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The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image [Paperback]

By Jay E. Adams (Author)
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Item description for The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image by Jay E. Adams...

The last 15 years has seen the rise of a powerful and influential movement within the church. Easily identified by labels such as "self-image," "self-esteem," "self-worth," and "self-love," this movement has one common denominator-the emphasis on self. Regardless of religious persuasion, everyone seems to be fighting what they perceive to be a shared enemy: low self-esteem.

Publishers Description

Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Familiar questions in our day and age. But has our search for answers led us too far in the wrong direction: away from our true position in Christ and toward a dangerous emphasis on self?

Recent decades have seen the rise of a powerful and influential movement within the church. Identified by labels such as "self-image," "self-esteem," "self-worth," and "self-love," this movement has one common denominator--the emphasis on self. Regardless of religious persuasion, everyone seems to be fighting what they perceive to be a shared enemy: low self-esteem.

Now well-known biblical counselor and noted author Jay Adams brings much-needed clarification to the area of self-esteem and offers the church and every believer a truly biblical view of self.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Harvest House Publishers
Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1986
Publisher   Harvest House Publishers
ISBN  0890815534  
ISBN13  9780890815533  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jay E. Adams

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jay E. Adams (PhD, University of Missouri) is a former director of advanced studies and professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, as well as a retired pastor. He has written over fifty books on pastoral ministry, preaching, counseling, Bible study, and Christian living. His books include Competent to Counsel, The Christian Counselor s Manual, and Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible."

Jay E. Adams has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Jay Adams Library
  2. Preaching With...
  3. Resources for Biblical Living

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image?

Pass this one by  Aug 23, 2007
An evangelical attempt to lower America's self esteem. Why they want to do this? I can only think that people with low self esteem are more likely to put money in there collection box. People that love themselves in the way God intended won't fall for their ploy.
Helpful although not Biblically rigorous treatment of man-centered positive self esteem  Jul 31, 2005
This book evaluates the Biblical foundation of the "positive self-esteem" movement. The main premise of the position, as presented by the author, is that a person's view of self is essentially the most important thing imaginable. People need to have good feelings about themselves. If anything makes people "feel bad," such as being told they are a sinner by the Bible, then the Bible needs to change (or our understanding of the Bible).

Although the books I dated in the mid-80's, the problem is still with us more than ever, thus I suppose the importance of the topic stressed by the author was quite appropriate. The initial chapter of the book is a hodge-podge survey of popular psychology literature in the 80's, showing clearly the dangerous pattern of how self became the most important word.

I was especially happy to see the author resort to the Scriptures for answers about how to find their value to the Lord. He does cite many verses, and points out a lot of useful insights. But the book does lack a little Scriptural rigor. It is really meant more as an apologetic against the self-esteem movement, and it is not really designed to teach from the Scriptures the really view of self one should derive from the scriptures.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is to see how some Christians have twisted the Scriptures to make it fit to secular man-centered theories. Some of these "Christian" authors have a very poor command of the Scriptures, and Adams should be commended for calling out their errors. This section of the book is a good reminder of the need for sound exegetical principles, and how almost anything can be made to sound palatable if you twist it enough.

This is a quick read and has some helpful points, so for that reason and the treatment of Scripture-twisting I'd recommend it. But I'm still going to search for other books on the topic.
�Just Say No� to Humanistic Self-Esteem Psychbabble!!!  May 28, 2004
Having spent over 9 years in the field of secular psychiatry/psychology, I really appreciate Adams' writings; his focus in placing the Word of God on the level it SHOULD be placed... that of the ultimate authority.

In this little book, Adams shows, from Scripture, how all our needs have been met in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and THIS is where our identity ought to come from.

Self-Esteem & the Bible Don't Mix  Feb 10, 2004
In Jay Adams' book, "The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, & Self-Image," he gets to the point very quickly in the first few pages. He boldly asserts that Bible believing Christians have strange bedfellows when they support the teachings of self-esteem along side unbelievers. He notes that the spread of self-esteem is not only widely accepted and promoted in Christian circles, but parallels the strong emphasis found in everyday society to include liberals and those openly antagonistic toward believers. Pick up any magazine or tune into any talk show and eventually you'll find someone talking about self-esteem. Adams quotes two sources at the opposite end of the theological spectrum to prove his point:
"Self-esteem is... the single greatest need facing the human race today."--Robert Schuller. "If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, I would provide each one of them with a healthy does of self-esteem and personal worth.... I have no doubt that is their greatest need."--James Dobson
To be sure, Adams also notes Anthony Hoekema's criticism of the hymn "At the Cross" where it speaks of "such a worm as I." Hoekema says the hymn conveys an unflattering self-image. (Perhaps that's why it was later changed in some hymnals to "For such a sinner as I," or even "Such a one as I." This is clear evidence that love of self has not only permeated the gospel message but has lead to the editing of traditional hymns!). In any event, Adams insists the church can't stand idly by, but must confront this growing philosophy who Abraham Maslow is given credit as the founding father. Adams believes this self-esteem heresy was brought into the church by Christian psychologists and psychiatrists under the cliché, "all truth is God's truth." This self-love doctrine has already had a significant impact on the church and Christians who believe they can engage in accommodating the theory will compromise truth in the end.
For the next several chapters, Adams evaluates self-esteem in the light of the scriptures. He begins by dismantling Maslow's hierarchy needs starting with its basic premise; people are not motivated to meet higher needs until the lower needs are met. Does this mean that man cannot be held responsible for failing to love God or his neighbor because some lower need has not been satisfied? This is not found in the Bible Adams says. Even more foreign is the notion that before you can love your neighbor you must love yourself first. Adams soundly disproves that thinking with a clear exegesis of Matthew 22:26-40, i.e., "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." He also refutes the idea that man is of infinite worth and worthy of salvation. J.I. Packer's quote at end of one chapter sums it up best: "...modern Christians...spread a thin layer of Bible teaching over a thin mixture of popular psychology and common sense they offer, but their overall approach clearly, reflects the narcissism-the 'selfism' or 'meism' as it is sometimes called-that is the way of the world in the modern West."
Many folks say that criticism is cheep but it is harder to offer alternatives. Adams doesn't take the easy way out in closing his book, but instead offers a biblical alternative to the self-worth doctrine. He explains Jesus taught self-denial rather than self-affirmation was the proper way to approach God. In fact, 2 Timothy 3:2 says that people will be lovers of themselves in the last days. Adams peppers the final pages of his book with numerous biblical references that reinforces the concept of denying self, loosing ones life, and dieing to oneself.
How then does one garner an accurate self-image? Interesting that Adams titles this chapter "An accurate Self-Image," but the phrase "Self-Image" appears nowhere in the text of the chapter. The apparent reason is that Adams doesn't want us to use a phrase which had its origins in humanistic psychology. He wants us to instead use biblical language. He states that God does want us to evaluate ourselves however; the emphasis must be on doing it accurately. Quoting Romans 12:3, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Don't think more highly of ourselves, but instead evaluate ourselves soberly according to evidence. He also says that we must not compare ourselves with others and cites Galatians 6:4, "Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else."
Adams' book makes for easy reading and understandable reasoning. He challenges many presuppositions and the counselor will find it very helpful with the numerous scriptural references and case study analysis. As Adams says, hopefully the reader will come away with an understanding that "satisfaction..., comes not when one pursues it, but unexpectedly and always as a by-product of faithful fruitful Christian living."

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