The Grove Booklet Self-Esteem and Young People appeared on my desk the other day. I’ve a few things to say about self-esteem, but they’re not all properly ordered in my head yet, so they’ll have to wait. A couple of things on this booklet though; while it sees it necessary to acknowledge that human beings are sinful, it doesn’t seem to know what to do with this perspective, and instead of trying to reconcile it with the idea that God has created humanity in His image, falls into the trap of saying “well, humans are generally alright aren’t we? God sees us as pretty special. He affirms you.” Which doesn’t seem to quite fit with the biblical message that says “there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:1-3) and “You [God] hate all who do wrong” (Psalm 5:5 ). There is valid way about talking about how God loves the world, and where our confidence should lie, but I don’t think it’s in our innate self-worth and being so special and wonderful and God being so cuddly. A doctrine that makes much of humanity and much less of God is probably not a very good one.