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Showing posts from September, 2011

two books about narcissistic personality disorder

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I grew up in the orbits of close family members with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and developed abnormal views and expectations about relationships. I knew something was wrong, but could not figure out for decades what that thing was. I've sought counseling to figure out what was wrong with me or with my family members. The ethics of Christ, including his emphasis on forgiveness and forbearance, probably hindered my quest and my counselors input. But as serendipity would have it, while killing time in the local library, the cover story of a recent Psychology Today was about spotting a narcissist. I had explored the topic a bit before this article and had found information on this topic, but I still had not been empowered as a victim of narcissists. Narcissism is everywhere, and all of us have narcissistic tendencies, but I learned that someone who has NPD has no ability to distinguish between their selves and others. To someone with NPD, everyone around them is an exten…

book report: Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth (2011)

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"Our work as leaders in the church is to help catalyze spiritual movement."
If you don't share this presupposition about church ministry, you might not benefit from this book. I presume this is the ministry philosophy of the pastors at Willow Creek, who commissioned this sociological study of a thousand (mostly in the United States) churches. The authors categorize church attenders in four buckets: those exploring Christ, those growing in Christ, those close to Christ, and those who are Christ-centered. This is a continuum of maturity or a progression of sanctification. The issues they look at in this most recent book in the Reveal series are about the values of each group, and what churches have found successful in catalyzing people along the continuum, and not letting people stay stuck in one bucket. Can the spiritual be easily reduced to formulas? Of course not, but there are common threads in churches full of people progressing to maturity as seen by their love for G…

Tony Jones' false distinction about marriage

Whether or not little old me got him blogging on his current series on sacramental marriage, Dr. Tony Jones continues to draw a line that isn't there between legal and sacramental marriage. His latest post, part 4, he makes an assertion that he won't follow to its end. His assertion is "A church is a semi-private organization, and as such, it has a vested interest in how its members treat one another." The church is also a voluntary association. Thus, if a member wants to mistreat their spouse, and doesn't give a fig what the church thinks of his behavior, there is little the church can do. However, the state can step in if a spouse is abusive and remove the offender from the home and even imprison him. Thankfully, we live in a society where the church and state are separated, which means the church can't go to that level of enforcement. In the same way, if the marriage dissolves, the church is not given authority to set alimony, or child support, or property…