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Confident Humility:

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 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.

He is the editor in chief (and occasional contributor) for Greg Boyd's blog and is the host of the wildly popular podcast: "Greg Boyd: Apologies & Explanations."


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View Dan's Past Sermons

Finding Your Foothold

Generosity is a tricky subject because so many think it primarily relates to how much a person gives. However, God’s view of generosity is different. It is about learning to live in agape love where we are not doing what we do in order to get more from others, but in order to give and receive love in a community. When we do this, generosity flows our of hearts in natural ways, with surprising acts that bless others.

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All Things New In Christ

In this week’s message, Dan continues our look at the biblical narrative themes of covenant and kingdom in the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. After his baptism and before the start of his ministry, Jesus was tempted in three very important ways by Satan. In this message we learn how Jesus inserts himself in to the biblical narrative and seeks to fulfill the promises and potential of old testament characters like Israel, Adam & Eve, and King David.

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Inside-Out Encouragement

In this fourth installment in our Take Heart series we explore what it means to be encouraged in our ability to build skills and competence in the areas God has entrusted to us. Discouragement can come externally from factors outside of our control that can be overwhelming, but it can also come from feelings and patterns of passiveness within that keep us from enacting what God has trusted us to do.

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Study Guides


Dan is the editor and a staff contributor at

  • Today is the Next Monotonous Day of the Rest of Your Life (a motivational post)
    by Dan Kent on October 2, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    The problem with all these THIS-IS-THE-FIRST-DAY-OF-THE-REST-OF-YOUR-LIFE folks is that they emphasize the wrong thing. Their intention (noble and pure) is to get you to realize how special THIS day is, to get you all in a frenzy about […]

  • Work-Life Balance is a Lie
    by Dan Kent on May 22, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    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 […]

  • Monster hunting in anti-paradise.
    by Dan Kent on February 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Bad things are going down all over God’s disintegrating creation. Police shootings, racist politicians, violent oil companies, suffering refugees, melting icecaps, hostile walls, disappearing animals, oppressed minorities—it’s […]

  • The Universe is a Crime Scene
    by Dan Kent on December 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I’m conflicted. Most scientists are suspicious of any hypothesis about the natural world that even vaguely smells like “intelligent design.” I don’t blame them! Christian thinkers have historically embarrassed themselves with their […]

  • What “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” REALLY Means
    by Dan Kent on December 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    “So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field..” Genesis 2:20Through our information-obsessed minds we’ve looked upon this story with dull eyes. We watch Adam mechanically name each […]

  • David & Goliath Follow Up
    by Dan Kent on November 30, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    So here I come marching onto the stage shouting: “David defeated Goliath because of his skills, NOT because of his faith in God.” But then here comes David, about to throw-down Goliath, shouting to the crowd: “it is not by sword or […]

  • Do Counselors Laugh at Their Patients?
    by Dan Kent on November 17, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Yes.Well, no.We definitely laugh at what patients do. But we do not “make fun of them,” like by calling them names. But we do laugh at their words and deeds. Sometimes symptoms present in humorous ways. There are endless examples.I had […]

  • How to Get Ideas Into Another Person’s Head Using Only Words
    by Dan Kent on November 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Let me share with you the nature of my toil. I’ve got all this stuff in my head that I believe you would enjoy having in your head. That’s why I write.But it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is great distance from my head to yours, […]

  • Was Jesus “Crazy”?
    by Dan Kent on November 4, 2016 at 3:21 am

    “Do you believe I’m the messiah,” the man asked, in a voice that was part tenor, part nasal-congestion. He was rubbing his robe collar between his thumb and index finger. This detail sticks in my memory because his fingernails were […]

  • Why Did David Pick Up 5 Stones?
    by Dan Kent on September 22, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Ask almost any Christian: “How did David defeat Goliath?”Most will answer something like: “Because he had great faith in God.” This is the most common understanding of the story. Consider this campy cartoon, which suggests that […]