ADVERTISING
 
Monday, February 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Bioethics debate in Europe
Is it OK to terminate a baby because they will have Down's Syndrome?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

I love my life

The gospel we nod to today is something like: believe in yourself. Be authentic. Be you. You’re beautiful. Fulfill your dream.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 04 FEBRUARY 2017 19:50 h GMT+1
Robin williams, love image of Robin William's new clip 'Love My Life'.

Everywhere I go here in Rome – at restaurants, bars, stores – Love My Life is playing. At lunch this week I found myself tapping my feet and humming its catchy melody. It seemed like the usual hit song: “you are wonderful, you are beautiful…” I proceeded to the next bite of my sandwich until I realized: wait a minute. This song is not about the songwriter’s wonderful, beautiful Beloved. It is about exaltation of the Self.



Here’s the chorus:




I love my life

I am powerful

I am beautiful

I am free

I love my life

I am wonderful

I am magical

I am me

I love my life




What a transition. I am used to singing on Sundays something like “You are wonderful, you are beautiful…” – the “you” being God. The songs that usually play in the radio sing something like “You are wonderful, you are beautiful” to the romantic Other. But Robbie Williams’ Love My Life marks a major transition: to an epoch where nothing is more exalted than Myself. “I am magical, I am me, I love my life.” Or take Christina’s Aguilera’s Beautiful from a few years ago:




I am beautiful no matter what they say.

Words can’t bring me down.

I am beautiful in every single way.




I repeat: what a transition. The transcendent Object we exalt in our songs is increasingly not God, or Her, but Me. The gospel we nod to today is something like: believe in yourself. Be authentic. Be you. You’re beautiful. Fulfill your dream.



This shift has major implications. For whatever we exalt to transcendence, whatever we center our lives around, whatever comes to define our decisions, emotions and actions, becomes our functional god. We live to serve it. We live to satisfy its demands. And if such god is not the true God who lays down his life for us, it will crush us.



The novelist David Foster Wallace put it this way:




In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship… The compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship … is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.




It is a pragmatic argument, but it works. No thing can be made God without distorting us in the process. It will melt under the transcendent spotlight, and we will be chained to it. Even the exaltation of the Beloved to our most supreme love – what Ernest Becker called The Romantic Solution - will put an unbearable weight upon a human relationship and lead to disappointment.



And if I am the exalted one? Oh boy, run for cover. There will be self-affirmation, then self-doubt, then sense of superiority toward others, then guilt, then depression, then finger-pointing …



… then the need to exalt frail Me once again.



 



René Breuel is a pastor in Rome. He is editor of Wondering Fair


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - I love my life
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
‘Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible’ ‘Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible’

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Education, reconciliation, media, creation care, poverty, disability… Education, reconciliation, media, creation care, poverty, disability…

About 70 people from diverse evangelical backgrounds met for the Spanish annual Lausanne Movement gathering. They discussed how the church can respond to 10 social challenges in the country.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What mistakes do Christians make in trying to help someone scarred by abuse? What mistakes do Christians make in trying to help someone scarred by abuse?

Counselor Diane Langberg on how to listen to victims well.

 
What historical obstacles do European missionaries need to overcome? What historical obstacles do European missionaries need to overcome?

Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka Ajith Fernando answers the question.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Jerusalem and the Messiah Jerusalem and the Messiah

‘This is the place where the Messiah chose to come, die and... return’. A video produced by Alto Concept.

 
The impact of investigative journalism on the Church The impact of investigative journalism on the Church

Journalistic research is key to help Christians think about the implications of their faith, says Finnish journalist Leif Nummela. 

 
“Who can help me? I want to become a Christian” “Who can help me? I want to become a Christian”

Nikos Stefanidis of ‘Helping Hands’ in Athens (Greece) shares the story of an Afghan lady who decided to follow Jesus.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.