Narcissism in the Bible? A sermon by Philip Ryken


A few weeks ago, I attended a conference at Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia) where Dr. Philip Ryken was speaking/preaching. Dr. Ryken is a friend from our student days at WTS and is now the president of Wheaton College. His sermon was on the first 10 verses of 1 Kings 1. While the purpose of the talk was not to identify narcissism in the bible, the passage clearly points to egocentrism and all of the distortions and deceptions that come with building one’s own kingdom.

In the passage we see that Adonijah sets himself up as king even has his father, David, is still alive. What does he do that reveals narcissism?

  1. “I will be King.” He demands power
  2. He does not know humility or correction (sadly the passage says that his father never confronted him thus probably building egocentrism)
  3. He gathers people of influence to promote his position
  4. He buys an entourage to improve his public standing
  5. He gives the illusion of submission and faith (sacrificing sheep to look like he is doing the right thing)
  6. He makes sure not to include people who will speak the truth (does not invite Nathan the prophet)

Let me encourage you to listen (for free) to Dr. Ryken’s message as he describes in better fashion these features of building our own kingdom.

1 Comment

Filed under Biblical Reflection, deception

One response to “Narcissism in the Bible? A sermon by Philip Ryken

  1. jesuswedding

    I agree that this person has/had some serious issues. The Bible includes examples of both the proper leadership qualities and examples of the improper or dangerous leadership qualities.

    If you can’t be an example, be a warning.

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