Norman Vincent Peale, a 33-degree Mason, and his chief disciple, Robert Schuller, kept New Thought alive within mainstream Christianity—so that its tenets are even widely embraced among evangelicals today. Schuller calls Peale “the man who has impacted and influenced my thinking and my theology and my life more than any other living person….” Peale borrowed from Fillmore the phrase “Positive Thinking” (that made Peale famous) and credited Holmes with making him into a positive thinker.
Charles S. Braden’s definitive work on New Thought identifies Norman Vincent Peale as the one mad “through whose ministry essentially New Thought ideas and techniques have been made known most widely in America.” Peale continually spoke of the universe as “mental,” of God as “energy,” and of “prayer” as the scientific technique for releasing God-energy according to definite “laws.” The following statements reveal Peale’s basic Science of Mind teaching:
“The world you live in is mental and not physical. Change your thought and you change everything.
“Your unconscious mind…[has a] power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough.
“Who is God? Some theological being…? God is energy. As you breathe God in, as you visualize His energy, you will be reenergized!
“Prayer power is a manifestation of energy. Just as there exist scientific techniques for the release of atomic energy, so there are scientific procedures for the release of spiritual energy through the mechanism of prayer…. New and fresh spiritual techniques are being constantly discovered…experiment with prayer power.
“Prayer…is a procedure by which spiritual power flows from God…releases forces and energies…and brings many other astounding results. As in any skill or science one must learn step by step the formula for opening the circuit and receiving this power.
“Any method through which you can stimulate the power of God to flow into your mind is legitimate…[any] scientific use of prayer….”