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基督徒世界观 译介圣经神学

 
 
 

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约尔.欧斯丁与荣耀的故事  

2011-03-13 00:08:00|  分类: 辨道护教 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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约尔·欧斯丁 与 荣耀的故事
-案例研究 -
JOEL OSTEEN AND THE GLORY STORY:
A CASE STUDY



文/麦可·霍顿 博士(Dr. Michael S. Horton)
中译/唐兴
转载自:窄门
英文原文:http://wscal.edu/resource-center/resource/joel-osteen-and-the-glory-story
本文是麦可·何顿博士,在2007年10月14日接受美国电视节目“六十分钟”专访后,所发表的系列文章之一。


不论叫做“指明它,宣告它(name it, claim it)”,“健康及财富(health-and-wealth)”或“成功福音(prosperity gospel)”,它们都是一种异端的别名。从许多方面看来,这异端只是今日美国基督教最普遍专注的一种极端表现形式。基本上,它是说:神是为了你和你的快乐而存在的。神为了你生活中想要的东西,订定了一些规范和原则,如果你遵行它们,就可以得着你所想所求的。只要“指明它,宣告它”,成功就会临到你。(1)神变成属于个人的购物机。
"Name it, claim it"; the "health-and-wealth" or "prosperity gospel" : these are nicknames
for a heresy that in many respects is only an extreme version of perhaps the most typical focus of American Christianity today more generally. Basically, God is there for you and your happiness. He has some rules and principles for getting what you want out of life and if you follow them, you can have what you want. Just “declare it” and prosperity will come to you.(1) God as Personal Shopper.

虽然“成功福音”的影响力很大,明显鼓吹倡导它的人士并不算多,但那些大名鼎鼎之士和畅销书的作者们 (T. D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyer),却成为添加了美国风味之异端世界观的经销商。基本上,这乃是十七世纪,从修道士成为教会改革家的马丁路德,所称的“荣耀的神学(the theology of glory)”:神的确在(祂儿子的)苦难以后应许我们荣耀,我如何能够攀爬梯子得着现今的荣耀呢?相对于此的是“十字架神学”:神怜悯地向我们俯就,花下极大的代价,也就是使徒保罗所传讲的信息。保罗承认它是希腊人所讨厌,和认为愚拙的福音。
Although explicit proponents of the so-called “prosperity gospel” may be fewer than their influence suggests, its big names and best-selling authors (T. D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyer) are purveyors of a pagan worldview with a peculiarly American flavor. It’s basically what the sixteenth century German monk turned church reformer Martin Luther called the “theology of glory”: How can I climb the ladder and attain the glory here and now that God has actually promised for us after a life of suffering? The contrast is the “theology of the cross”: the story of God’s merciful descent to us, at great personal cost, a message that the Apostle Paul acknowledged was offensive and “foolish to Greeks.”

约尔·欧斯丁:冗长歌曲中的一句歌词
Joel Osteen: Another Verse of a Really Long Song


约尔·欧斯丁的畅销书《活出美好》 所展现的令人惊奇的成功,明显的告诉我们:美国人受到这种形式的“荣耀的故事”所吸引。除了他和蔼可亲的个性,和平易近人的态度以外,欧斯丁惊人的吸引力,毫无疑问地与他简单、抚慰人心的美国化福音配料有关:经过他没有受过正式训练的手,他挑选了基督教和文化上的一些元素,把它们混合起来;但是,这位从浸信会信仰转变为成功福音的传道人,却是“三一传播网(Trinity Broadcasting Network)”最受欢迎的人物。然而,那些 “成功”电视福音一向所具有奇特怪异的夸张,以及华丽的时尚和修辞,却消失不见了。
The attraction of Americans to this version of the “glory story” is evident in the astonishing success of Joel Osteen’s runaway best-seller, Your Best Life Now: Seven Steps to Living at Your Full Potential. Beyond his charming personality and folksy style, Osteen’s phenomenal attraction is no doubt related to his simple and soothing sampler of the American gospel: a blend of Christian and cultural elements that he picked up not through any formal training, but as the son of a Baptist-turned-prosperity evangelist who was a favorite on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). However, gone are the eccentric caricatures of “prosperity” televangelism, with its flamboyant style and over-the-top rhetoric.

