Why is Robert Schuller Still Giving Self-Help Talks?

While Rick Warren has influenced two continents, for better or worse, and Chuck Smith can enjoy the twilight of his life knowing Calvary Chapel is one of America's great Christian quasi-denominations, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller faces the prospect of ending up as Orange County's Aimee Semple McPherson–a flamboyant pastor who profoundly influenced American Christianity down to ridiculously over-the-top pageants but who ultimately became irrelevant and eventually forgotten. His oldest son, Robert A. Schuller, the former heir apparent at Crystal Cathedral, is no longer affiliated, church attendance has been declining for years, and the financial crunch Schuller faces has been so bad that he's looking to sell property on his iconic Garden Grove campus.

Nevertheless, Schuller continues to trek. He continues to give motivational speeches across the country, and last week took him to San Antonio (click on this link to see perhaps the first Schuller picture not showing the reverend sport his trademark massive smile). I'm sure Schuller rakes in mucho moolah for these self-help seminars, and maybe he's putting that money back into Crystal Cathedral Ministries, but still: isn't this the Christian equivalent of fiddling while your city burns? Schuller: Please set your house straight lest Disney buy your campus in the future and create some grotesque theme park…

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