Last week, I talked about the insane number of self help books there are at Barnes & Noble.
I focused on the idiocy of non-Christians self-help gurus and their philosophy of self-love as a path to self-healing, and the incredible success they’ve had at building a cycle of self help. People feel like crap, buy book, still feel like crap, realize they are not worthy of that self help program, author is in no way held accountable for their inane ideas, people buy another book…
I had some comments urging me to talk about the Christian self-help section, just across the aisle. As always, all in good time, my friends. I wanted to do that in the first post, but just couldn’t squeeze it in and do justice the many spiritual sages and prophets of prosperity.
Yes, it seems that despite our Bibles and preachers, Christians aren’t any better off than anyone else. Christians need to be given just as many “steps” and “keys” and “secrets” to unlock their full potential in every aspect of their apparently pathetic lives.
But I wondered what makes a Christian self help book any better than a secular book. Are the Christians on the covers of books with their pearly white smiles and perfect hair, and their cuff links any different from their non-Jesus-loving brethren? I came up with a little experiment to find out.
I opened a bunch of random self help books – both Christian and secular and wrote down some chapter titles. Read these and count off how many you think are from Christian authors. This will be fun!
Christian or Non-Christian Self Help Chapter Titles?
Believe in Yourself
A Peaceful Mind Generates Power
Developing a Prosperous Mindset
How to Realize Your Potential
Maintaining Your Fitness Lifestyle
Meditation is the Key to Renewing Your Mind
The Power to Get Wealth
Try Prayer Power
How to Use Faith in Healing
Expect the Best and Get It
Make Your Way Prosperous
It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
It’s hard to tell who’s who, isn’t it?
Well…I sort of deceived you. They’re all from Christian books. Need I say more? They could be any other book on business, wealth, love, sex, health, or being a giant corporate tool, just with some magic Jesus fairy dust sprinkled in for good measure.
Oh, and that last chapter title? That was from Jon and Kate, of Jon and Kate Plus Eight idiocy, whom I also mentioned two weeks ago, not knowing a book had been published with their pictures on it. I think it came out last year, when they were on top of the world and their bank account was overflowing and were willing to give Jesus some half-hearted credit. Obviously “it” could now definitely get better than this. Step one: resist the urge to sell out your family, and keep your lives to yourselves, because no one cares. Step two: preserve your marriage and your dignity.
Look at that advice I just busted out. I’m so awesome, I should write a self help book! It would be called Unlocking the Secret Keys to Find the Steps to Making Self Help Books Work for You.
You know what? Non-Christians aren’t the ones keeping the shelves stocked full of sort-of Christian books…it’s Christians. We have more choices than ever on who we select to teach us, and we go for the stuff that’s barely distinguishable from the tripe that everyone else is reading. If everyone else weren’t flocking to the other self-help books, I might suspect that non-Christians are actually better than Christians at sniffing out hypocrisy and phony righteousness…but, nah, that couldn’t be!
Who’s your favorite Christian teacher right now – the person you most like to go to in between church and Bible readings?