I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life

By Bassett, Rod | Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life


Bassett, Rod, Journal of Psychology and Christianity


I TOLD ME SO: SELF-DECEPTION AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. Gregg A. Ten Elshof. (2009). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Pb. Pp. 158, $15.00.

A recent meta-analysis in Personality and Social Psychology Review on religiousness and self-enhancement piqued my interest regarding this title. The book is an easy read appropriate for professionals and lay folks alike. The essential thesis of the book is that fallen individuals often avoid the hard work of good action and good character but reap the good feelings associated with such work and action by deceiving themselves. If we can think of ourselves as good and worthy, without doing the hard work of good and worthy, then we may seem to be in the best of all possible worlds. Self-deception allows us to enter this 'best of all possible worlds.' The author goes on to argue that people may be rather blind to this tendency (in themselves) because we live in a culture of authenticity (making self-deception an especially egregious sin that we are loath to identify with ourselves).

The author goes on to argue that we are most likely to self-deceive in areas where we are emotionally invested. For example, I tend to be brazenly honest about my lack of baseball skills (because I don't care one twit about baseball). However, I may be much more likely to deceive when it comes to the Fruit of the Spirit (because I do care deeply about following Jesus Christ).

Chapters three and four lay out five examples of self-deception: attention management, procrastination, perspective switching, rationalization, and ressentiment. Each example is delineated and then embellished through real life examples. Many of those real life examples come from the life of the author and many of them hit embarrassingly close to home. For example, there is procrastination. Like the author, I have heard more than one persuasive communication encouraging me to give to a very worthy cause. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.