Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Gregg A. Ten Elshof’s self-help text, I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life, serves a mountain of mental meat to digest. In a series of personal experiences, analogies, and parables, Elshof dives into untapped areas of struggle for mature Christians. Always a professional, Elshof is the first to admit his faults before attacking those same issues his readers may struggle with, and offers realistic solutions and hard-hitting truths. The material is heavy and, at times, hard to grasp (with a definite aim toward an adult audience).
Elshof is talented in artfully weaving Scripture verses into his writings, using them liberally and consistently. Rarely does a chapter pass without three or four biblical references followed by scriptural examples.
However, I Told Me So is not without its faults. Readers may be offended by crude abbreviations quoted in the book, as well as bothered by repetitive opening chapters. Sentence variation is sparse, and some words become overused. The book also takes a little more time getting to the solutions, focusing more than four chapters on describing the plague of self-deception when a single chapter would have been adequate.
Yet, even with its blemishes, I Told Me So is a powerful book that forces the readers to analyze themselves honestly and to cast away the lies they may have been holding onto. Elshof eagerly wishes for his readers to develop a stronger and more intimate relationship with Christ, and mature Christians from any denomination could find growth in his book. The author is relatable, sincere, and open, making this book an enjoyable text in spite of a few trouble spots. – Nan Johnson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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.