Blessed Are the Cynical by Mark Ellingsen

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Polls report that 73 percent of Americans believe people are born good. Coupled with the narcissistic mandate to "find oneself," our current American ethos has fostered a society of self-absorbed, uninformed, and overly optimistic individuals. At the same time, however, there is a growing sense of dissatisfaction-faced with the imbalance of wealth and declining education and moral standards, Americans are left with the impression that something is wrong. In Blessed are the Cynical, Mark Ellingsen contends that American problems are in fact primarily a function of our naively optimistic view of human nature.

Ellingsen maintains that Augustine's doctrine of original sin has been eclipsed in America's therapeutic, feel-good culture, and shows how this eclipse has degraded politics, education, business, and culture. This timely account shows how a renewal of the principle of original sin can bring America back to its biblical and constitutional roots and help us find fresh ways of addressing our social ills.

Blessed are the Cynical should foster debate among political and social analysts, cultural leaders, and members of the Christian community. It is a fascinating and erudite analysis of American culture that will appeal to socially conscious Americans.


About Mark Ellingsen

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Ellingsen-Asso Prof of Church History, Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.
Published February 1, 2003 by Brazos Press. 208 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Blessed Are the Cynical

Publishers Weekly

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Ellingsen, who teaches church history at the Interdenominational Theological Center, makes a plausible complaint against the narcissism and naïveté pervading American culture today, which

Mar 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Blessed Are the Cynical

Publishers Weekly

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The more difficult problem is contemporary: discerning and explaining how this or that cultural development implicitly denies original sin or stands to be improved by an Augustinian critique.

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ForeWord Reviews

Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love and make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review.

Feb 13 2003 | Read Full Review of Blessed Are the Cynical

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