Sunday, April 25, 2010


Robert H. Schuller is the man behind the international Crystal Cathedral Ministries, based in Garden Grove, California in Schuller's famous Crystal Cathedral, a massive church with an unique architectural style. Schuller was assigned to start a Dutch Reformed Church in Garden Grove in 1955. This denomination had few members across the country and he found only two such families in Garden Grove, so he dropped the title "Dutch Reformed" and simply started the "Garden Grove Community Church."

Schuller did not stick to orthodox Dutch Reformed doctrines. One of the most famous books of that decade was Power of Positive Thinking, written by fellow Dutch Reformed minister Vincent Peale. The influence of Peale's ideas can be seen in how Schuller tries to boost the self-esteem of people, even to the point of making self-esteem a centerpiece of some of his work.

According to Schuller, the opposite of self-esteem is not humility, as commonly assumed, but rather shame. This, in turn, results in a negative self-image which prevents a person from finding and appreciating the love of God. Through a better awareness of God's love, however, a person can eliminate shame, boost self-esteem and thereby improve their lives dramatically.

Schuller has many critics, and a common complaint is the way he packages Christianity for the purpose of mass consumption. As T.D. Allen wrote in 1976:

His critics contend that Schuller has done for Jesus what Colonel Sanders has done for chicken, that he offers a kind of fast-food franchise salvation bearing the same relationship to the Christ of the Cross that the plastic automaton Abraham Lincoln at Disneyland does to the American Civil War.

Even though some regard his theology as shallow and others are dismayed that he has often remained silent on important social issues like race, homosexuality and the ordination of women, the fact remains that he has become enormously successful. Schuller appeal to people through terms they can understand and he presents an image of someone who is much like them.

Quotes attributed to Schuller:

Again and again, the impossible problem is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made.

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.

Every person is responsible for all the good within the scope of his abilities, and for no more, and none can tell whose sphere is the largest.

Failure doesn't mean you are a failure it just means you haven't succeeded yet.

Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive.

Goals must never be from your ego, but problems that cry for a solution.

God's delays are not God's denials.

High achievers spot rich opportunities swiftly, make big decisions quickly and move into action immediately. Follow these principles and you can make your dreams come true.

I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.

If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless.

If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.

It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.

It takes guts to get out of the ruts.

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.

Life is but a moment, death also is but another.

Most people who succeed in the face of seemingly impossible conditions are people who simply don't know how to quit.

Never bring the problem solving stage into the decision making stage. Otherwise, you surrender yourself to the problem rather than the solution.

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Never underestimate your problem or your ability to deal with it.

Our greatest lack is not money for any undertaking, but rather ideas, If the ideas are good, cash will somehow flow to where it is needed.

Press on. Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today.

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.

Some people are at the top of the ladder, some are in the middle, still more are at the bottom, and a whole lot more don't even know there is a ladder.

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.

The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is.

The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

Today's accomplishments were yesterday's impossibilities.

Tough times never last, but tough people do.

Turn your scars into stars.

What appears to be the end of the road may simply be a bend in the road.

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

When you can't solve the problem, manage it.

Winning starts with beginning.

You can often measure a person by the size of his dream.

You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem.

You will suddenly realize that the reason you never changed before was because you didn't want to.

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