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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession

Thomas Nelson The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession

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.
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Customer Reviews for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Review 1 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

This book will challenge you to think...

Date:February 9, 2011
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ebarron
Location:Tulsa, OK
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I will begin by confessing that I struggled through this book. But then again, I am not an academic, nor do I teach or do research. The longer I read, however, the more the concept of the text took root, and the better I could grasp the direction the author was taking us. It took a while, but I eventually got it.
Pastor Mark Sayers teaches us by challenging us to look at our lives as fundamentally “horizontal” or “vertical”. As a worship pastor, those concepts were immediately familiar and comprehendible. His points make sense, logically and Biblically. Early on, the author makes comparisons for us- for example:
Vertical vs. Horizontal
Instant Gratification vs. Delayed Gratification
Work Ethic vs. Play Ethic
Facts vs. Feelings
One thing that really stood out for me is the recognition that people- especially Christians- can live what the author refers to as a “fragmented life”, meaning that belief systems and world views may overlap, or even be in conflict with one another. As that idea began to sink in, I realized that many of the people with whom I serve on church staff are living that fragmented life. By that, I mean evangelical Christian, a social liberal, financially conservative, and almost no filter for humor or entertainment. I recognize some of those traits in myself, and that makes it all the more disconcerting.
I challenge you to get and read this book. Stay with it- don’t give up. It will offer insights into your behaviors, your belief systems, and how you want to live your life. I recommend this book.
Eric Barron
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Review 2 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A new perspective on your own reality.

Date:October 14, 2010
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JumpStart Consulting
Location:Dallas, GA
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers is a very intuitive look inside the process that we all go through in life of understanding our own personal identity. More than that, however, it is a road map that will take you back to the proper path for this process if you have gone astray in your endeavor or guide you forward if you are already heading in the right direction.
I appreciated the journey that Sayers takes the reader on in understanding how culture can shape perspective and identity. It was refreshing to take a vantage point of cultural influence from a broader outlook than the small box of our own comfort zone. Throughout this journey Sayers has the reader asking very introspective questions about their influences, their ideas, their possibilities and even the reality in which they live and breath.
The book helps to support a Biblical perspective for the proper foundation for our own identity structure. It will challenge you to ask some hard questions about why you do the things you do and why you perceive the world and the approval of others the way you do. Sayers was able to peel back the curtain on some very impactful identity issue propagated by today's “norms” that could be, and are, very easily missed in our everyday lives.
The information the book provides is very enlightening, very freeing, very inspiring and most importantly very Biblically sound.
The book had a great impact on me and my perception of conformity, uniqueness and individuality. I have confidently referred the book to others to share it's candid insights. This is a book that you don't want to miss. It does much more than many on the market that provide a “step” process or a “how to” live approach. It approaches the deeper issue of our motivations for living, loving and serving the world around us.
Good Job Mark Sayers! You have brought much Glory to God through this work and the redirecting words of encouragement that turned myself, and I am sure many others, more toward living the life of The Vertical Self.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 3 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Book Review of The Vertical Self

Date:October 7, 2010
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Clark D. Goble
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
The Vertical Self is perhaps the most aptly titled book I have come across in quite awhile. Sayers does a remarkable job of contrasting the “vertical life” with the “horizontal” one. A horizontal life is one that is focused on “self” and draws its identity from the world while the vertical life is one that finds its identity entirely on one’s relationship with God.
Sayers exposes how Christians live according to various combinations of their “vertical” and “horizontal” selves. Depending on our circumstances, we may attempt to tap into our vertical identities (say, on Sunday mornings) while at other times we are more than happy to live according to our “horizontal” identity. As a result, our lives become fragmented and our faith is built on nothing more than sand.
It is impossible to absorb Sayers’ message within these pages without conducting a self-inventory. There are times when the reader may get stung a little as they flip through the pages; however, it is all for the cause of discipleship and spiritual growth. For this reason I believe Sayers’ book is a wonderful addition to my book shelf.
Although The Vertical Self does a wonderful job of exposing the blemished way in which many of us lead our lives and will lead to conviction in many of its readers; I believe it misses the mark somewhat in actual application.
I believe the reader who truly desires the vertical life may walk away Sayers’ work confused about how to achieve it. Sayers would have done well to explore Biblical text in more detail and to include a detailed discipleship & spiritual growth program. As it stands, he identifies the problem while offering a shallow attempt at a solution.
The book would be a good first step in a Christian’s walk towards a Godly life, but only if it inspires the reader to engage more deeply in Biblical text along with some of the deeper contemporary authors such as Dallas Willard or John MacArthur.
Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 4 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:September 8, 2010
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Chelsey
I wasn't sure what to expect when I began The Vertical Self, by Mark Sayers. I was pleasantly surprised at the fresh new ways he presented simple Truths. Because of his experience with youth and young adult discipleship, he has a broad understanding of contemporary pop culture and the areas and challenges that affect the twenty something generation.The Vertical Self delves head on into topics such as the intersection of identity, Western culture and faith. The basic premise of the book is that we have two potential selves. The first is our horizontal self which can be defined by media, culture, peer pressure and everyday life around us. In direct contrast, is our vertical self. This identity is molded and shaped by our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our grasp of how HE sees us.Sayers explains that those who follow Christ should strive to live a vertical life; finding their identities in Christ. However he urges us to not shy away from the world, rather engage in it and show your true self to those as you pursue radical holiness.The Vertical Self has wonderful insights; especially for the young adult crowd. The only drawback is that he takes you to a certain place and rather continue to delve deeper, he leave the reader hanging a bit and grasping for more.
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Review 5 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 20, 2010
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Trish
The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers is all about learning the difference between Western Culture and Biblical Culture. Living in the United States of America, I have grown up with a lot of material possessions. I am used to having television, video games, air conditioning, a lot of books, clothes, cds, movies, etc. Living for the material possessions is living horizontally. That is the way most people live. Often times people, myself included, let these material possessions get in our way of living for God. God wants us to be holy. God wants us to live vertically. Many Christians live vertically in some places (like church) and horizontally other places (like with friends). This is not how God intended for us to live our lives. We should be consistently vertical! In this book, Mark Sayers gives advice backed up by the Holy Bible to help us learn to live vertically all of the time. We need to stop caring about how others judge us and only care about how the Lord judges us and how we live. This book does a great job of explaining that concept! This book challenged the way I live my life and I would recommend it to others!
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Review 6 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:August 12, 2010
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Alan Reeves
The Vertical Self describes a way of being. Often, we are concerned with things that are all around us, with our horizontal life. The idea of having a vertical focus offers a good mental picture on what our true focus should be, God. This book provides many ways to help us get back on the path to a vertical self.I was able to identify with many of the concepts in the book. We can all benefit from turning our attention toward God and being less bothered by the temporary life issues we all face. Although overall I felt the book was well written, I was put off by the harshness of the first part of the book; it described people in general as being focused on what can be considered horizontal issues. While reading some pages, it was difficult not to feel that the author was talking down to you. For some reason that struck me the wrong way and I could not shake the feeling through the rest of the book.The remaining part of the book provided guidance to anyone wanting to change their focus and align themselves with a vertical focus. Sometime harsh words and tones are required to produce changes but in this case, I was pushed away. The message is a good one and there are many suggestions and ideas that I will apply what I can to my own life.Disclosure of Material Connection:I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Review 7 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 8, 2010
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Ms Maisie
The Vertical Self was an insightful read. Sayers dissection of past and present culture was fascinating. He points out that in our current culture, our self-image is often derived from many influences around us (creating the horizontal self). This is in opposition to the Christian ideal of deriving our worth, value and self-image from God (the vertical self). For me the highlight of the book was the 2 chapters about sexy and cool. Sayers presents the history and development of these 2 [false] images.The final 3 chapters (out of 11) are where Sayers adds more depth to the idea of finding your horizontal self. As I was reading through these chapters, I enjoyed Sayers reflections immensely. He writes well, and there was so much to think through about what he has written. I enjoyed his ideas on life as a movie script and the bar code mentality. I am sure, though, that I will have to read this book again because I found myself struggling to grasp the big picture of what Sayers was saying. Maybe this was because chapter ten was too long? Fifty odd pages felt really long when all the other chapters are between 3 and 24 pages long.One thing I had difficulty with in this book is the language and terminology used. In chapter 1, Sayers questions current phrases we hear like find himself, grounded, and centred. Sayers points out how baffling this can be, but I found his last 3 chapters, with phrases like find your true self, at times to be just as baffling. Maybe this is a sign that Im a whole lot older than the intended audience.I would recommend The Vertical Self to any Christian interested in the interaction between culture and faith. Four out of 5 stars from me.I must disclose that Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 8 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:June 3, 2010
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Sarah
