Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Constant Prayer

By Robert Benson, Thomas Nelson.

Bensen talks a lot about himself, and very little, if any, about Christ. "God" is sufficiently vague to be anything higher. The author claims that he doesn't want to get into theological mudslinging, but without Christ, and with "God" being so bland, who is he praying to?

So Bensen inadvertently portrays prayer as part of Christian individualistic narcissism. He shows how the American church has become a hothouse, a training ground, for self-absorbed baby-boomers and their children and maybe their children's children.

"I theology," the "theology of me": Prayer is discussed in terms of how I can pray, and in terms of how prayer affects me psychologically. One paragraph has "I" in every sentence, sometimes twice. Ten times in that one paragraph. Not uncommon in this book.

Another paragraph has the following expressions: "I spent"; "we spent"; "I finished"; "I am still"; "I can"; "I am not"; "than I was before I began"; "but I am still". This is a gem of a paragraph, with one sentence containing four "I"s alone.

This is ridiculous, Christless theology. Christ is found nowhere in this bewildering book. It's a book on prayer within the Christian tradition, but the author talks about himself (a whole lot), and everything / everyone else in his life that affects him, like his neighbors or friends.

This leads to a lot of boring nonsense: "One block north, two blocks west, and another block north gets me down Twelfth Avenue..." Who cares.

The church in America is in big trouble.

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