1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
Robert Schuller
<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>

 Related Terms
Calvinism

 

Biography:
Robert H. Schuller (1926- ) 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.

Also Known As: none

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:

What is Christianity?
What are the various Christian groups, denominations, sects and heresies? What are some key concepts in Christian theology? What are some of the most important events in Christian history? All of this and more are covered in the Christianity FAQ.

What is the Philosophy of Religion?
Sometimes confused with theology, the Philosophy of Religion is the philosophical study of religious beliefs, religious doctrines, religious arguments and religious history. The line between theology and the philosophy of religion isn't always sharp, but the primary difference is that theology tends to be apologetical in nature, committed to the defense of particular religious positions, whereas Philosophy of Religion is committed to the investigation of religion itself, rather than the truth of any particular religion.

What is Theism?
What is the difference between monotheism and monolatry? Between pantheism and panentheism? How about between animism and shamanism? Or theism and deism? What the heck is henotheism?

What is Religion?
A system of human beliefs, ideals and practices which is harder to define than it may at first appear. Read more about how dictionaries, scholars and others have tried to define and explain religion.

<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.