Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. For many Christians, it is a season of repentance.
I’ve been thinking a lot about repentance lately, since I’m writing a book on repentance. I’ve become increasingly aware of the inability of our culture to embrace repentance. By “our culture” I mean white western culture–particularly as expressed in the United States.
We are enmeshed within a cultural ethos that looks forward. We assume that progress will resolve the problems of the past without requiring us to embrace lives of repentance. We learn history, but when we notice injustices in the past, we are urged to move on–to consume the information–but must not dwell there. To dwell in the past is seen as anti-social. However, repentance means coming to terms with the past–to not only own our complicity and relationship with past (and ongoing) wrongs, as well as return to those stories that should shape us as followers of Jesus Christ.
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