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I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life
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I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life


Eerdmans 2009

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Think you’ve ever deceived yourself? Then this book is for you. Think you’ve never deceived yourself? Then this book is really for you.

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.

With Logos Bible Software, I Told Me So is enhanced with cutting-edge research tools. Scripture citations appear on mouseover in your preferred English translation. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful topical searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

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Key Features

  • Calls attention to the neglected problem of self-deception and its effects on holy living
  • Points to conditions in contemporary life that tempt believers toward self-deception
  • Offers practical advice on confronting and combating self-deception


  • Let’s Make a Deal
  • What? Why? Where?
  • How-To, Part I: Attention Management and Procrastination
  • How-To, Part II: Perspecive Switching, Rationalization, and Ressentiment
  • Getting Help When It’s Not Working
  • How-Not-To, Part I: Giving Self-Deception a Demotion
  • How-Not-To, Part II: Three Good Ideas
  • Three Warnings

Praise for the Print Edition

Ten Elshof’s discussions are erudite, biblical, searching, and laced with soul-restoring wisdom. All of this together means that this book is solidly pastoral. What it brings to us is appropriate to individuals, but it especially belongs in the context of small groups and local congregations.

Dallas Willard, former director, School of Philosophy, University of Southern California

Product Details

  • Title: I Told Me So: Self-Deception and the Christian Life
  • Author: Gregg A. Ten Elshof
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Christian Group: Evangelicals
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Christian Living

About Gregg A. Ten Elshof

Gregg A. Ten Elshof is associate professor and department chair of philosophy at Biola University. He is also the author of Introspection Vindicated.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

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