If vainglory is about stealing glory from God, it is unintelligible outside the house of faith. This may explain why Rebecca DeYoung's book flows against the current of attempts to reclaim narcissism and pride.
So much religious talk is about naming, about describing a general reality in particular terms. This is important. But in our increasingly secular culture, it’s always striking when someone gets at deep religious truth without bothering with religious language.
For instance, Jay Smooth offers a pretty crisp explication here of the nature of sin and virtue.
"The disciples were obviously astonished to see Christ in glory," said our pastor. He was prepared for questions about the Transfiguration. Instead, one first grader asked, "what does 'obviously' mean?"
My favorite Kierkegaardian parable is called “The Man Who Walked Backwards.” The Danish philosopher was particularly hard on religious professionals, and claimed that inconsistent behaviors most often accompany exorbitant professions of good intentions:
What counts as the good life? What constitutes happiness? What do we really need in order to flourish as human beings? Many of us would associate these questions with the late-night conversations we love to have with friends or the subjects we explore together on long afternoon walks.