在教会像华尔超市的世代,所有的教义和教派的特征都被冲淡了。我们不会(至少不会明显地)听到我们是“小神,”是“神的一部分” ,或基督的宝血是医治和成功发达的护身符。我们仍然可以在电视福音上听到,他的父亲那一代奇异的教导,但是并不深入。事实上,任何一个教导都没有深度的探讨。欧斯丁仍然在使用那些“健康和财富”的福音传扬者所用的不知所云的言语:“宣告它”(Declare it), “说出来”(speak it), “认领它”(claim it)等等,但是却没有那些夸大的,套装的电视医治说词。这位美国德州休斯顿湖木教会的牧师,他是“康百客中心”(Compaq Center)的主人。他不像那些拥有私人飞机和游艇,光鲜亮丽的福音牧师们一样,来到我们面前,而是像一个随时都说好话,和蔼可亲的邻舍。
In the Wal-Mart era of religion and spirituality, every particular creed and any denominational distinctives get watered down. We don’t hear (at least explicitly) about our being “little gods,” “part and parcel of God,” or the blood of Christ as a talisman for healing and prosperity. The strange teachings of his father’s generation, still regularly heard on TBN, are not explored in any depth. In fact, nothing is explored in any depth. Osteen still uses the telltale lingo of the health-and-wealth evangelists: “Declare it,” “speak it,” “claim it,” and so forth, but there are no dramatic, made-for-TV healing lines. The pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX, which now owns the Compaq Center, does not come across as a flashy evangelist with jets and yachts, but as a charming next-door-neighbor who always has something nice to say.

虽然在电视的社会心理学上,他的确才华洋溢,约尔·欧斯丁却非独一无二。事实上,他那种成功福音教导的显明节奏,传讲的用辞和气氛,在多数的大教会中是很难被察觉到的。约尔?欧斯丁是下一世代的“健康和财富”福音(health-and wealth gospel)。这一回,它成了主流。
Although remarkably gifted at the social psychology of television, Joel Osteen is hardly unique. In fact, his explicit drumbeat of prosperity (word-faith) teaching is communicated in the terms and the ambiance that might be difficult to distinguish from most megachurches. Joel Osteen is the next generation of the health-and-wealth gospel. This time, it’s mainstream.

就像社区哲学家卡尔·马克思讲到“消费者导向的文化”:“只要是坚实的都会被它融化成空。” 同样的,宗教也成为一种商品:一种为了我们自身的福益,可以购买和使用的产品或治疗。欧斯丁的信息,是一种属于道德性和治疗性的宗教,它也表现了婴儿世代的人,毫无能力在神的审判前悲痛,或是面对神救赎的怜悯,并在那令人鼓舞的消息下欢跳。换句话说,所有严肃的内容,不论是我们的问题或是神奇异的恩典,都丧失了。根据这样的信息,我们不是需要一种从神而来、单方面的拯救之无助的罪人——背弃神的恶人(美国人,特别是我们婴儿世代的人,不喜欢坏消息。) 也就是说:我们是好人,我们只需要一点点的指导和鼓舞就够了。
As community philosopher Karl Marx said of a consumer-driven culture, “All that is solid melts into the air.” Religion, too, becomes a commodity—a product or therapy that we can buy and use for our personal well-being. Exemplifying the moralistic and therapeutic approach to religion, Osteen’s message is also a good example of the inability of Boomers to mourn in the face of God’s judgment or dance under the liberating news of God’s saving mercy. In other words, all gravity is lost—both the gravity of our problem and of God’s amazing grace. According to this message, we are not helpless sinners—the ungodly—who need a one-sided divine rescue. (Americans, but especially we Boomers, don’t take bad news well.) Rather, we are good people who just need a little instruction and motivation.

