Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith
Many people have become angry and frustrated with organized religion and evangelical Christianity, in particular. Too often the church has proven to be a source of pain rather than a place of hope. Forgive Us acknowledges the legitimacy of much of the anger toward the church. In truth, Christianity in America has significant brokenness in its history that demands recognition and repentance. Only by this path can the church move forward with its message of forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.
Forgive Us is thus a call to confession. From Psalm 51 to the teachings of Jesus to the prayers of Nehemiah, confession is the proper biblical response when God's people have injured others and turned their backs on God's ways. In the book of Nehemiah, the author confesses not only his own sins, but also the sins of his ancestors. The history of the American church demands a Nehemiah-style confession both for our deeds and the deeds of those who came before us.
In each chapter of Forgive Us two pastors who are also academically trained historians provide accurate and compelling histories of some of the American church's greatest shortcomings. Theologian Soong-Chan Rah and justice leader Lisa Sharon Harper then share theological reflections along with appropriate words of confession and repentance.
Passionate and purposeful, Forgive Us will challenge evangelical readers and issue a heart-felt request to the surrounding culture for forgiveness and a new beginning.
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About the Author
Mae Elise Cannon is the senior director of advocacy and outreach in the Middle East for World Vision USA. She is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church and a doctoral candidate at the University of California--Davis. She is also the author of Social Justice Handbook.
Lisa Sharon Harper, MA, MFA, is a speaker, an activist, an author, an award-winning playwright, and a poet. Currently she is director of mobilizing for Sojourners, a national Christian organization committed to faith in action for social justice. Harper was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice, an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. Her writing has been featured in the National Civic Review, God's Politics blog, the Huffington Post, Patheos, Urban Faith, Prism, and Slant33, where she has written extensively on the role of government, tax reform, comprehensive immigration reform, health care reform, poverty, racial justice, and transformational civic engagement. Harper's faith-rooted approach to advocacy and organizing has activated people of faith across the United States and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith. She earned her master's degree in human rights from Columbia University in New York City. Her book Left, Right, and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics is coauthored by D. C. Innes (an evangelical Republican who is also a Tea Partier). In it, Harper and Innes explore their philosophies of government and business as well as six major issues the next generations of evangelicals must wrestle with to be faithful witnesses in the public square.