Tags: forgiveness

A Story and a Prayer

A friend put me on to reading some 19th century novels by George MacDonald who, according to  Wikipedia, had an influence on such other writers as Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, GK Chesterton, Lewis Carroll, WH Auden, and JRR Tolkien. Even though the 19th century vocabulary and style are not always easy to push through, I’ve […]

The Bible and Cut Flowers

The words of the Bible can be like cut flowers. The words of Jesus, like the laws of Moses, can be selectively chosen and arranged for anyone’s temporary purposes and enjoyment. But once the words are sheared from the stem and root of the story they are telling, they begin to fade in significance like […]

Why We See Forgiveness Differently

In reading over the previous conversation it’s apparent  that there is still disagreement about the nature of forgiveness. We all know that we need it. But we disagree about when it is appropriate to give it. Our problem is that the Bible, in wisdom, says at least two different things: (1) That forgiveness is to […]

What’s the Point?

As the Gospel writer tells it, Jesus heads for Jerusalem by way of Samaria. When he enters an unnamed village, he is greeted by ten unnamed men who are afflicted with a loathsome physical disease and social curse (Luke 17:11-12). Standing far from the crowd that fears their disfiguring contagion, the ten call out to […]

Beating Ourselves Up

Who would doubt that, all too often, we are our own worst enemy? Without minimizing the great harm that others can do to us, and to those we love, who can deny the damage that we do by refusing to forgive ourselves for the foolish and hurtful things we have done– even after admitting that […]

To Forgive or Not to Forgive

If the Bible is full of “studies in contrast” and “truth in tension” rather than “self-contradictions and discrepancies,” another example is what the Scriptures variously say about forgiveness. Some passages indicate that one mark of a follower of Christ is to forgive those who harm us (Matt 6:14-15; Col 3:13). Other texts make it clear […]

A Big Fish Story

Today is Yom Kippur on the Jewish calendar. This no-work day of synagogue services, prayer, and fasting is the most solemn holy day in Judaism’s annual cycle of holy/holidays. Today observant Jewish people will recite a long prayer of confession as they lightly tap their chest in a spiritual and physical act of contrition. Toward […]

This is Not Normal!

NPR’s All Thing’s Considered host Madeleine Brand recently did an interview with Forest Whitaker, the executive producer of a 5 part video documentary called “Brick City.” The series tells the story of Mayor Cory Booker’s attempt to restore safety and security to the streets of Newark, New Jersey. Part of the interview includes an emotional […]

Who Will the President Pardon?

In the final days of the George W. Bush administration 2,300 convicted felons have applied for presidential clemency (a reduction of sentence) or pardon (the forgiveness of a conviction and suspension of legal penalty). According to an article on ABC News, a long list of hopefuls are waiting to see if the president will grant their […]

The Way Back

Some places are not a good spot to begin looking for God. With a smile, but in all seriousness, we talked about some of them in our last post. The pride by which we turn our backs on God can turn into a wounded pride that leads us to think that our sins are greater […]