“轻省的律法”:活出自己,从忧伤中得拯救
“Law-Lite”: Salvation From Unhappiness By Doing Your Best


在欧斯丁的信息中,没有讲到人因为无法满足神公义的律法而应受的惩罚。从另一方面看,信息中也没有讲到称义。他的信息远离了这两个主题,是一种两面讨好的乐观道德主义:尽你的力量去做,照着我所给你的教导去做,神就会使你有成功的生活。他警告:“不要消极的坐在那里不动,”以一种轻柔的恳求告诉我们,遵行他的忠告唯一的理由是:有利于我们的所求所想。神是我们的好朋友和伙伴,祂的存在主要是为了我们的快乐。“你做你那一部分,神就会做祂那一部分。”(2) 欧斯丁说:“虽然我们的确有错,但好消息是:尽管如此,神仍然爱我们。”(3) 这样,就等于不接受神对我们的自义所做的公义判决,并且否定,要为称义而奔向基督。欧斯丁劝告读者,要拒绝亏欠和定罪。(4) 然而,当神对我生命的悦纳和祝福,是完全基于我遵行祂诫命的程度之时,我达到神的要求是困难的。“只要你顺服祂的诫命,祂就会改变事物,使你得益处。”(5) 就是这么简单:“…只要顺服祂的诫命”。
There is no condemnation in Osteen’s message for failing to fulfill God’s righteous law. On the other hand, there is no justification. Instead of either message, there is an upbeat moralism that is somewhere in the middle: Do your best, follow the instructions I give you, and God will make your life successful. “Don’t sit back passively,” he warns, but with a gentle pleading suggests that the only reason we need to follow his advice is because it’s useful for getting what we want. God is a buddy or partner who exists primarily to make sure we are happy. “You do your part, and God will do his part.” (2) “Sure we have our faults,” he says, but “the good news is, God loves us anyway.” (3) Instead of accepting God’s just verdict on our own righteousness and fleeing to Christ for justification, Osteen counsels readers simply to reject guilt and condemnation.(4) Yet it is hard to do that successfully when God’s favor and blessing on my life depend entirely on how well I can put his commands to work. “If you will simply obey his commands, He will change things in your favor.”(5) That’s all: “…simply obey his commands.”

万事都靠我们,但是不困难。我们不禁怀疑,他是否经历过困惑的危机,或是道德上的失败,使他曾经赤裸裸地站在神的面前。欧斯丁似乎认为:我们基本上是良善的人,并且神有一个非常简单的方法,让我们可以拯救自己——不是从神审判中的拯救,而是藉着祂的协助,从我们生活上的失败拯救我们。他说:“神会把你的每个善行一一记录下来”——如同这就是福音。“在你有需要之时,因为你的慷慨大方,神会移山挪海的使你得到照顾。(6)
Everything depends on us, but it’s easy. One wonders if he has ever had a crisis of doubt or moral failure that stripped him naked in God’s presence. Osteen seems to think that we are basically good people and God has a very easy way for us to save ourselves—not from his judgment, but from our lack of success in life—with his help. “God is keeping a record of every good deed you’ve ever done,” he says—as if this is good news. “In your time of need,because of your generosity, God will move heaven and earth to make sure you are taken care of.” (6)

也许这是“轻省的律法,”但是不要把它弄错了:在避开了所有关于神的愤怒的议题下,这种兴盛福音主义的背后,是一种把福音转变同化为律法的决心,把得胜的呼召转化为得胜的宣告,把祝福的描述转变为律法的命令,把福音转化为好方法。坏消息也许不像以前那样坏,但是好消息却只是坏消息的一种较为柔软的形式而已:多去做。但是,这一回是轻省的!如果你失败了,不要担心。神只要你尽量去做,祂会打理剩下的事。
It may be “Law Lite,” but make no mistake about it: behind a smiling Boomer Evangelicalism that eschews any talk of God’s wrath, there is a determination to assimilate the gospel to law, an announcement of victory to a call to be victorious, indicatives to imperatives, good news to good advice. The bad news may not be as bad as it used to be, but the good news is just a softer version of the bad news: Do more. But this time, it’s easy! And if you fail, don’t worry. God just wants you to do your best. He’ll take care of the rest.

