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How to Find Yourself: Why Looking Inward is not the Answer (Rosner)

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In the 21st-century West, identity is everything. Never has it been more important, culturally speaking, to know who you are and be true to yourself. Expressive individualism—the belief that looking inward is the way to find yourself—has become the primary approach to identity formation, and questioning anyone’s “self-made self” is often considered a threat or attack.

Prompted by his own crisis of identity, Brian Rosner argues that personal identity is formed not only by looking inward, but also by looking around to your relationships, backward and forward to your life stories, and upward to God. In How to Find Yourself, Rosner equips readers to engage sympathetically with some of the most pressing questions of our day. Challenging the status quo, he offers an approach to identity formation that leads to more secure and joyful self-knowledge: being known intimately and personally by God and following the script of Jesus’s life story.


“With remarkable clarity and helpful analysis, Brian Rosner provides a template for understanding the expressive individualism so prevalent in the West. Rosner does so in an irenic way that makes this book approachable to those caught up in individualist approaches. It will be a helpful primer to some of the more important conversations people have at each other today—and it can help us to start talking with one another instead.”
Ed Stetzer, Professor and Dean, Wheaton College

“What a solid and needed book! How to Find Yourself is about locating yourself not in the privatized world of your own self-constructed identity but in the social and divine contexts in which people live, made as they are in the image of God. In a modern world filled with loneliness and dislocation, this book connects you with life as it was designed to be lived with others. It sees life in the world for the challenge it often is, including the faults of what we do to one another, but it does not hide from the responsibility we all have for making it that way and from the opportunity that a connection to God and care for others has for making it better.”
Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, The Hendricks Center, Dallas Theological Seminary

How to Find Yourself gives readers a roadmap to the stories that compete for our affections. And Brian Rosner reveals the gospel as the compass that shows the way home. If you want to understand this cultural moment, pay close attention to this book.”
Collin Hansen, Vice President and Editor in Chief, The Gospel Coalition; author, Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation

About the Author

Brian Rosner (PhD, Cambridge) is principal of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. He previously taught at the University of Aberdeen and Moore Theological College. Rosner is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity. He is married to Natalie and has four children.