Anne Kennedy was bemused to find Rachel Hollis’ best-selling book, Girl, Wash Your Face, in the Christian living section of the bookstore next to the Bibles. Hollis describes herself as a Christian but her self-help advice is anything but Christian, Kennedy believes.
“She does mention Christianity and her faith in Jesus but in terms of the book itself, there’s really nothing that would distinguish it from any other kind of self-help thing that’s on the market and there’s lots of them. She quotes some Bible verses but she doesn’t really rely on a Christian worldview at all to motivate behavior,” Kennedy, author of Nailed It: 365 Sarcastic Devotions for Angry and Worn-Out People, said on a recent Christian Research Institute podcast.
The 2018 book, published by Thomas Nelson, has so far sold over 3.5 million copies and propelled her career as a motivational speaker and blogger among women, including Christians. She has another book out this year, titled Girl, Stop Apologizing.
Hollis is the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher and grew up in Weedpatch, California. She described what she does to The New York Times as “preaching.”
“In the church I grew up in, or honestly in any church I’ve gone to, the pastor always is using stories from their real life to illustrate a point to you. So that is what I do,” the popular mother of four explained.
Kennedy believes her popularity soared due to her relatability — showing both the messy and the amazing parts of her life — and her brilliance in marketing. She summed up Hollis’ main message as: don’t be a victim, you owe it to yourself to reach your potential, and when you do you’ll be happy.
“It’s a very American middle-class idea that you would have potential that you would live into,” Kennedy noted. “That’s not a Christian idea at all. It doesn’t take into account actual sin, it doesn’t take into account evil of any kind, it doesn’t take into account the wide variety of human ability and circumstance.
“This sort of utopian idea that every single person could be a butterfly if they just tried really hard is just not grounded in reality. There’s no sin and so there’s no redemption. There’s just a lot of hard work for the individual.”
Kennedy admitted she did find Hollis’ advice — though “generic” — to be helpful considering she herself is not a particularly motivated person.
“It was helpful to have her repeat over and over that I’m not a victim of my circumstances, that I can make positive change in my own life to make things better,” she noted.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sheryl Lynn