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Posts tagged "forgiveness"


Another Week Ends: Johnny Cash + Jesus, Fitbit Valentines, The French Dispatch, The Green Knight, Closeness-Communication Bias, Malcolm Gladwell, The Decadent Society, Forgiveness, and a Little Death on Sunday

1. Today’s devotional content comes courtesy of the New Yorker, where Casey Cep contributed a concise but heartening column about Johnny Cash and the gospel. “Gospel music changed Cash’s career,” she writes, “and the gospel of Jesus Christ changed his life.” This comes from a review of Richard Beck’s new book Trains, Jesus, and Murder: […]

Best Couple Ever

The following comes to us from Will Ryan: My wife and I met when we were both going to seminary at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth. After we became engaged, we decided to get married in Texas because it would be easiest. Texas has a law/rule when it comes to marriage licenses: if you […]

Frederick Buechner’s Bad News

A choice reflection from Frederick Buechner’s Quote of the Day (h/t KW):

The Gospel is bad news before it is good news. It is the news that man is a sinner, to use the old word, that he is evil in the imagination of his heart, that when he looks in the mirror all in a lather what he sees is at least eight parts chicken, phony, slob. That is the tragedy. But it is also the news that he is loved anyway, cherished, forgiven, bleeding to be sure, but also bled for. That is the comedy. And yet, so what? So what if even in his sin the slob is loved and forgiven when the very mark and substance of his sin and of his slobbery is that he keeps turning down the love and forgiveness because he either doesn’t believe them or doesn’t want them or just doesn’t give a damn? In answer, the news of the Gospel is that extraordinary things happen to him just as in fairy tales extraordinary things happen. Henry Ward Beecher cheats on his wife, his God, himself, but manages to keep on bringing the Gospel to life for people anyway, maybe even for himself. Lear goes berserk on a heath but comes out of it for a few brief hours every inch a king. Zaccheus climbs up a sycamore tree a crook and climbs down a saint. Paul sets out a hatchet man for the Pharisees and comes back a fool for Christ. It is impossible for anybody to leave behind the darkness of the world he carries on his back like a snail, but for God all things are possible. That is the fairy tale. All together they are the truth.

– Originally published in Telling the Truth

Leslie Jamison on Self-Forgiveness and Shame

The most recent edition of Image features a lovely interview with Leslie Jamison. We can’t stop writing about her, especially after her extraordinary talk at our conference this year in New York. In the interview, she discusses a number of other concerns—the fear that our feelings are clichés, that privilege and difference inhibit resonance with […]

A Bachelorette Treatise on Sin

What could possibly go wrong when you throw together a beautiful woman, a couple dozen handsome men, a dash of love, and a sprinkle of Christianity?! Well, on Monday night, Bachelor Nation found out as we witnessed the long-anticipated showdown between Bachelorette Hannah and contestant Luke P.—one that certainly will go down in franchise history. […]

“I Do” Is Not “I Can”: From Jason Micheli’s Living in Sin

Thrilled to share this excerpt from Jason Micheli’s brand-new book Living in Sin: Making Marriage Work Between I Do and Death. The following comes from Chapter Three, “That’s What She Said” (pp 52-56). Strike what I said earlier against advice-giving because here’s some. But this isn’t just marriage advice, it’s Christian advice, advice on how […]

The Ambition of Being Better: The Absurd Command, Part 1

We are dissatisfied with who we have come to be; all of us, vexed by the selves we negotiate the world as. Funded though they are by the nature of what we are, we recognize that who we have been overwhelmingly shapes who we are at present. We can imagine counterfactual selves, but the reality […]

The Peril of Good Things (from Milkman, Pt 2)

I tried to…unravel the distortions, have her right mind restored to her. She said it was impossible, that it was perilous to focus on good things when there were bad things, all these bad things, she said, that could not be forgot. She said old dark things as well as new dark things had to […]

Not Yet: Serena Williams and Delayed Forgiveness

“I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” These are two sentences that I find myself constantly demanding of my children…and I find that whether or not they mean them is immaterial. It’s like that great line in Liar Liar when Jim Carrey’s asking his son to recant his wish that his father would be unable to lie. […]

Lance Armstrong’s Moving Finish Line

Where were you in 2012 when Lance Armstrong confessed his steroid sins to St. Oprah? Did you immediately take off your 2004 (!) Livestrong wristband and trash it, or did you simply let it fall behind the bedroom dresser? Was it the talk of your town, or did it just confirm your lack of interest […]

A Terrifying Act of Clemency

A certain sometimes-Presbyterian WWE enthusiast and former game-show host from Queens, preternatural in the ancient American art of getting attention, has commanded the usual furor of late — but for reasons that, even by his own standard, count as unusual. While the handshake in Singapore with Kim the 3rd is startling enough (for good, we […]

J.B. Roane and the Case of the Belated Apology

This is the first in an ongoing series of original short stories featuring the Rev. J.B. Roane. Thornton bought me a cup of coffee at the same Dairy Queen where he found my business card the previous day, pinned up a little crooked on a bulletin board next to the men’s room. J.B. Roane – […]