Christian Virtue in the Age of Authenticity

By Kevin de Young – Kevin is the senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He writes as part of the Gospel Coalition.  Kevin has written 6 books, all of which CBD stock

The word doesn’t have to be annoying, but it usually is.

Hole in our holinessI opened up my big, red Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (yes, I still have one of these dinosaurs on my desk) and found five definitions for the word “authentic.” It used to mean (1) authoritative, but now means (2) something worthy of acceptance or belief or reproduced in accordance with the originals. Authentic can also mean (3) real or actual, or (4) refer to a musical chord progression. It’s the fifth definition, however, that has become standard: “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.”

Crazy Busy (IVP)In a day where people disdain hypocrisy more than any other vice and prize transparency more than any other virtue, you can be as obnoxious as you want to be, fail spectacularly, and sin repeatedly, as long as you never pretend to be any better than you really are. It makes no difference what errors you say, think, or do, if only you are true to yourself. This is life in the Age of Authenticity.

Which is not all bad. Jesus spared no verbal expense in rebuking the hypocrites of his day (Just do somethingrule, to learn to be comfortable in your own skin, to refrain from trying to be someone or something you’re not. Authenticity appeals to so many of us because it seems a welcome antidote to calculating, self-righteous priggishness.

But living in the Age of Authenticity comes with many dangers–common vices made more deadly because they are willfully mistaken for virtues. Read more…

Purchase these books from our online shopping cart,
Email or
Visit one of our stores