The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession  -     By: Mark Sayers
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The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession

Thomas Nelson / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

The Bible contains a radically different way of understanding our identity. The path that God has chosen for us to discover who we really are is the path of holiness. The most exciting thing is that this path is not for otherworldy saints, rather it is a path of earthy, gutsy holiness. It's a path that is not about basing your life on this world or of shunning your desires. Instead, it is about bringing your hopes, your dreams, your brokenness, your desires, your humanness under the Lordship of Christ. By doing this we don't just discover a new way of living out our faith, we discover a liberating, revolutionary, life-embracing way of being truly human.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.44 (inches)
ISBN: 0849920000
ISBN-13: 9780849920004
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

It's time for a return to Radical Holiness.

Welcome to the 21st century where you can now purchase and exchange personalities, depending on mood and circumstance; where you are told that you can be anyone you want to be, and identity is no longer based in a sense of self but rather in the imagery you choose at that moment.

The Bible contains a radically different way of understanding our identity. The path that God has chosen for us to discover who we really are is the path of holiness. The most exciting thing is that this path is not for otherworldy saints, rather it is a path of earthy, gutsy holiness. It's a path that is not about basing your life on this world or of shunning your desires. Instead, it is about bringing your hopes, your dreams, your brokenness, your desires, your humanness under the Lordship of Christ. By doing this we don’t just discover a new way of living out our faith, we discover a liberating, revolutionary, life-embracing way of being truly human.

Author Bio

Mark Sayers is Director of Über, a ministry that specializes in issues of youth and young adult discipleship. He is also pastor of Red East Church in Melbourne, Australia. He is a highly sought after speaker and thinker in the areas of Generation Y, pop culture and mission.

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Mark Sayers
Located in: Australia
Submitted: October 02, 2009

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a writer who tries to report on what's really going on in the borderlands between faith and popular culture. I am passionate about helping people understand the fluid culture in which we are living. I love mining the ancient and mysterious depths of the Bible to find remedies to our contemporary cultural maladies. I am also the founder of Uber ministries, as well as being the pastor of a fantastic church called Red. I live in Melbourne, Australia.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  More and more as a culture we are being encouraged to find meaning in projecting an image to the rest of the world. In the past people derived a sense of self by referring back to the truth found in Genesis that we are all made in the image of God. But now people seek to find an identity by wearing all kinds of disposable personalities such as ‘cool’, ‘sexy’ or ‘glamorous’. People all over the world are spending literally billions of dollars a year in order to ‘keep up appearances’. The problem is that the more that you project a false image or personality to the world that is not rooted in your God give identity, the more you lose a sense of self. So I wanted to help people see how we were being sucked into this game of masks and to point people back to the freedom of being defined not by our culture but rather our God given identity.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope that people gain an awareness of how we have all been influenced by what I call the horizontal self. That is trying to gain a sense of identity from our peers and our culture, and instead I am encouraging people to embrace what I call the vertical self, that is being defined by the reality that we are created in the image of God. That is does not matter what our culture says about us, God made us in his image. I also make a strong case in the book that the way to escape this obsession with image is to pursue a path of holiness. I also wanted to breathe new life into our concept of holiness, which in an image driven culture is seen sometimes by even people of faith as something akin to social suicide. I wanted to help people see that holiness of the bible is not a ‘Ned Flanders’ kind of holiness but rather a gutsy, earthy and sometimes messy journey to becoming who God wants us to be.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  I was really impacted writing this book and had to ask myself a lot of hard questions about how I was putting out an ‘image’ to the world. Ironically even in promoting this book, as an author I always find it is a tightrope walk, as often authors are encouraged to see themselves as part of their ‘brand’. In an age of twitter and facebook etc it is a real challenge to remain honest and humble and to not fall into the trap of self promotion for self promotion’s sake.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  I have some pretty diverse sources of inspiration and favourite authors. I am inspired by Neal Gabler, John Leland, A.N Wilson, Haruki Murakami, G.K Chesterton, Harold Kushner, Raymond Chandler, Jack Keroauc,John Kennedy O'Toole. Plus I think reading the NME in the late 80's and 90's taught me how to write.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  I hope that this book helps people to look at the culture and their own lives in a whole new way, and that it opens their eyes to the way that God is shaping them everyday.

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