In this anecdotal study of public apology, Edwin Battistella shows that our anxieties and confusions about confession are rooted in a deeper ambiguity: the tension between the culpable self and the apologetic self.
It is a subtle shift that we make in our liturgy and preaching. But it’s an important one. We do terrible things and we must confess our action. But we are good. We are made in the image of God. And in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven people.
Readers may or may not accept Charles Hefling's reconstruction of the doctrine of original sin. But he continues the tradition of rethinking the faith in light of new knowledge, contexts, and concerns.