The Secret

Does the popular book contain any biblical truth?

Q: Does the popular book The Secret, promoted on Oprah's television show, contain any biblical truth?

A. My seminary professors used to tell me that if we look hard enough, we'll discover redemptive elements that illustrate biblical truth in all good film and literature. For instance, Harper Lee's classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, emphasizes the inherent dignity of humankind regardless of skin color. Even pop culture's quintessential joker, actor Jack Black, emphasizes the importance of inner beauty over physical beauty in his cinematic comedy Shallow Hal.

The Secret, a presumptuously titled bestseller by Rhonda Byrne, is no exception: Her book contains a few positive—some would even argue sound—ideas, such as an emphasis on gratitude. However, the "secret" of The Secret—its "Law of Attraction"—isn't even close to the biblical concept of gratitude.

Wallace D. Wattles originally conceived the Law of Attraction in his 1910 manual, The Science of Getting Rich. This "law" asserts we have the power to persuade the universe to do whatever we want; that we can essentially manipulate our circumstances simply through changing our thoughts. If we visualize ourselves as slender, we'll "attract" a svelte body to ourselves. Conversely, if some chunky chick walks into our line of vision, we need to look away; otherwise chubby thoughts will "attract" cellulite to us. If only I'd known I could squeeze back into my skinny jeans by conjuring up images of Jessica Alba. Instead of working out,

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