Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: Ego Trip: Rediscovering Grace in a Culture of Self-Esteem


Book Review: Ego Trip: Rediscovering Grace in a Culture of Self-Esteem

By Glynn Harrison

The culture of self-esteem has taken over America, and it is as popular as it is ineffective, according to psychiatrist Glynn Harrison. My guess would be that this book will not be a favorite of most of today’s Christian counselors who, for the most part, have swallowed the self-esteem ideology hook, line and sinker. But dismissing the book out of hand would be a huge mistake, especially for those whose calling in life is helping those that are emotionally suffering.

The author is right that the struggle for significance and self-worth in our lives is what has given the theory of self-esteem a lot of steam (no pun intended) in modern society. From the secular world to the church we are immersed in the ideology that what people need more than anything else is to feel good about themselves.

The complex research that looked for hard evidence that the gospel of self-esteem delivered on its many promises came up empty and Harrison shares the findings; among them that what the culture of self-esteem has actually increased has been selfishness and narcissism.

What our modern society needs (and, yes, our churches too) is a return to sanity in the pursuit of self-realization by giving of themselves selfishly for the good of others. For those that have read the Gospels, that sounds a lot like the message of the Carpenter from Nazareth. Could it be that the solutions that Psychologists and Psychiatrists have been looking for was in the Word of God all along?

Read Harrison’s book with an open mind (and with an open Bible); you will be blessed, and may be able to bless someone else that’s still looking for the right answers in the wrong place.

5/5 Stars

Disclosure: The book was received for free from Net Galley book review program. The program does not require a positive review, only an unbiased one.