19.4.12

The 'Therapeutic' and the 'Psalm-ic'

Today I read:

"The contemporary climate is therapeutic, not religious. People today hunger not for personal salvation, let alone for the restoration of an earlier golden age, but for the feeling, the momentary illusion, of personal well-being, health, and psychic security."

So wrote Christopher Lasch in his 1979 book The Culture of Narcissism. It has, perhaps, never been more true than now in 2012.(1)

Today I also read: 
...
The length of our days is seventy years-- or eighty, if we have the strength;
yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of your anger?
For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.

...
         - Psalm 90:10-15 (2)  
Having read both I simply cannot imagine how they might coincide in a single person. It seems utterly impossible that one should pray Psalm 90, requesting God to make them glad for the days in exactly the same sentence as they acknowledge that those days are an affliction and a trouble, and yet also bow to the therapeutic mindset of our age.  One cannot seek the joy of the Lord and also the worlds promises of 'happiness and well-being,' defined as they are in the world. They are contradictory.

Still, how many Christians fall prey to the way of the world in just this area? 






(1) For the record: I read this in The Way of the (Modern) World by Craig Gay, pg. 182
(2) For the record: I read the whole Psalm; you should to :)
(3) For the record: The phrase "for the record" in reference to a blog which will undoubtedly be soon lost to the mists of time seems pretentious in the extreme. In the words of my son Ethan: "I like it." 
  

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