Recently, Andrew Wilson shared an impressive critique of open theism called: “Responding To Open Theism In Fourteen Words.” Andrew’s article didn’t persuade me, but it did challenge me (seriously!). Below I will respond to each of the words Andrew presents. But first I will add one word of my own (if Andrew gets 14 words, I should get at least 1, right?). The word I want to add to the…
Have you ever proclaimed a theological belief loudly and publicly only to have the Bible seem to proclaim the exact opposite? In 2019 Fortress Press published my book Confident Humility. There I argue that humility doesn’t mean anything like making yourself smaller, viewing yourself as insignificant, or any other self-belittling understanding. The humility Jesus teaches,…
“Do you believe I’m the messiah,” the man asked, his voice part tenor, part nasal-congestion. He rubbed his robe collar between his thumb and index finger. This detail sticks in my memory because his fingernails were thick and uncut, the color of banana slices left out on the counter too long. “No,” I said, right…
I swear, there’s a new viral article about ‘work-life balance’ on the internet every day. It’s fine, I guess. Yes, don’t be a workaholic. Yes, enjoy life. The problem with these pieces, though, is that they’re always written by-or-about some hotshot who’s already successful — someone who has found financial security, someone who has already…
Becoming Your Full Self Without Becoming Full Of Yourself
"In the spirit of Dallas Willard... Dan addresses one of the most persistent problems that Christians face: Why does our faith in God’s transforming love transform us so little?”
-From the foreword by Greg Boyd, author of Letters From a Skeptic
Almost all self-help books emerge from one of two flawed views of the self, and these mutually exclusive ditches are destructive. The Ditch of Smallness says that people are fundamentally bad and that humanity's greatest spiritual threat is pride. The Ditch of Bigness says the exact opposite: people are fundamentally good, and shame is our greatest danger.
Dan Kent presents a third view, a road between the ditches. He shows how the humility Jesus revealed offers the most accurate and freeing view of the self. Whereas shame and arrogance are dysfunction steroids (making our depression darker, our anxiety tighter, our addictions stickier, and so forth), humility, as Jesus teaches it, counteracts both shame and pride, thereby subverting two major psychological forces that thwart us.
Once we embrace this new way of seeing ourselves--how Jesus sees us--we begin to relate to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us in a way that allows us to overcome a whole host of vices and self-sabotaging behaviors. Furthermore, whereas the ditches both lead to powerlessness and passivity, humility as Jesus teaches it is empowering, fosters proactivity, and serves as a scaffold for true confidence.
Confident Humilty Learning Tools:
Daniel Kent (@thatdankent) was born to a 14 year old mother in the humorless tundra of Northern Minnesota. He went to college to figure out if God exists and taught his first college course when he was 25. He wrote his first novel when he was 12 (a nature adventure story, hand-written on 20 sheets of loose-leaf paper and sent off to New York for publication. Unfortunately, the publishing company was "not considering material of this type at this time").
Due to a chronic tendency to underestimate the difficulty of a task, combined with a spirit of stubborn determination, Daniel decided to learn programming and created 420fables.com. Realizing he was a lousy programmer, he returned to his love of writing and his first book ("The Training of KX12") has been a surprise hit.