There is More to the Secret was written by Ed Gungor as a “critical examination” of Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret. He takes a more positive approach toward this book than I did in my book review of The Secret (which you can read in this issue) . Although, he does say, “I’m an apprentice of Jesus Christ, and though I am a fan of Rhonda Byrne and her team’s treatment of the law of attraction, I am a critical fan.”
He states his intention is to expand on the good things The Secret has to say and also “talk about the problems.”
Ed Gungor defines the law of attraction : “Everything coming into your life is the result of what you have been attracting to your life.” He points out that God did give us control over our lives. For instance, “A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:6) He gives some examples of the law of attraction at work: smiles attract smiles; meanness attracts meanness.
In pointing out one of the problems, the author reminds us: “We don’t use the law of attraction in a vacuum--there are other players, other forces in motion.” He asks, “What about the abuse and murder of children? Did the victims “imagine” and “attract” those things to themselves? The Secret oversimplifies the concept ‘that we attract everything that happens to us.’”
He also asks, “What about God? Supporters of today’s practice of the law of attraction are almost silent about him.” The author continues to give his opinion of how the law of attraction works as a part of God’s plan for each individual and how The Secret ignores that plan. This is just in the first chapter of There is More to the Secret called “Gods and Genies.”
In the second chapter, “Thoughts Become Things,” Ed Gungor explores some of what the Bible teaches about the importance of taking “hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:4-5) He reminds us that our thoughts do affect our lives in good or bad ways. If we change our thought pattern, we can experience changed lives even without believing in and following Jesus Christ. We can have better lives now when we work in harmony with the laws God set in motion. He refers to this as “common grace.” But unless we turn back to the God who made us, this temporary physical life is all we’ll have. He calls this “redemptive grace.”
The point Ed Gungor seems to be making is: Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret has some good principles which Christians should not dismiss simply because they are not cradled within the gospel of Jesus Christ. But he also warns, “The Secret becomes a dark secret when it creates a culture of Bruce Almightys who use it solely to get whatever they want to get, without so much as a hint that what they “want” may be hurtful to, or even displace, someone else around them.”
“If you don’t realize that there is more to the law of attraction than getting what you want, whenever you want it, you will be reduced to living in a world of fantasy and manipulation-- the concept becomes dark indeed.”
The back cover notes of There is More to the Secret asks, “Is it possible to believe in both God and the law of attraction?” Ed Gungor’s book explains how he is able to answer “yes” to that question. He believes the popularity of The Secret is an expression of the deep spiritual longing people have for God. He is hopeful that those who have a spiritual hunger will keep seeking until they find the real, the true secret, Jesus.
Although Ed Gungor does not use a combative tone in his examination of The Secret, he does explain in clear detail some of the dangers in only doing what is “fun” or only indulging in whatever or whoever brings us “joy.” He does scold Christians who totally dismiss The Secret (the law of attraction): “just because an idea is new to us doesn’t mean it is wrong--nor does it mean that all that is said about it is right either.” He defends the author, Rhonda Byrne, and her team for bringing this “law of attraction” into public awareness. I personally feel that Christians are right to attack the distorted ideas in The Secret.
In Chapter Six “How Christians Should Use the Law of Attraction,” the author explains the biblical perspective of serving and giving rather than grabbing and accumulating stuff. He suggests Christians use “the power of visualization and the law of attraction for the glory of God and the advancement of his kingdom.”
I am uncomfortable with Ed Gungor’s use of scriptures and his reasoning in coming to the conclusion that a Christian ought to use “the law of attraction.” The Christian who has faith in God’s grace, provision, guidance, and relies on God’s unfailing love has no need to “work” the law of attraction to live a life pleasing to God. Trust and Obey is still the best model for Christian living. God promises to provide whatever is needed to those who put seeking his kingdom as their first priority in life. He frees us from the worry of survival and the seductiveness of striving for more stuff to seek the more important things of life.
The main value of Ed Gungor’s book There is More to the Secret is in revealing some of the problems with The Secret authored by Rhonda Byrne. If you have already read The Secret, I would recommend reading There is More to the Secret by Ed Gungor. If you haven’t read either one, I would recommend reading your Bible more instead. Then obey the teachings of Jesus which have lasting value.
I will end by giving Ed Gungor the last
word. He says, “Being a Christ-follower challenges a life committed to
self. Christianity begins with a poverty of spirit, not with a false puffing
up of one’s own self-worth. Our goal is not to live big, grabbing all we
can for ourselves. Our goal is to trust God to live big in us as we give
ourselves for the good of others--especially those less fortunate than