这样,谁还需要基督呢?至少,谁还需要基督是“神的羔羊,除去世人罪孽的”(约1:29)呢? 虽然在信息中,律法的刺痛也许被拿掉了,但是福音的要求,也就变得松散了,那些鼓励人的律法劝告,只是要使我们快乐而已,并不是要用神的圣洁来衡量我们。
So who needs Christ? At least, who needs Christ as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29)? The sting of the law may be taken out of the message, but that only means that the gospel has become a less demanding, more encouraging law whose exhortations are only meant to make us happy, not to measure us against God’s holiness.

所以,当许多支持者见证他这种较为柔软,和蔼可亲的基督教形式,与他们年轻时那种律法式的责骂有所不同之时,其唯一真正的区别,乃在于神的规则或原则,变得比较轻省,都是讲到关于快乐的事,并不使人与从我们的罪中拯救我们的神和好。在那种治疗性的氛围下,罪被认为是我们没有活出我们的潜能,而不是亏欠了神的荣耀。我们必须信靠自己,这种“罪”的工价,乃是忽略我们现今生命中的最美好。但这些仍是一种延绵不断的劝告、要求、和负荷:跟着我的步伐,我就保证你的生命得到祝福。
So while many supporters offer testimonials to his kinder, gentler version of Christianity than the legalistic scolding of their youth, the only real difference is that God’s rules or principles are easier and it’s all about happiness here and now, not being reconciled to a holy God who saves us from ourselves. In its therapeutic milieu, sin is failing to live up to our potential, not falling short of God’s glory. We need to believe in ourselves and the wages of such “sins” is missing out on our best life now. But it’s still a constant stream of exhortation, demands, and burdens: follow my steps and I guarantee your life will be blessed.

2006年的时代杂志,观察到欧斯丁的成功,超越了传统更正教的范围,其中的例子就是:一所路德宗教会,竟然在他们复活节前的四旬节期中,学习“活出你的美好”这本书,而此时正是应当纪念耶稣,处于祂生命中最糟的阶段。曾经被十字架神学所坚立的教会,如今,在美国流行属灵风潮的氛围下,却屈从于荣华的神学。我们如同在自我陶醉的道德主义海洋中游泳:这是一种“轻音乐”型,自我拯救的救恩。
A TIME story in 2006 observed that Osteen’s success has reached even more traditional Protestant circles, citing the example of a Lutheran church that followed Your Best Life Now during Lent, of all times, “when,” as the writer notes, “Jesus was having his worst life then.” Even churches formally steeped in a theology of the cross succumb to theologies of glory in the environment of popular American spirituality. We are swimming in a sea of narcissistic moralism: an “easy-listening” version of salvation by self-help.

这就是所谓的“无论如何,神仍旧爱你”的假福音。基督不须要成为我们的中保,因为神不是那么圣洁,并且我们在道德上也不是那么邪恶,所以我们就不需要耶稣为了我们而死。神是我们的好朋友。祂只是要我们快乐,圣经是寻找快乐的地图。
This is what we might call the false gospel of “God-Loves-You-Anyway.” There’s no need for Christ as our mediator, since God is never quite as holy and we are never quite as morally perverse as to require nothing short of Christ’s death in our place. God is our buddy. He just wants us to be happy, and the Bible gives us the roadmap.

