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11 Responses to “Me, Myself, & I”

  1. George Hepburn says:


    I can think of several examples how the idea of being authentic plays out to a destructive choice. Entitlements promote laziness and homosexual acceptance overlooks the destruction brought by perpetuation, and in large part,much of the initial spread of HIV. Not to mention so many other horrible consequences closely associated when one’s conscience tells them deep down that what is occuring with a poor choice made is a lowered self esteem and ultimately a further blinding to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    At least entitlements are getting a closer look owing to the debt ceiling coming to critical levels in the state and federal governments, but why doesn’t the notion that a gay person, or any man who has had sex with another man for many recent years, not being permitted to donate blood to the Red Cross, send a signal to those so “enligtened” that that behavior just ain’t all that good?
    It’s difficult to stand by supporting our government as laws change supporting these authentic individuals( homosexuals coming out is widely gaining acceptance both socially and now in law) all the while seeing the destruction this brings to budgets and our health.

  2. Glenn says:

    After reading your essay today, I then turned to the New York Times, which published an article today (June 27)about conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart and the increasing animosity and lack of civility between political conservatives and liberals. The journalist quoted author James B. McPherson, who said, “there are no standards of fact anymore for a lot of people. We have gone from selecting sources of opinion that we agree with to selecting facts we agree with.” This certainly fits with the point of your essay.

    My limited understanding is that such a mindset stems more from post-modern philosophy than it does from Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment, as I understand it, emphasized science (which was developed by Christians) as a means of discovering truth. Real science is committed to confirmation by peer-review (multiple witnesses). But post-modern thinkers seem to move us away from even the hope that real Truth exists. I think it was Richard Rorty, the post-modern philosopher, who said: “There are no facts, only opinions.”

    Perhaps you could clarify how it is that the Enlightenment produced this “new kind of person” rather than post-modernism. Thanks!

  3. Mike Metzger says:

    By looking only to reason and not to revelation as a resource for the knowledge of reality, the Enlightenment did indeed elevate science over scripture. But the Enlightenment overlooked two realities about human nature: the knowledge gained from science is never without bias. Humans are not rational. Enlightenment ignorance of these two realities led to self-reporting as the basis for reporting the knowledge humans claim to gain. Postmodernism is simply the dead-end consequence – it plays out erroneous Enlightenment assumptions about what it means to be human.

  4. Matt says:

    This reminds me of a book I am currently reading, DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE by John Piper. Enlightenment… post-modernism … there’s nothing new under the sun.

    Thanks, Mike, for the article encouraging us all to look upward, and not inward. And also, did you use that quote from William Wilberforce before? I remember reading that somewhere a while ago, but I cannot place it.

  5. John Seel says:

    Mike is correct. Modernism and Postmodernism are more of a continuum than a disjunction. The latter is the logical consequence of the former. The most pressing consequence of postmodernism is in the area of identity, which is further complicated by our commitment to consumerism and cyberspace. The first creates the expectation of endless choice, the second a world without boundaries. Peter Berger explored this in his book, A Far Glory. He states simply, “If God is dead, any self is possible.” There are only three possibilities for securing one’s identity: outside oneself (derived), inside oneself (discovered), or created by oneself (designed). With the loss of a sense of transcendence we have moved from discovered to designed. Ironically, the multiple selves of postmodernism begin to look a lot like multiple personality disorder. James Glass writes in Shattered Selves, “If multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia are extreme forms of what the postmodernists idealize, then there is something terribly wrong in the postmodernist interpretation of what multiplicity or fragmentation of self means, and questions of meaning become quite appropriate when one addresses the practicalities involved with living with broken-up identities.”

    One can summarize the recent work on postmodern identity with the following axioms:
    1. Identity is self-created.
    2. The self is indeterminate; any self is possible.
    3. The process of self-creation is never finished.
    4. The right to self-creation is one’s central political right.
    5. Self-creation is mediated by therapeutic and marketing experts.
    6. Technology and consumerism expand the range of possibilities of self-creation.
    7. The self lacks any intrinsic unity or normality; one person’s pathology is another person’s charm.
    8. The descriptions of the self shift from the vocabulary of morality to therapy.
    9. While the self is liberated from all constraint under the conditions of postmodernity, this very openness can be a burden.

    When one loses a sense of truth as a reflection of reality, one soon loses a sense of reality itself. Such is our modern ethos.

  6. Glenn says:

    Thanks, Mike, for the clarification. To add one more thought, this essay speaks to the difficulty of communicating the Gospel today. When a culture is self-referenced, when people justify themselves (therefore being truly “self-righteous”), and when people see themselves as being essentially good, the cross is perceived to have no meaning.

  7. Kim Congdon says:

    This is brilliant! The thing about hearing clarity is that it is just so clear! That is how truth is…clear and right. I just think this is very well articulated. Well done Mike!

  8. Mike Metzger says:


    Good memory – the column was:

  9. Bob Moffitt says:

    Mike, wondering about your thinking regarding the relationships that God gave us as revealed in Scripture – Gen 1-2. Seems to me that we were given relationships with God/spiritual, creation/physical, and other people/social but not with self. The identification of self as a category of relationship as in the other three contributes to the problems addressed in your article. Your thoughts?

  10. Mike Metzger says:

    Good question, Bob. God gave human beings self-awareness, or what is called conscience. So we do have some sense of self. We do enjoy a relationship with ourselves, but it is fraught with problems after the fall – chief of which is warned about in Jeremiah – the conscience is deceitful, who can understand it? The answer implied is that self is best known through the wisdom of many counselors.

  11. Self Deception | Carl Creasman Self Deception| Live Well blog; life insights with values says:

    […] Blogger Mike Metzger touched on this in a recent post. […]

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