After an overview of the historical context that he believes has shaped our current culture, the book launches into a rather lengthy section detailing the aspects of our society that have drawn the individual into a horizontal rather than vertical lifestyle. A final, small section of the book attempts to show the reader how to apply their new perception to living a biblical faith.I had very high hopes for this bookthrough the first chapter. Learning to live a life focused on God rather than on the perceptions of the world around me is a topic that I love to discuss. I looked forward to reading Mark Sayers thoughts on the subject and being challenged by his words. I was vastly disappointed. Although I applaud Mark Sayers for addressing this difficult subject, his presentation lacked authentic concern and genuineness. The examples scattered throughout the book felt contrived, as if they were created simply to match what the author wanted to say. Biblical examples were scarce, despite the premise of the book being how biblical faith can help us The last three chapters of the book finally begin to delve into solutions to the horizontal dilemma, though the thoughts here were vague and superficial. I closed the book feeling as though little had been said, other than that our current culture faces a crisis of identity. The cover and first chapter of this book promise a great discussion, but the actual content lacks so much that I do not recommend reading it.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 9 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 7, 2010
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Mindy
I didn't know what I was going to expect from the book. Okay, maybe I did know a little since I knew what the vertical self meant. I was actually drawn in more by the cover of the book than anything. I liked the contemporary feel. For some reason, that's usually how I pick the books I read-by the cover. Then if I like the summary of the book I'll read it. Sometimes I have success, sometimes I don't.This book was a success for me. I have always been battling with myself, as it were, instead of just letting God take control. And even though I knew most of the stuff in the book, it was nice to have a refresher course on why I wasn't letting God consume all of me. It's amazing how this world can really be an influencer in your life without even realizing it. Even in the Christian world. So many times we are caught up in pleasing ourselves, that really this life is all about pleasing God.Stayer plays out The Vertical Self in eleven chapters. He breaks down how society has played a huge roll in the development of our cultures from generations past to present. He convieniently places Scripture where it needs to be said to bring us back to the truth of things: GOD is in control; not us. At the end of the book, there is a short Bible Study that a group can use for their weekly meetings. I used it on an individual level and my journal is jam-packed full of pictures, diagrams, scripture, and thoughts.I recommend reading this if you are new to the Christian faith and are struggling with at the battle lines on who's side to be on or even if you have been a Christian for a long time and just need a good dose of reminding who you really belong to.
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Review 10 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 5, 2010
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Ibelisse Sanchez
In our current age of social networking, it is easy to create a false identity. Is the public image we present who we really are or are we searching for a lost identity? The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers tackles the intersection of identity, faith and Western culture head on. Sayers is the founder of ber, a ministry in Melbourne, Australia that specializes in issues of youth and young adult discipleship. With his vast knowledge of contemporary pop culture, he explains how our generation has at its disposal a closet full of media-created images from which to put on the socially acceptable cool, sexy, and glamorous personas. In this book, Sayers helps us discover that our true identity is not found in looking around us and accepting who society says we are. In establishing a vertical relationship with God, the pursuit of a radical holiness becomes the key to finding our true selves. This book challenges us to look away from societys soulless images and instead follow the person of Christ as our model and mirror his life-changing Spirit. Are you willing to accept a cheap imitation or do you dare to unmask yourself and discover who you were truly created to be?
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Review 11 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 3, 2010
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Wayne
If you dont know who you are or why you are how you are, Mark Sayer will get you pointed in the right direction to answer all those questions. With a depth and insight, unparalleled in my reading thus far, he clearly details the struggle of our self horizontally to match up in the ever changing day to day pressures of conformity, while offering a detailed, biblical solution of how to align ourselves back with the originator and Creator.I didnt expect much from this book but found myself challenged with each scathing review of my own shortcomings as he took excuse after excuse away from me, all the while, pointing me to my Creator and His image in me. The entire book was one self examination of the ugly in my life, how it remains there and grows, what I do to facilitate that growth, and how it impacts my world around me and the world globally. All his information was biblical in content and context and, with proper application individually, life changing. His no-holds-barred approach made this book refreshing and insightful and I definitely have a much greater understanding of my fake and true self. Definitely a must read for any seeker with a desire to grow into the image they were made from.
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Review 12 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 1, 2010
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Wendy
When trying to discern who you are, do you look around you or do you look to the One who holds the answer? Sayers plunges the depths of how easy it is to manipulate image in todays culture. As though pulling from a deck of cards you can select a cool image, a glamorous one or perhaps something sexy. He writes, Welcome to the world in which we are told we can be anyone we want to be, where identity is no longer based in sense of self but rather in the imagery we choose at any particular moment.Sayers examines what it means to be defined by horizontal impressions, what the world thinks of you versus understanding who you are in an all-loving, holy, vertical relationship with God.I appreciated the refreshingly honest perspective throughout The Vertical Self. In this age of Facebook, Twitter, blogs and profuse access to reinventing self and playing with image as though its a puzzle, Sayers holds Christians to account, reminding us where our foundation is and who we can trust.
