Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WWJT (What Would Jesus Think?) -Book Review: "Think and Make It Happen" by Dr. Augusto Cury

I was cautiously optimistic about this book. I was hopeful, as a Christian Writer, a major in Psychology, and follower of Christ, that this book would finally build a bridge between Psychology and Christianity which has remained a great divide. “Think and Make It Happen,” by Dr. Augusto Cury, delivered nuggets of psychological wisdom and expected disappointment. In the words of Dr. Cury, “when faith begins, science is mute. Faith transcends logic.” although this was probably the best attempt at building the bridge between the two, there were many structural problems with the bridge.

I will start by saying that this is not a book for the “average reader.” It is mostly written for a “well educated” mind that is able to comprehend the basics of psychology. The first half of the book frustrated me as a person of faith in Jesus as the Son of God. The author seemed to set the stage by stating in the introduction, “Unfortunately, history has focused almost exclusively on Jesus’ divinity to the exclusion of his humanity.” But, a true Scientist’s investigation will continue to question until a conclusion is drawn- very simply put, you cannot investigate and analyze Jesus the man, without also addressing His divinity. (or claims of divinity)- to leave it out is like leaving out a piece of the puzzle. You can’t psychoanalyze Jesus without addressing His complete mind and all of His thinking, which included His claims to be the Son of God. There are gleams of hope for the Christian reader in statements like, “He (Jesus) relieved fear and produced inner consolation in a way that psychology and psychiatry cannot do.” Dr. Cury goes on to state, “Science is silent in the face of faith.”

I will go on to describe some of the greater issues I had with this book. The greatest problem is that it is not based on Biblically sound doctrine. After reading, with a hopeful heart, I was confused by Max Lucado’s endorsement that says, Dr. Cury’s analysis of the human personality of Jesus is “extraordinarily revealing” and sheds “new light” on why Jesus has influenced history more than anyone else. Truly, there is nothing in this book that is “extraordinarily revealing” and there is certainly nothing that “sheds new light” on Jesus’ influence on the world. We have the Bible, remember? I would like to better understand Pastor Lucado’s endorsement.

For instance, Dr. Cury addresses the idea in Principle #1 that says, “Be the author of your own story.” He claims that this is exactly what Jesus did; when in fact, based on Biblical History and in the words of Jesus himself, Jesus did not write His own story. According to John 4:34, John 8:28, John 6:38 and many other verses I could name, Jesus did the will of His Father. He lived a surrendered life and we see this clearly in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus says, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Another problem that I see from a Psychological standpoint is that Dr. Cury gives us twelve principles by which to increase our quality of life and the life of others, but if we look at the life of Jesus, and His thinking, He was focused on the life to come-eternal life. He had a thinking pattern that was based on Truth - God’s Word. His mind was fed on the Truth. “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:4 We cannot live by a set of principles that has no basis of truth. If you follow a “psychological” pattern of thinking, it becomes a moving target. Dr. Cury talks about “reediting” your life, but you are only “reediting” based upon your own or others’ human perspectives, not God’s; which is why Jesus said that man should live on the Word of God- it is never changing. (Hebrews 13:8) Living by a set of principles made by man only sets a person up for failure at some point.

Jesus clearly had his mind focused on the will of His Father and the Word which was His basis for living AND thinking. He clearly stated that “I am not of this world (John 8:23), I and the Father are one (John 10:30), the Son of Man can do nothing by himself (John 5:19). Neither can we as humans “recreate or reedit” a life that God has created and ordained. It is a dangerous road to masterfully create one’s own plans and purposes when the Master Creator has clearly said that there is a secret to your life He has given you: In John 14:20, Jesus says, “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” He is saying that in the same way that the Father is at work in Him, He will work in and through you. It is a supernatural power that enabled Christ to think the way He did and to live the way He did. And if we are to “follow Him,” we must do so, by surrendering to the will of God and feeding on His every Word.

Without dragging this review on any more than I already have, I have tried to explain SOME the holes that exist in this book. Although I believe there are words of wisdom to live a better quality of life, I am reminded of the words of N.T. Wright, “If you think of helping people to improve their social, cultural and societal lot in the present world, you have nothing to say.” My prayer is that non believers will be pointed to the man, Jesus, and be led to know Him better, for who He really was, fully man and fully God. (John 1:1) I cannot help but wonder, as we try to place Jesus in a box of human understanding, “What would Jesus think?”


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I am so blessed that you would take the time to share your thoughts with me! You encourage my faith and I pray that God will fill you to the full with His love, mercy,and grace! With joy, Cherie

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