Tag Archives | confession

Confession and Justice | Kent Annan

Kent AnnanConfession produces freedom and restores right relationships, which releases the river of God’s justice to roll down.

—Annan, Kent. Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World. Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2016, 60.

Notes from the Underground | Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • Notes from Underground © 1864
  • Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, trans. © 1993
  • Borzoi: Alfred A. Knopf
  • 126 pages

I’ve met the underground man before. After years of pastoring, I’ve seen traces of him in all sorts of people—even myself. I’ve witnessed the painfully thorough introspection that causes otherwise rational people’s thoughts to cycle through an internal feedback loop. I’ve been privy to the inflated sense of pride that imagines absurd revenge scenarios in response to the slightest unintentional personal infraction. There’s plenty of underground man in our world today.

It’s uncanny how a nineteenth century Russian man is reflected so clearly in our capitalistic western culture. Perhaps the rejection of any sort of utopian vision is the common thread. The idea that the world isn’t getting better and better draws strange people together.

This was my first foray into Dostoyevsky (I’m ashamed to say). He’s created a compelling character that elicits empathy while simultaneously thoroughly frustrating the reader. This sort of tortured complexity will keep me coming back to Dostoyevsky for a long time.

To Whom Should We Confess? | John Calvin

Since it is the Lord who forgives, forgets, and wipes out sins, let us confess our sins to him in order to obtain pardon. He is the physician; therefore, let us lay bare our wounds to him. It is he who is hurt and offended; from him let us seek peace. He is the discerner of hearts, the one cognizant of all thoughts; let us hasten to pour out our hearts before him. He it is, finally, who calls sinners: let us not delay to come to God himself.

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III.iv.9.

Psalm 51 and Lent

Ash Wednesday is here again. As a pentecostal minister with an abnormal affection for liturgy, I was determined not to miss the season of Lent this time around. The problem is, what could I do that would be meaningful?

Rachel Held Evans posted 40 great ideas that started my mind whirling. I almost jumped into the 40 days of water idea. Something about it didn’t sit right with me, though (nothing wrong with the charity—it just wasn’t for me this time around).

This morning during prayer I realized the importance of confession during Lent, and what better scripture to go to than Psalm 51? I decided that this Lenten season I’m going to study and memorize Psalm 51. To help me with that task I’ve whipped up a series of 9 desktop backgrounds with the scripture on it (from the ESV).

If you feel like joining me in this, here are the files: Psalm 51 Desktop Background. I made them for my own desktop, so the resolution’s 1440×900.

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