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Review 13 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 28, 2010
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Sarah
Wow is all I can say. This book was written in a non-preachy tone with ideas that made me rethink how I see life, my faith and my Savior.The main premise of the book was to look at living "horizontally" verses "vertically." Horizontal living means a life of me, myself and I while also trying to please the world while Vertical living focuses on glorifying God and living under His ultimate authority. Here are a few examples taken from a table in the book on page 19-20Vertical vs Horizontal:God as Judge vs Others as JudgeHoliness vs StatusEternal vs TemporaryDelayed gratification vs Instant gratificationWork ethic vs Play ethicSelf discipline vs Self esteemFacts vs FeelingsAre you getting the picture here? Would love to know if any of these ring true in your life-if you veer more torward the Horizontal than the Vertical in certain areas.To take it one step further, Mark Sayers writes about how Christians can live a fragmented life as they go from Vertical to Horizontal depending on their location, the people they are with or when they are at work. This is called fragmented living meaning our beliefs are scattered all over the place depending on our circumstances. "One can have an evangelical Christian worldview, a secular sex life, an economic rationalist approach to money, a conservative vote and a liberal approach to humor." page 26 All I can say is this paragraph punched me in the gut and I am rethinking my approach to life. I want my entire existence to be consistent and consistently point toward the LORD!
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Review 14 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:March 25, 2010
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Cindy Chan
Am I a person who cares of the horizontal self or the vertical self? This question got stuck with me as I read The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers. This is a book which explains in a light 'n' easy tone on the identities given by the world to the individuals living in it, and how all these are linked together causing one to lose oneself even more because of the horizontal self image. Aside to that, Mark Sayers also carefully orchestrated the three types of social self in the life of young people especially. However, this is not meant to be dwelt upon forever, as he also proposed a future self to these people who had been living the identity of horizontal self - yes, the vertical self. Looking into how God wants a relationship with us, and how personal holiness is possible in our modern life.Personally, I like the way Mark Sayers written the book - it connects to our daily life as a young person. As a young working adult living in an Asian country, I saw that the Western culture is seeping into the lives of young people in Asia, and issues described in the book somewhat is already in Asia. So it helps me, when he recommended in the book to share this vertical self concept to others. However, as a Catholic, I would suggest that he requires more in depth research on the lives of the saints. I'm also impressed to know that he quoted the life of St. Teresa of Avila, one of the doctors of the Church, as an example of personal holiness. Indeed, holiness is for everyone living on earth.I will recommend my friends reading this book, and yeah, I do have people asking me to borrow them the book already. Only, I want to re-read the book properly! :) Have fun reading and discovering who you really are in God's eyes and how you can live a life of holiness!
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Review 15 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:March 23, 2010
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Chris Tabone
The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers is a very good read. Mark deals with how do we today, identify ourselves. Mark argues that in the past the way that people found identify was by a process known as The Vertical Self. People would look upward to heaven and allow their identify to be found in God. But the problem today is that we have become The Horizontal Self and as a result have allowed others to give us self worth. Mark is arguing that we must move away from other telling us who we are back to God defining who we are. Personally, I enjoyed this book very much. Mark seems to be very well informed about culture, history, Christian history and theology. The point that I personally took away from this book is that we cannot allow others to define who we are. When we do, we lose our identity. We become those who float around from one thing to the next trying to establish a sense of self worth. But, when we allow ourselves to be defined by God, who has all things worked out anyway, we can find true happiness and comfort. We need to let go of the opinions of others and fully rely upon the opinion of God.