我没有任何理由怀疑那种真诚的动机:要用合宜的信息,去接触非基督徒。然而,我的顾虑是,宣讲这种形式的信息,至少实际上会淡化信心,甚至与信心相违背。从某方面看,它就像是无神论:假设上无天堂,下无地狱,不需要期望“基督会在荣耀中再来,审判活人和死人,”并且建立世上完全的和平。事实上,唯一神论者,佛教徒,或是那些习惯听“福音就是美国梦”的文化基督徒,都很难在其中找到不愉快的信息。迪斯尼的吉米尼?柯凯特描述这种情怀:“如果你向天上的星星祈求,你所有的梦想都会成真。”
I have no reason to doubt the sincere motivation to reach non-Christians with a relevant message. My concern, however, is that the way this message comes out actually trivializes the faith at its best and contradicts it at its worst. In a way, it sounds like atheism: Imagine there is no heaven above us or hell below us, no necessary expectation that Christ “will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead” and establish perfect peace in the world. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find anything in this message that would be offensive to a Unitarian, Buddhist, or cultural Christians who are used to a diet of gospel-as-American-Dream. Disney’s Jiminy Cricket expresses this sentiment: “If you wish upon a star, all your dreams will come true.”

必须澄清的是,我并不是说这是无神论,但从这个意义看却像无神论:它受限于一种今生属世的专注,以致我们听不到任何关于神自己的事——祂的本性和祂创造,救赎之工,或是身体复活和未来的世界。任何过去的事(即:基督的工作)或是未来的事(即:基督在审判中的再来,在永世中使我们身体复活)都无关紧要。也许我没足够的去听他在电视上的谈论,但我从未听到他提及,关于使徒信经中的任何宣告。除了在电视画面中看到,着迷的观众拿着打开的圣经以外,我至今还未听到他传讲任何一段圣经的经文。难道传福音不需要讲福音吗?传扬基督教,能不讲基督的信息吗?
To be clear, I’m not saying that it is atheism, but that it sounds oddly like it in this sense: that it is so bound to a this-worldly focus that we really do not hear anything about God himself—his character and works in creation, redemption, or the resurrection of the body and the age to come. Nothing in the past (namely, Christ’s work) nor in the future (namely, Christ’s return in judgment, raising our bodies in everlasting life) really matters. Maybe I haven’t heard enough of his talks on TV, but I have never heard anything that approached a proclamation of any article mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed. Despite the cut-aways of an enthralled audience with Bibles opened, I have yet to hear a single biblical passage actually preached. Is it possible to have evangelism without the evangel? Christian outreach without a Christian message?

如果神是重要的,这就是最琐细的顾虑——或至少是仅次于福音所讲的真正危机。人听到这种形式的信息后,很容易会觉得我们的得救,不是因为基督为我们所作的顺服之工,而我们是藉着主观“个人与耶稣的关系,”经由我们的一些功德行为,来讨神的宠爱和祝福。神已经设立这些规矩,现在就看我们是否能遵行,以致得到祝福。我想社会学家柯斯丁?史密斯(Christian Smith)对其有最佳的描述——这是一种“道德性,治疗性的自然神论”(moralistic, therapeutic deism):美国式宗教的福音。
If God matters, it is for the most trivial concerns—or at least those quite secondary to the real crisis that the gospel addresses. One could easily come away from this type of message concluding that we are not saved by Christ’s objective work for us, but by our subjective “personal relationship with Jesus” through a series of works that we perform to secure his favor and blessing. God has set up all of these laws and now it’s up to us to follow them so that we can be blessed. I can think of no better illustration of what sociologist Christian Smith has identified as “moralistic, therapeutic deism”: the gospel of American Religion.

新约圣经这样重复的确认:那些想要靠着他们自己的顺服得救的人必须要知道,神不是按照平均值打分数的。除非基督的顺服,唯独藉着信心,算做是我们的成绩单,否则我们在神那里的成绩单是一个坏消息,不是好消息。神的律法讲到:“如果要靠你自己的力量得救,其条件乃是:遵行所有的律法就进天堂;不能遵行就下地狱。”昨日的宗教复兴运动家们,自己订立要遵行的事项,但其基本上有相同的威胁:“去作,否则死。”另一种亲切温柔的说法就是:“努力的去做,你会更快乐;否则你将会丧失神为你所预备,现今此刻最美的人生。”没有天堂,没有地狱;没有罪的宣告或救恩;没有基督完全的顺服,算做是我们的顺服:只要尽力去做。记住,神在记录你的成绩!基督在信息中成为完全无关紧要的事。
As the New Testament repeatedly affirms, those who want to be saved by their own obedience need to know that God doesn’t grade on a curve. His record-keeping is bad news, not good news, unlessChrist’s obedient record has been credited to us through faith alone. God’s law says, “If you want to be saved by your own effort, here are the terms: Do all these things and you’ll go to heaven; fail to do them and you’ll go to hell.” The revivalists of yesteryear came up with their own list, but it was basically the same threat: “Do or die.” The kinder, gentler version is, “Try harder and you’ll be happier; fail to do them and you’ll lose out on God’s best for your life here and now.” No heaven, no hell; no condemnation or salvation; no perfect obedience of Christ credited to us: Just do your best. Remember, God is keeping score! Christ becomes totally unnecessary in this message.

