?  How Biblical?  How Healthy?”  Eternity,
    February 1979, p.23.  Also cf. Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New
    Reformation, p.127.
27] Schuller, Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking, p.209.
28] Schuller, Self-Love: The Dynamic Force of Success, pp.87, 88.
29] Schuller, Daily Power Thoughts, p.March 23.
30] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, 54.
31] Ibid., p.52.
32] Ibid., p.39.
33] Ibid., pp.26, 27.
34] Ibid., p.140.
35] Ibid., p.69.
36] Ibid., p.16.
37] Ibid., p.98.
38] Ibid., p.52.
39] Ibid., p.80.
40. Ibid., p.127.
41] Robert H. Schuller, Your Future Is Your Friend (New Canaan, NJ:
    Keats Publishing, Inc., 1964), p.18.
42] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.99.
43] Ibid., p.151.
44] Ibid., p.68.
45] Ibid., p.161.
46] Nason and Nason, Robert Schuller: The Inside Story, p.59.
47] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.17.
48] Nason and Nason, Robert Schuller: The Inside Story, p.171.
49] Stumbo, “Schuller: The Gospel of Success,” loc. cit.
50] Schuller, Daily Power Thoughts, p.May 29.
51] The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text (Philadelphia:
    The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1955), p.987.
52] R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke,
    Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament: Vol.1 (Chicago: Moody
    Press, 1980), p.417.
53] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.80.
54] Ibid., p.82.
55] Ibid., p.80.
56] Schuller, It’s Possible, loc. cit.
57] Jon Trott and William Kirk Kilpatrick, “The Psychological
    Connection,” Cornerstone, Vol.12, Issue 68, p.18.
58] Roberts Rugh and Landrum B. Shettles, From Conception to Birth: The
    Drama of Life’s Beginnings (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), p.18.
59] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.19.
60] Ibid., pp.15, 16.
61] “Self-Love: How Far?  How Biblical?  How Healthy?” loc. cit.
62] Trott and Kilpatrick, “The Psychological Connection,” loc. cit.
63] David G. Myers, “The Inflated Self,” The Christian Century, 1
    December 1982, p.1226.
64] “Self-Love: How Far?  How Biblical?  How Healthy?” p.24.
65] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: MacMilan Publishing Co.,
    Inc., 1943), p.190.
66] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.57.
67] Ibid., p.39.
68] Ibid., p.46.
69] Ibid., p.14.
70] R.C. Sproul, In Search of Dignity (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1983),
71] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.67.
72] Ibid., p.72.
73] Karl Menninger, Whatever Became of Sin? (New York: Hawthorn Books,
    Inc., 1973), p.228.
74] Sproul, In Search of Dignity, pp.56, 57.
75] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.80.
76] Schuller, Daily Power Thoughts, p.January 24.
77] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.52.
78] Ibid., p.69.
79] Ibid., p.140.
80] Donahue Transcript #08120, 12 August 1980, p.10.
81] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.98.
82] Schuller, Your Future Is Your Friend, loc. cit.
83] Nason and Nason, Robert Schuller: The Inside Story, p.147.
84] Ibid., p.187.
85] Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p.151.
86] Ibid., p.68.

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