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Catherine Marshall details Optimistic Humanism

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  • Catherine Marshall details Optimistic Humanism

    Without realizing what was happening, most of us gradually came to take for granted the premises underlying the philosophy of optimism. We proceeded to live these propositions, though we would not have stated them as blandly as I set them forth here:

    Man is inherently good.

    Individual man can carve out his own salvation with the help of education and society through progressively better government.

    Reality and values worth searching for lie in the material world that science is steadily teaching us to analyze, catalogue, and measure.

    While we do not deny the existence of inner values, we relegate them to second place.

    The purpose of life is happiness, [which] we define in terms of enjoyable activity, friends, and the accumulation of material objects.

    The pain and evil of life -- such as ignorance, poverty, selfishness, hatred, greed, lust for power – are caused by factors in the external world; therefore, the cure lies in the reforming of human institutions and the bettering of environmental conditions.

    As science and technology remove poverty and lift from us the burden of physical existence, we shall automatically become finer persons, seeing for ourselves the value of living the Golden Rule.

    In time, the rest of the world will appreciate the demonstration that the American way of life is best. They will then seek for themselves the good life of freedom and prosperity. This will be the greatest impetus toward an end of global conflict.

    The way to get along with people is to beware of religious dictums and dogma. The ideal is to be a nice person and to live by the Creed of Tolerance.

    Thus we offend few people. We live and let live. This is the American Way.
    ... Catherine Marshall, Beyond Ourselves [1961]

  • #2
    There's one big problem with that, Glen, isn't there? (Rhetorical question.) Christ came not to bring peace on earth, but a sword.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Baruch View Post
      There's one big problem with that, Glen, isn't there? (Rhetorical question.) Christ came not to bring peace on earth, but a sword.
      There is more than one big problem with the description of optimistic humanism provided by Catherine Marshall.
      Each line, all ten of them, are intended to ridicule optimistic humanism when set against the teachings of the Bible.

      Comment


      • #4
        Her teaching is not from God at all. But it is from the father of lies.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
          Her teaching is not from God at all. But it is from the father of lies.

          Catherine Marshall first came to national prominence after the death of her husband, Peter Marshall, a native of Scotland who was a well-known Presbyterian minister and preacher in the United States as well as Chaplain of the United States Senate. She wrote a memoir about him, A Man Called Peter, which became a best-seller.

          She was the daughter of the Reverend John Ambrose Wood and Leonora Whitaker Wood. Her father served as pastor of a Presbyterian church.

          Catherine Marshall wrote this about her criticism of the federal government, the judicial system, and the institutional church.
          My own character flaw here is not going to be corrected overnight. But in thinking this problem through the past few days, I find the most solid scriptural basis possible for dealing with it. (The Greek word translated “judge” in King James, becomes “criticize” in Moffatt.) All through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus sets Himself squarely against our seeing other people and life situations through this negative lens. (the negative lens of criticism)
          What He is showing me so far can be summed up as follows:
          2. A critical spirit blocks the positive creative thoughts God longs to give us.
          3. A critical spirit can prevent good relationships between individuals and often produces retaliatory criticalness.
          4. Criticalness blocks the work of the Spirit of God: love, good will, mercy.
          5. Whenever we see something genuinely wrong in another person’s behavior, rather than criticize him or her directly, or—for worse—gripe about him behind his back, we should ask the Spirit of God to do the correction needed.
          Convicted of the true destructiveness of a critical mind-set, on my knees I am repeating this prayer: “Lord, I repent of this sin of judgment. I am deeply sorry for having committed so gross an offense against You and against myself so continually. I claim Your promise of forgiveness and seek a new beginning.”

