Birth of Robert H. Schuller, Founder of International Crystal Cathedral Ministries Hot

Birth of Robert H. Schuller, Founder of International Crystal Cathedral Ministries

Robert H. Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral

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Robert H. Schuller is born in Iowa. Founder of the international Crystal Cathedral Ministries based in Garden Grove, California, he will originally be assigned to start a Dutch Reformed Church in Garden Grove in 1955.

This denomination has few members across the country and he finds only two such families in Garden Grove, so he drops the title "Dutch Reformed" and simply starts the "Garden Grove Community Church."

It becomes famous for the Crystal Cathedral, a massive church with an unique architectural style that Schuller has built in 1981. Financial problems will force Schuller to sell it to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in 2012.

After dropping the "Dutch Reformed" title, Schuller won't stick to orthodox Dutch Reformed doctrines. One of the most famous books of 1950s is Power of Positive Thinking, written by fellow Dutch Reformed minister Vincent Peale. The influence of Peale's ideas will be obvious 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 writes 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 will regard his theology as shallow and others will be dismayed that he often remains silent on important social issues like race, homosexuality and the ordination of women, he will still become enormously successful. Schuller appeals to people through terms they can understand, and he presents an image of someone who is much like themselves.


Crystal Cathedral's Schullers Resign

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