Christ and Narcissus: Prayer in a Self-Centered World by Warren McWilliams

By Warren McWilliams

Booklet by way of McWilliams, Warren

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The members of University Baptist Church continue to share their worship and prayers with me. I have dedicated this book to my colleagues in the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service at Oklahoma Baptist University. No one could wish for a better community of faith and scholarship in which to serve. WARREN McWILLIAMS AUGUIE HENRY CHAIR OF BIBLE OKLAHOMA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA Page 11 1 What Would We Gain by Praying? The prayer preceding all prayers is "May it be the real I who speaks.

As a working definition, narcissism refers to an unhealthy preoccupation with self that distorts a person's relationship to God, other people, nature, and himself or herself. Second, we will examine the relationship between Christianity and narcissism. Narcissism is both a rival to Christianity and a view that affects Christians. Our study, then, is a case study in the "Christ and culture" discussion. Third, we will suggest that Christian prayer provides one of the best ways of responding to narcissism.

The second pray-er, Jane, is a suburban homemaker, wife, and mother of four children. She does not see herself as particularly devout, although she and her family do attend church regularly. One night, after the children are asleep, she tells her husband that she realizes how fortunate they are to have such a happy family. Her situation is very similar to Joe's. She prays: "Dear God, thank you for everything. " This time we catch a glimpse of some of the heavenly reaction. The angels are surprised that Jane did not make any requests.

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