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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Robert H. Schuller: Controversy continues

Crystal Cathedral  (Photo by Buchanan-Hermit)
Recent announcements about the Crystal Cathedral have been somewhat controversial.  Controversy, however, is nothing new to Robert H. Schuller.  It seems that he’s been successfully bucking the tide practically all of his life. reports that when Schuller was fairly young, a tornado destroyed his parents’ home and farm.  Although eight other nearby farms were also destroyed, the Schullers were the only ones to rebuild on the devastated site.  While on summer leave from Hope College, Robert helped his father to dismantle and reassemble a replacement house that they had bought. By summer’s end, the Schullers once again had a home on their land, and Robert was able to begin studies at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.

Although Western Theological Seminary is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America and Schuller was ordained as a Reformed Church minister, some say that he later strayed quite far from his theological roots.  Wendy Goubej, in an article titled Robert Schuller’s Distorted Doctrine, claims that Schuller finds sermons to be “offensive” because they often “imply indoctrination more than education.”  She also claims that Schuller has been more concerned with catering to “people’s psychological and emotional needs” than with preaching “God’s Word.”  Goubej then adds that Schuller is overly ecumenical, as well as New Age in some of his beliefs. presents transcript highlights from a 1992 discussion between Michael Horton and Robert Schuller.  According to, Dr. Michael S. Horton “has taught apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California since 1998,” and is a well-known scholar of “Reformation theology in American Christianity.”  Here is a controversial excerpt from that discussion:

RS:  If we want to win people to Jesus we have to understand where they are at.  MH:  I agree absolutely.  And they are in sin, that is where they are at.  RS:  They are in the state of condition called sin which means they don’t trust.  They are lacking faith.  MH:  I guess the difference would be our definition of sin, because what I see in scripture is that we’re dead in sin and cannot respond to God even if we are trusting.


Copyright March 13, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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