欧斯丁反映的是福音派基督徒中普遍的假设:我们得救,是因为我们做了一个决定,要与神建立个人的关系。如果我们的问题是寂寞,好消息是:基督是一个可靠的朋友。如果焦虑是大问题,基督会抚慰我们。基督是维持我们婚姻和家庭的强力胶,祂赐予我们努力向前的目的,我们每日生活所需的智慧。这些需求都具有一半的真理,但它们都不能引导听者面对他们真正的问题:他们是赤裸地和羞愧地,站在一位圣洁的神的面前,唯一可以被神接纳的方法就是从头到脚,穿上基督的义。
Osteen reflects the broader assumption among evangelicals that we are saved by making a decision to have a personal relationship with God. If one’s greatest problem is loneliness, the good news is that Jesus is a reliable friend. If the big problem is anxiety, Jesus will calm us down. Jesus is the glue that holds our marriages and families together, gives us purpose for us to strive toward, wisdom for daily life. And there are half-truths in all of these pleas, but they never really bring hearers face to face with their real problem: that they stand naked and ashamed before a holy God and can only be acceptably clothed in his presence by being clothed, head to toe, in Christ’s righteousness.

那些传讲“服从”,“实行”,“决心”, 以及“与神有个人关系”的福音,都未能了解到,首先,每个人都已经与神有了个人的关系:若不是已被定罪的罪犯,站在一位公义的法官面前;就是被称义与基督同为后裔,成为父神的儿女。当主要的论述是我的快乐,而不是神的圣洁之时,“我如何面对神?”就不再是问题了。我的顾虑是,约尔?欧斯丁仅只是,自我拯救的福音传道者们(self-help evangelists),大排长龙中最近的一位,他投合了美国人对自我拯救的迷恋。救恩不再是讲到,神从这个世界的审判中救赎我们,而是为了要得着此刻最美好生命的自我改进。
This gospel of “submission,” “commitment,” “decision,” and “having a personal relationship with God” fails to realize, first of all, that everyone has a personal relationship with God already: either as a condemned criminal standing before a righteous judge or as a justified co-heir with Christ and adopted child of the Father. “How can I be right with God?” is no longer a question when my happiness rather than God’s holiness is the main issue. My concern is that Joel Osteen is simply the latest in a long line of self-help evangelists who appeal to the Native American obsession with pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Salvation is not a matter of divine rescue from the judgment that is coming on the world, but a matter of self-improvement in order to have your best life now.


Read other essays in this collection:
What Ever Happened to Sin?
Are You in God's Story?
Suffering and a Theology of Glory
Doesn't God Want Us to be Happy?


译者注:
1) 美国“60分钟”电视节目介绍约尔·欧斯丁
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv8FwssTGCg&NR=1

2)约尔·欧斯丁在赖瑞·金恩(Larry King)电视访谈中讲到他所信的福音:
Joel Osteen on the gospel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfwYU2pmWYQ&feature=related

