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I Told Me So: The Role of Self-deception in Christian Living
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I Told Me So: The Role of Self-deception in Christian Living

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Think youve ever deceived yourself? Then this book is for you. / Think youve never deceived yourself? Then this book is really for you. / Socrates famously asserted that the unexamined life is not worth living. But Gregg Ten Elshof shows us that we make all sorts of little deals with ourselves every day in order to stave off examination and remain happily self-deceived. Mo...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published April 15th 2009)
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Jo
Our culture has so elevated the importance of authenticity that we have become unwilling (ironically) to admit that self-deception plays a role in almost all of our lives. Ten Elshof looks the methods that we use--without even knowing it--to keep ourselves in the dark about our true selves so that we don't have to face the often crippling reality of our failings.

I was so pleasantly surprised by how insightful this book turned out to be. I picked it up thinking that it might be a pretty dry look...more
Rev Ricky
I Told Me So provokes thought and good self-reflection. The author writes carefully and builds a convincing case.

Strengths: we all know that self-deception rules the human heart. We see it in everyone around us, and if we are honest we know it must live in us too. He shows how deception works and the tools we use to feed our deceptive views of ourselves.

Weaknesses: I thought he could have gone much further with prescriptions of how to fight self-deception. Like the typical Christian book, he u...more
Johannes Ardiant
First, I have lots and lots of belief.
Second, I believe that some of my beliefs are false.
We have been wrong many times. Moreover, there are many beliefs we haven’t so much considered them for ages. So there are false beliefs swimming around in our consciousness somewhere or the other.

Third, It’s fairly likely that I don’t believe all of the things I think I believe. Thus, how do I know that I really believe in the things I think I believe?

Perhaps you've been living deceiving yourself all this t...more
Charity
As a philosophy dabbler, I kept reading....hoping the author's methodical uncovering of how we self-deceive would eventually stop and he'd provide the counterbalance.
He did, that's the good news.
The bad news is that there are plenty of arguments he did not cover in the first section (for philosophy dabblers), and there is plenty to feel bad about, and I don't know if he would be sufficiently encouraging to many readers in his 2nd half (which was te encouraging section).
All in all, it was a good...more
Colin
Loved this one. My friend Rob from NieuCommunities recommended it to me (don't really know what to think about that, but I'll try not to read into it too much) and I'm glad he did. Ten Elshof goes into several facets of how we commonly arrange our thoughts and sharpen our senses regarding what will be the most appealing version of reality, using tactics such as perspective switching, rationalization, and ressentiment ("re-ordering of the sentiments. We adjust our affections, sentiments, and valu...more
Jenny
I haven't read much non-fiction lately, but I am profoundly grateful to Denise for bringing this book into my field of vision. How does someone write a book on self-deception and not sound overly humble or overly guilt-tripping? TenElsoff does a fantastic job and has a wonderful tone. It's not a difficult read, but is not a dumbed down Christian Bookstore staple by any means. I never would've thought to read this book, as "self-deception" isn't a topic that pinged my interest, but the experience...more
Tony
Have to re-read this one. It's one of those.
Barbara
I'm going to demonstrate one of the author's points of caution and say every Christian in today's church should read this.
With kindness Ten Elshof reveals how the culture of the church can affect it's members in a manner that distances them from what they treasure most and how so.
Even as contemporary churches react to what they perceive to be a "self"-righteous church history a new form of pretentiousness develops. This book gently points out these tendencies while inviting no shame.
Chris Weems
Wonderful book that tactfully presents numerous issues that have deception of self at their root. Some are quite obvious issues--some so much so we have completely overlooked them--and some are pertinent problems that do not occur to the vast majority without introspection. He ends with a clear map of how to step out from all the new found problems and also presents possible setbacks in that process so as to avoid them.
Tom Cannon
The value in Ten Elshof's book is as much in what he looks at as much as how he does it. With a brutal degree of honesty he exposes and dissects the number of ways we chronically and effortlessly delude ourselves. Written in an easily accessible/non-technical way.
Rebecca
Good book, although I did struggle a little bit with the philosophy parts. The author writes about how some self-deception is good, and some isn't. He also gives good advice about how to practice good self deception.
Diane
This book deals with self-deception, and the author writes in an interesting and engaging style. However, the book is relatively short and doesn't really engage the subject matter in depth.
James
I came across this title by accident on Amazon and was intrigued by the topic. He doesn't hit all the right notes, but some of the observations and insights are priceless.
Joshua Anderson
Practical and insightful approach to a important topic for Christian discipleship. If you don't think you practice self-deception in your life you should probably read this book.
Tom Buratovich
This book explores the hidden aspects of self-deception. If is a fascinating bit of research. While it could have gone deeper it is a very good introduction to the topic.
Tim
Fantastic. I struggled through the first few chapters but flew through the last several while hoping for more. Looking forward to discussing this with my peeps.

Mr. Pollock
Fantastic. I struggled through the first few chapters but flew through the last several while hoping for more. Looking forward to discussing this with my peeps.
Jim Hale
Smartest and most helpful Christian book I read in 2013, which produced many cringe moments for me. Highly recommended!
Curtis Lillie


As a pastor, I can't see how this isn't a must-read for all Christians trying to find themselves along the Way of Jesus.
Casey
Helpful and thoughtful work on this topic. Leaned more academic than devotional in tone.
Dan Gossett
good book. enjoyed it. insightful.
Joshia
Joshia marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Christine
Christine marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
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