Carson on the ‘encroaching roots of self-esteem’

…the continued drift toward privatized religion is a fertile soil in which to water the rapidly multiplying and universally encroaching roots of self-esteem . . . The drive to sort out life’s problems and my happiness along the axis of self-esteem banishes truth questions, makes feeling good about yourself more important than having a clear conscience, insists that your opinion of yourself is more important than God’s opinion, and fails to deal with objective guilt. In the Scriptures, a right knowledge of yourself is contingent on having in the first place a right knowledge of God.

-D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God


Imagination & ignorance


Imagining God in our heads can be just as real a breach of the second commandment as imagining Him by the work of our hands. How often do we hear this sort of thing: “I like to think of God as the great Architect (or, Mathematician; or, Artist).” “I don’t think of God as a Judge; I like to think of Him simply as a Father.” We know from experience how often remarks of this kind serve as a prelude to the denial of something that the Bible tells us about God. It needs to be said with the greatest possible emphasis that those who hold themselves free to think of God as they like are breaking the second commandment. At best they can only think of God in the image of man–as an ideal man, perhaps, or a super-man. But God is not any sort of man. We were made in His image, but we must not think of Him as existing in ours. To think of God in such terms is to be ignorant of Him, not to know Him. –J.I. Packer, Knowing God