          I am interested to know which of these published works by Catherine Marshall have you read and what is it about her teaching which “is not from God at all. But it is from the father of lies” as you put it?
          • A Closer Walk (co-author)
          • A Man Called Peter
          • Adventures in Prayer
          • Beyond Our Selves
          • Catherine Marshall's Story Bible
          • Catherine Marshall's Storybook for Children
          • Christy
          • Footprints in the Snow
          • Friends with God
          • God Loves You
          • Heart of Peter Marshall's Faith
          • John Doe, Disciple
          • Julie
          • Let's Keep Christmas
          • Light in my Darkest Night
          • Meeting God at Every Turn
          • Mr. Jones, Meet the Master (co-author)
          • Moments that Matter
          • My Personal Prayer Diary
          • Prayers of Peter Marshall
          • Quiet Times with Catherine Marshall
          • Something More
          • The Best of Catherine Marshall
          • The Best of Peter Marshall
          • The Collected Works of Catherine Marshall
          • The First Easter (co-author)
          • The Helper
          • The Inspirational Writings of Catherine Marshall
          • To Live Again

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by glen smith View Post
            Without realizing what was happening, most of us gradually came to take for granted the premises underlying the philosophy of optimism. We proceeded to live these propositions, though we would not have stated them as blandly as I set them forth here:

            Man is inherently good.

            Individual man can carve out his own salvation with the help of education and society through progressively better government.

            Reality and values worth searching for lie in the material world that science is steadily teaching us to analyze, catalogue, and measure.

            While we do not deny the existence of inner values, we relegate them to second place.

            The purpose of life is happiness, [which] we define in terms of enjoyable activity, friends, and the accumulation of material objects.

            The pain and evil of life -- such as ignorance, poverty, selfishness, hatred, greed, lust for power – are caused by factors in the external world; therefore, the cure lies in the reforming of human institutions and the bettering of environmental conditions.

            As science and technology remove poverty and lift from us the burden of physical existence, we shall automatically become finer persons, seeing for ourselves the value of living the Golden Rule.

            In time, the rest of the world will appreciate the demonstration that the American way of life is best. They will then seek for themselves the good life of freedom and prosperity. This will be the greatest impetus toward an end of global conflict.

            The way to get along with people is to beware of religious dictums and dogma. The ideal is to be a nice person and to live by the Creed of Tolerance.

            Thus we offend few people. We live and let live. This is the American Way.
            ... Catherine Marshall, Beyond Ourselves [1961]
            Lou wrote:
            Her teaching is not from God at all. But it is from the father of lies.
            I did not say all of her life's work was from the father of lies; but I was stating that her work that you quoted was not from God. I have not read her work and have no interest in reading it. I trusted that you did not misquote her.

            Man is inherently good.
            - this is a lie from Satan. Man is a sinner that needs to confess his sin and be forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Any philosophy that is based on this lie is basic humanism. The answer is not in man. Man is the problem. Jesus alone is the answer. There is no answer outside of The Lord Jesus.

            Comment


            • #7
              The quote is not Catherine Marshall's teaching.
              Reading her quote carefully reveals it is sarcasm.
              Post #3 clearly stated her quotes are intended to ridicule optimistic humanism and not to praise it.
              Inadvertently, a godly woman has been wrongly slandered.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by glen smith View Post
                The quote is not Catherine Marshall's teaching.
                Reading her quote carefully reveals it is sarcasm.
                Post #3 clearly stated her quotes are intended to ridicule optimistic humanism and not to praise it.
                Inadvertently, a godly woman has been wrongly slandered.
                Sorry Glen and Catherine. I came to a similar notion as Lou, that the original post was Catherine's teaching. Not knowing who she is, it's easy to see how this was a natural conclusion. Some kind of introduction would have helped. I really had to scrutinize how you presented it to understand how we went wrong on this. Meant as constructive feedback, brother.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And now that I understand the pivotal facts of posts #1 and #3, I recognize the ten items are intentionally constructed to demonstrate their opposition to Biblical teaching.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Baruch View Post

                    Sorry Glen and Catherine. I came to a similar notion as Lou, that the original post was Catherine's teaching. Not knowing who she is, it's easy to see how this was a natural conclusion. Some kind of introduction would have helped. I really had to scrutinize how you presented it to understand how we went wrong on this. Meant as constructive feedback, brother.
                    I agree with Barry on this Glen. It was not clear and I certainly did not understand what you quoted was not her teaching.

                    Comment

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