The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
What would happen if you admitted you weren't a good person?
It's a seemingly crazy question. From priests to prisoners, nearly everyone thinks they're morally better than average. Why change our minds? Why admit the truth about ourselves?
In his conversational and delightfully self-effacing style, Brant Hansen shows us why we should fight our drive to be self-righteous: it's breathtakingly freeing. What's more, just admitting that we're profoundly biased toward ourselves and want desperately to preserve our rightness at all costs even helps us think better, make better decisions, be better listeners, and improve our relationships with God and others.
Hansen draws from biblical insight and the work of everyone from esteemed social psychologists to comedians to make his point: the sooner we get over ourselves, give up the I'm good internal dialogue, and admit the truth, the sooner we can live a more lighthearted, fruitful, fun-loving life. After all, as Hansen writes, the humble life is truly your best one.
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|Listening Length||4 hours and 5 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 02, 2020|
|Publisher||Dreamscape Media, LLC|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #30,496 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#32 in Christian Theological Anthropology
#256 in Christian Theology (Audible Books & Originals)
#567 in Christian Ministry & Evangelism (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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This book made me smile...uncomfortably. It hit close to home, in a similar fashion as ‘Unoffendable’; As you read the facts, biblical proof texts, and practical examples, you know it’s right and you’re wrong, but you kinda hope you’re right and it’s wrong? I giggled. I pondered. I cussed. I shook my head- both horizontally and vertically at different times.
Brant comes from a post-enlightenment American Post-evangelical PK point of view. ‘Blessed Are the Misfits’ was IMO a personal account and criticism of this ecclesiastical tradition— albeit subconscious perhaps to the author. Meaning, all of the ‘Aha! moments’ brought forth regarding ‘church culture’ were only hangs ups and oddities of A·mer·i·ca·no protestantism. They were true, fair, witty personal criticisms (historical, theological, and sociological) but the entire time I was reading this work, I was screaming at the pages like Bastian screaming at Atreyu, “your experiences are of novelty and the Nothing that consumes”. Meaning, ancient Christianity (East or West) knows nothing of these nondem-cultural-trappings. I say this because I too was raised in this environment. I was raised one of the many flavors of baptist. But became agnostic in lifestyle and disenfranchised nondenominationalism in creed. I faded away- not unlike similar evangelicals my age who also had their faith anchored in feelings or revival type experiences. In retrospect, I can identify two main causes to my lackadaisical nebulous lukewarmness: 1) Cultural relativism. 2) It was so "me centered" and detached from the Gospel. The writings of CS Lewis led me to read GK Chesterton which lead me to read ancient Christians (The Apostolic Church Fathers) to see how they worshiped, professed, and lived. I have found liturgical worship, aesthetic contemplative prayer, and ancient expressions of Christianity to be the cure for American Protestantism's modernism.
I go off on this tangent to prove that... I’m right...damnit... and Brant is wrong. Well, partly. This book has so much valuable truth but it also alienates the spiritual attitudes of the majority of historical Christianity. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox know how very bad we are. Ever heard of Catholic guilt? Traditional Practicing Catholics are encouraged to go to confession at least monthly. And the Orthodox constantly practice (and have done so since the 4th century) the hesychatic method of the Jesus Prayer, which literally repeats without ceasing, “have mercy upon me a sinner.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen, patron saint to radio professionals once said, “A Catholic may sin and sin as badly as anyone else, but no genuine Catholic ever denies he is a sinner. A Catholic wants his sins forgiven – not excused or sublimated.”
‘The Truth about Us’ teaches us that this world is cra cra and messed up because I myself am a little cra cra and messed up. It’s easier to forgive others when we acknowledge this inner reality.
I read the book with Brants voice in my head. Is that weird? I have also ordered the audiobook and can’t wait to compare the two voices...
Brant helped me realize that my middle name is literally pronounced: con·cu·pis·cence. I'm flawed and everyday could slip into the default mode of soothing my wounds in ways that damage me more....and then justifying it. I've made many mistakes. I've hurt many people. I've squandered away many blessings and ignored many revealed truths. My worldly addictions, disordered desires, and selfish inclinations have taught me that I have to be TOTALLY dependent upon God. I've come to this conclusion: It's either Him 100% or zilch for me. My choice is between total darkness or total light. There is no in-between choice. There is no middle-ground. I am starting to know how weak and fragile I truly am. I know that I can't do anything by myself. Left to my own devices and fallen nature I will fall time and time again. I know that it's through my struggles that I will purify my own soul, make reparation for my faults, fulfill my vocation as father, and help save my family, friends, and associates. I know that this life going to hurt- a lot. I know that I have to die if I wish to live. I have to die to my own flesh, the secular world, and to the diabolical. I know that it will be a long sloppy process. I know that I can't do it 'my way' and so therefore, I submit myself daily to Love Himself.
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
Brant Hanson’s book is for those of us who need someone to walk with us, talk with us and remind us that God loves us even if we don’t know what that means yet. This book encouraged me to continue discovering my relationship with the trinity - God; Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
As Kermit the Frog would say “it’s not easy being green.” But that’s what I am right now as I begin to learn more about Christianity and this book is a comfort as I stumble my way to my Father’s House.
That all being said, I'm very happy that I read this book. I'm struggling a bit to convey how my thoughts and emotions have developed as a result of Brant's work, but please believe that I've grown. I like lists, so I'll just put down a few thoughts:
1. I feel like I've gained a deeper understanding of humility, how important it is, and how pervasive self-centeredness and pride is.
2. This understanding has helped me have a better perspective towards others. I hope this translates into me better showing love to others.
3. I learned that it's okay to mess up. I mean, I knew that. Grace and all. But I know it better now. I try hard to be and do good. I really do. And I'm very hard on myself when I mess up or fail, which is often. Brant's book helped me to understand that part of messing up is a reminder of how much we still need God. And that it's okay. This has had a profound effect on me.
4. Most importantly: I completely related to this: "I seem like a good guy, maybe, but you don't really know me. You don't know my thoughts. You don' t know all my real motives, and you know what? Neither do I. But I'm convinced the only one who really knows me loves me more than anyone else. More than I can imagine. It's a big relief." It sure is.
One of my kids was recently watching one of the Narnia movies when Aslan appeared. The characters hadn't seen Him the whole time, but they were immediately so at ease with and happy to see Him. And He was so understanding and confident, knowing exactly what they needed. I love that depiction of Him. I'd been thinking about some of the concepts in this book when I saw Aslan show up like that, and I was brought to tears just thinking about it. That's what this book is about. It points us to look to Jesus. I feel like I can see him just a little more clearly, and I'm thankful for it.
I think the truth is that when we see ourselves the way God sees us, and we truly realize how much he still loves us, it is very humbling.
Thank you Brant for showing that it is much better to be humble than self-righteous. Also, thanks for all the laughs. The way you harmonize some pretty hard to hear truth with a brilliant sense of humor… bravo!