Identity and the Worship of Self

Identity is everywhere. We can hardly read an article in the news or watch a show on TV without encountering it. Identity defines our relationship to the world around us, to the other members of our society, and even to our own bodies. “This rapid rise in identity-thinking has caused a somewhat tense interaction with the Christian church,” says Matthew Roberts. “From the secular perspective, it has reinforced the assumption that Christians are just an irrelevance swept aside by the inrush of these new insights, featuring (if at all) as just one identity-group, and one for whom not much sympathy is spared. From Christians, it has been greeted with a combination of alarm at the outlandish new doctrines identity politics presents (gender fluidity in particular) and an assumption that there is a lot of new thinking for us to do to make sure that people of different identities are equally offered the gospel and (to a varying extent) included in the church.” So what are Christians to do? How are we to think about modern notions of identity? That is the subject of Roberts’ new book Pride: Identity and the Worship of Self. “The conviction that underlies this book,” he explains, “is that, rather than being a new challenge to the Christian faith, the identity issue is, in fact, a very old one. Men have always identified themselves by their idols, and so the issue of identity is fundamentally one of idolatry.” Key to understanding the book is his use of the word “Pride.” He … Continue reading Identity and the Worship of Self