附录:
活得更棒 明星牧师荣登畅销作家
【台湾联合报╱吴凌远/报导】
________________________________________
什么样的媒体巨星有这等睥睨群伦的超高人气?据传签约金高达一千三百万美元天价,新书首刷上机就是三百万本,连2004年前美国总统柯林顿回忆录《我的人生》和恐怖之王史蒂芬?金新书都瞠乎其后。配合新书上市,连锁书店两个月前就开放预订;铺货如水银泄地,连超市、知名玩具城和3C通路都强势攻占。
答案揭晓:这位超人气书市天王是美国当红的德州牧师约尔·欧斯丁(Joel Osteen),日前推出宗教励志新书《活得更棒》(Become a Better You)。有2005年《活出美好》(Your Best Life Now)热销近五百万册傲人成绩挂保证,出版社卯上全部宣传资源,力图冲出破纪录新高业绩。

欧斯丁自信满满不无原因,明星牧师的基本拥护者十分惊人:他传道的教会有全美最多会众,每周主持布道大会到场信众至少四万人;透过全美传播网联播,有数百万人可在电视上观赏;更传送一百多国播出,经由网路听道的不计其数。

何况近十年来,宗教励志书热潮持续发烧:2001年魏肯生《雅比斯的祷告》(The Prayer of Jabez)盘踞《出版家周刊》畅销书榜四十四周;加州牧师华理克《标竿人生》(The Purpose-Driven Life)2003年起狂销三年,打破1972年长老会牧师薛查理减肥书《体重由脑袋决定》(The Weight Is in Your Head)纪录;直到2005年新天王欧斯丁《活出美好》热卖,才将华理克挤下至尊宝座。

普林斯顿大学宗教史学者Leigh Eric Schmidt表示,心灵励志文学与美国的宗教传统紧密扣合,强调自我发掘和内省。新书《活得更棒》到底有什么让人生得满分的至理名言?说穿了新意不多,只是帮读者发现生而为人的美好、了解个人生命的追求与上天给的使命,「每天告诉自己:我是神眼中的宝,我是祂最有价值的资产,我有尊贵荣耀为冠冕,我是珍贵的,我有吸引力」。

欧斯丁提出「活得更棒」的七大标竿是:积极、热情、养成好习惯、建立良好人际关系、接受自我价值、冷静与充实心灵。如果你因塞车大动肝火,「会有声音提醒你:你的态度应该是『没关系,我在成长』」。同样的励志金句在教堂、书店随处可见,但透过铺天盖地的电视行销(欧斯丁曾协助父亲制作电视布道节目达十七年),欧斯丁不但接收了父亲的信徒,更充分掌握美国励志风潮脉动。《活得更棒》第一时间窜登畅销书榜,可当作研究个案,检证最简单的畅销书公式:电视曝光+励志+市场炒作=畅销。

欧斯丁刻意让他的传道简单易懂、激励人心,教人「自我接纳」的核心概念乍看借力心理学多过神学,和市面上一般励志书无异。宗教励志书原本该援引《圣经》发挥,但欧斯丁近四百页新书只引述《圣经》六十六次。批评者斥他媚俗,只有写到他相信的才会抄录经文证明,却让读者误以为书中传递的是《圣经》教义,实际上是人的智慧,而非神的智慧;根本是利用《圣经》获利,没遵奉经书是权威指引。

面对批评,欧斯丁坚称「自我接纳」概念源自神接纳人类,包括人所有的缺点和罪,是浅显又货真价实的神学。「要活得更棒,首先必须清楚神希望你成为祂所创造的你。其次,你必须了解神会做祂的工作,你也必须做你的工作。」书中只强调神和神爱的伟大,不够彰显耶稣的地位,成为教徒攻击他的痛点。他们说当多谈罪与救赎,教导世人耶稣是真理、生命与天堂唯一之路。

欧斯丁受访时表示,网路虽可方便更多信徒随时听道,但他不认为科技足以取代传统上教堂礼拜。在他心中,生命不是用来荣耀神,而是为个人带来幸福平安,「我们都有罪,都会失败、犯错,很多人却不知道神会给予怜爱和宽谅。只要你尽全力,根据神的话语做对的事,相信神会为你高兴。」

【2007/12/09 联合报】
http://mag.udn.com/mag/world/storypage.jsp?f_ART_ID=101219
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