The world’s values have changed rapidly in the past decade. Critics have attributed such changes to the decline in Christian belief, or an upsurge in Marxist thinking of oppressor vs oppressed. But Carl Trueman’s work shows that it’s a lot more complicated than that. He defines the root cause as the rise of “expressive individualism”; the idea that the happiness and autonomy of the psychological self is the purpose and fulfilment of human existence.
Trueman charts the rise of identity as the determinant of what is good and right. He points out how the Church has followed the trend and briefly outlines what he thinks we should do about it. This is a condensed, more accessible version of his earlier work, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self (Crossway), which received a five star review in this magazine in 2021. These works are essential for understanding the Church’s clashes with the modern world.