ADVERTISING
 
Friday, February 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

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

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

POLL
Is the sexual exploitation of women an issue in your city?




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
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
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.

 
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. 

 
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".

 
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.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
A marriage story A marriage story

The  great love story for everyone.

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
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.