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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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  176 Ratings  ·  34 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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Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
My wife brought this book home for me having picked it up from the random variety of the sale trolley at the local library. I'm not sure if she was trying to say something. The title was not the most enticing: 'I Told Me So: Self-deception and the Christian life', but it had a foreword by Dallas Willard so it gained admittance to my reading list and I put it on my shelf where it sat for more than a couple of years.

Recently I was reading 'You Are What You Love' by James K A Smith and some things
Meshach Kanyion
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my first intentional appointment with the subject of self-deception. Honestly, the only reason I read it was because I am a huge Dallas Willard fan, and I noticed that he wrote the foreword. Having read it, I must say that I am intrigued by the subject, and a bit shocked that it is not dealt with by more authors. Ten Elshof, though a philosopher, writes in a manner that is easy to understand, and he uses concrete examples to explain what might be difficult for some. One example of this i ...more
Jonathan Schwab
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A challenging, thoughtful, and hopeful book. Ten Elshof discusses how people in general, and Christians in particular, construct their self-image, and how believers can use that knowledge to pursue maturity.
Luke Magnuson
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-faith
A thought provoking and insightful little book on self-deception. At times he lapses into Christianese that I found more annoying than helpful, but overall I enjoyed the book. In particular, his description of "the deal" we take when we deceive ourselves is something that will stick with me.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A profound challenging and thought provoking book.
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, adult
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
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book that served to remind me quite a bit of how dangerous and prevalent self-deception is in the Christian life and how much we need to watch out for it in our own lives. This book had everything: it was short, sweet, and to the point. And man was it convicting. It forced me to wrestle again with my own mind's tendency to get me to believe just what I want to believe instead of honestly pursuing the truth, and reminded me of all the techniques I will tend to accomplish th ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A brief and fine book on self deception in general and particularly the religious kind, that believers tell themselves and one another. "By means of procrastination and attention management, then, we find our way out of the pursuit of perfection which characterizes the great ones in the way of Jesus Christ. We convince ourselves perfection isn't the goal.... and the predictable result is a church full of Christians whose lives are indistinguishable (or worse) from the lives of their non-Christia ...more
Johannes Ardiant
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Rev Ricky
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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