Commentary: We’re So Unashamed We Wrote a Book on It. Three of Them, Actually
Christians still need a better understanding of the complexity of shame.
Our age is characterized by what psychotherapist Joseph Burgo called an “anti-shame zeitgeist.” The beloved researcher Brené Brown wrote two No. 1 New York Times bestsellers decrying shame, and her TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” has been watched more than 26 million times.
This year, the anti-shame revolution is front and center in Christian publishing, with three new Christian books all titled Unashamed. Go to your local Christian bookstore and ask for a copy of Unashamed, and you may hear, “Which one? Lecrae, Heather Davis Nelson, or Christine Caine? Take your pick.”
There is no shame in sharing a title, but this coincidence points to a marketing reality: becoming proudly unashamed is all the rage now.
Lecrae’s Unashamed is a memoir, and as a fan of his music, I couldn’t put it down. (My six-year-old’s most requested musical artists are Elsa and Lecrae.) Lecrae’s story is compelling and deals with different facets of shame. As a young boy, he confronted deep shame over his father’s abandonment; he also faced sexual abuse. Throughout the book, he returns to the theme of not quite fitting in—whether it be because he was an arty kid in a rough neighborhood or because he is now a successful Christian rapper who neither fits neatly into mainstream Christian music nor mainstream rap.
Caine’s Unashamed follows the Australian teacher and speaker’s two previous titles, Undaunted and Unstoppable. Her women’s ministry, Propel, also lists more than a dozen “un” terms to describe the woman they hope to encourage, including unashamed: “She does not minimize or hide who God has made her to be.” Caine’s book …