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I Told Me So
Self-Deception and the Christian Life
PAPERBACK; Published: 6/22/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6411-6
Price: $ 16.99
160 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.25
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Think you've ever deceived yourself? Then this book is for you.
Think you've
never deceived yourself? Then this book is really for you.

Scripture is peppered with talk of self-deception and its poisonous effects on the pursuit of holy living. Christians in the past thought long and hard about the ways we deceive ourselves. They called on self-deception to explain a wide range of problems in Christian experience. Strangely, though, self-deception has all but disappeared from our consciousness today. We rarely admit to the possibility of deceiving ourselves in any area of our lives.

In I Told Me So Gregg Ten Elshof reintroduces readers to self-deception and offers an explanation for its recent neglect in Christian thought. He describes conditions that tempt us to deceive ourselves and points out where they exist in contemporary Christian life. He explains the most successful strategies we use in self-deception and offers practical advice on how to confront and eliminate them. But readers will be surprised to discover that self-deception isn't always such a bad thing. Ten Elshof shows how sometimes it can even be a useful, God-given gift.

Honest and incisive, consistently wise and frequently funny, I Told Me So offers fresh insights on how we deceive ourselves and smart strategies to combat the deceiver in all of us.

"Ten Elshof's discussions are erudite, biblical, searching, and laced with soul-restoring wisdom. All of this together means that this book is solidly pastoral. What it brings to us is appropriate to individuals, but it especially belongs in the context of small groups and local congregations."
-- Dallas Willard (from the foreword)


EPS Blog Interview -- Part One

EPS Blog Interview -- Part Two

Christianity Today, Winner, Christian
David Naugle
— Dallas Baptist University, author of Reordered Love, Reordered Lives
"In this wise, well-crafted work Ten Elshof helps us to identify, evaluate, and respond to our own self-deceptive strategies, as he probes — with occasional self-deprecation and unavoidable humor — the bottomless mysteries of the human heart. His reflections on interpersonal self-deception and 'groupthink' are especially helpful. To tell me the truth, I'm glad I read this book. You will be too — I promise."
James K. A. Smith
— Calvin College, author of The Devil Reads Derrida
"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. Most provocatively, he suggests this is not all bad! While naming its temptations, Ten Elshof also offers a 'strange celebration' of self-deception as a gracious gift. In the tradition of Dallas Willard, I Told Me So is a wonderful example of philosophy serving spiritual discipline. A marvelous, accessible and, above all, wise book."