And what about the “self”, that great bastion of modernity and object of postmodern deconstruction? Out of that muddle has come a great and often unhealthy obsession, once more, not only with “self” but also with “identity”, leading to much misunderstanding. Often people suppose that the point of the Christian message is to “affirm” our “identities” of whatever sort. That comes from Gnosticism, not from the gospel. Jesus spoke of losing one’s self in order to find it. The gospels are written in such a way that they draw us into that losing-and-finding dynamic, where nothing remains the same except the Father’s love.
–N.T. Wright, God in Public: How the Bible Speaks Truth to Power Today