Book Review: ‘Are We Special?’ takes a close look at a growing epidemic

 

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“Have you ever felt you might be special?”

That’s the gnawing question authors Jeffrey S. Reber, a Brigham Young University associate professor, and psychologist Steven P. Moody pose in their book, “Are We Special? The Truth and the Lie about God’s Chosen People”.

Upon first asking myself the question as I began to turn the first few pages of the book I thought to myself, “Why yes, of course I am.” But then that train of thought quickly changed into, “Well…no. Not really.”

And then I realized, with each turn of the pages, that my back and forth reasoning and roller coaster of emotions are actually…normal. And suddenly I had a blueprint for the many versions of who I am, how I perceive myself, and how I perceive my identity in God.

Reber and Moody break down the truth and the lie about feeling special. There are four different ways we can react:

1. Accepting the truth and the lie, which makes people believe they’re above others.

2. Denying the truth and accepting the lie, which makes people give into selfishness.

3. Denying the lie and the truth, which makes people feel worthless and deflated.

4. Accepting the truth and denying the lie, which makes people realize they’re of divine worth, yet not above their fellow man, who is also of great worth.

Reber and Moody use data, psychology, research, and wonderfully crafted examples and analogies in this book to illustrate how all of us can find ourselves in so many places within the spectrum of feeling special, even if that means trying on the shoes of the Pharisee during a walk down the path of what we feel might be discipleship.

The book is an amazing journey of self-exploration and what it really means to be a child of God within a culture that celebrates pride and heroes and those who stand apart.

By the end of “Are We Special?” the reader will be on a quest to not let a day go by without asking him or herself, “Am I believing the truth or the lie today?”

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