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Review 16 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 18, 2010
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Andrea Schultz
The Vertical Self' tackles a very serious subject in our world: the loss of identity. Here's how Mark describes our current dilemma:Welcome to the twenty-first century, where we can now purchase and change personalities the way we can clothes, depending on mood or circumstance. Welcome to the world in which we are told we can be anything we want to be, where identity is no longer based in a sense of self but rather in the imagery we choose at any particular moment. (p. 3)I was utterly fascinated by this book. It contains so many elements of interest to me: media, music, movies, etc Then he got to the meat of the matter that the only way we will get to know who we are is to get to know who God is. The majority of people under the age of 60, as Mark points out, are defined by their horizontal selves. Here is Marks prescription for finding out who we really are:I have come to passionately believe that if we are to regain understanding of who we are, if we are to find our real identities, we must rediscover what it is to be holy. If we are to rescue ourselves and our culture from the crisis of self, we must re-image ourselves in the image of God.Holiness is the key to understanding our true selves. (p. 88)So many people Christian or otherwise are lost, & Marks book explains that we are really shortchanging ourselves by not becoming who God wants us to be in exchange for what the culture expects us to be. So many churches are embracing the culture (in the name of relevance) & totally ignoring holiness, thereby taking their members down the wrong road. Coolness, sexiness and glamour are cheap substitutes for the genuine holiness that emerges when the Holy Spirit is unleashed in us. By writing this book, Mark goes against the grain & the establishment exactly what Jesus did time & time again!This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for review purposes. Ponderings by Andrea
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Review 17 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 17, 2010
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Simon Summers
Vertical Self by Mark SayersWhat is your identity? What is important to you? What or who affects your decisions and happiness? These are questions that are posed by Sayers in his book Vertical self.Sayers identifies the fact that in this pop-cultured, image-orientated, 21st century world that we live in, identity is everything. The problem with this, however, is that people today have a very twisted view of identity. People dont know who they are. Styles come and go, fashions move on and people are never satisfied.In the first part of the book Sayers illustrates simply, through the use of 5 influences how humanity has traded its Vertical self for a discontented Horizontal self and how this horizontal self has become the goal of almost all societies and peoples world wide.He then goes on to contrast the Vertical and the Horizontal and gives Biblical advice and suggestions on how we can reclaim and should reclaim our true image the image that is made in the likeness of God.I absolutely loved this book and will definitely read it again. The points and ideas are not drawn out unnecessarily and the diagrams and contrasting columns are very useful. This book has shown me how pointless it is to put so much time and effort into things that in the end dont matter. Things like status and image and publicity. This is a must read for all young adults and teenagers and would be good for everyone.DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine and do not reflect Thomas Nelson or any subsidiary thereof. To receive free books yourself visit www.booksneeze.com
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Review 18 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 17, 2010
Customer Avatar
Simon Summers
Vertical Self by Mark SayersWhat is your identity? What is important to you? What or who affects your decisions and happiness? These are questions that are posed by Sayers in his book Vertical self.Sayers identifies the fact that in this pop-cultured, image-orientated, 21st century world that we live in, identity is everything. The problem with this, however, is that people today have a very twisted view of identity. People dont know who they are. Styles come and go, fashions move on and people are never satisfied.In the first part of the book Sayers illustrates simply, through the use of 5 influences how humanity has traded its Vertical self for a discontented Horizontal self and how this horizontal self has become the goal of almost all societies and peoples world wide.He then goes on to contrast the Vertical and the Horizontal and gives Biblical advice and suggestions on how we can reclaim and should reclaim our true image the image that is made in the likeness of God.I absolutely loved this book and will definitely read it again. The points and ideas are not drawn out unnecessarily and the diagrams and contrasting columns are very useful. This book has shown me how pointless it is to put so much time and effort into things that in the end dont matter. Things like status and image and publicity. This is a must read for all young adults and teenagers and would be good for everyone.DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine and do not reflect Thomas Nelson or any subsidiary thereof. To receive free books yourself visit www.booksneeze.com
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Review 19 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 17, 2010
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Courtney M
The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers was a very intriguing read for me. Being in college, I am constantly surrounded by people trying to fit in, stand out and be somebody. Most of the time, people think that in order to reach those levels of identification in todays society they need to live a life in accordance to whats popular or preferred by the general population. Sayers reminds us that this is not the goal that we as Christians should have. Our mission is not to live a great life in accordance with the world (in a horizontal sense), but to live a life with God as the center and in accordance to his commands (in a vertical sense).I found this book very encouraging and it made me evaluate my life and where my focus lies. A lot of the time, our focus can shift from God to the world even if we dont realize it! This book made me more aware of when my focus shifts and now I have the knowledge to identify that point and resist the temptation to go with the wrong option!Overall, Sayers does a great job at presenting his thoughts in a thoughtful and creative way. I would have liked more comparative points in terms of relating todays struggles with Biblical examples and I think he could have spent a little more time showing us how to move into a vertical lifestyle. All in all, though, he made me evaluate my own life and I think that overshadows any small imperfections in the content or presentation of the material.
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Review 20 for The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self Obsession
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 15, 2010
I am surprised how confident in certain areas I have become lately. The book reminds us to look for our true self, our true character. Hanging personal artwork in my house . Confidently going in the direction of my dreams mean while focusing on our relationship with God. The book reminds and challenges us to look to God to find ourselves. This book is a well written challenge to live your life in the image of Christ that you were to created for.This is one of those books I look forward to reading again next time with a group who will encourage and challenge me. The discussion questions at the back of the book lend well for that purpose.This book was provided courtesy of Thomson publishing and I personally recommend you check this book out.
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