“I believe in the forgiveness of sins,” a famous line in the Apostles’ Creed, means “I believe in the rebirth of relationships” according to Telford Work in Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (166). To help himself discuss the Lord’s prayer petition for forgiveness, Telford explores Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons.
Which left me out since I haven’t read the novel. But, in spite of this, I got through this chp with not a few highlights and (I must confess) some confirmations of my newest book, A Community called Atonement.
Telford explores, as a result of the novel, the sinful human condition as “barrenness.” “It is futile,” he says, “to try to make something out of nothing; only a Creator can do that. It is specious to try to turn something wrong into something right; only a Redeemer can do that” (153).
We are bankrupt debtors (title of book gets its explanation in this chp) and we learn that “judgment and forgiveness are God’s new creation of those formerly barren relationships” (154).
We are back to the issue of defining our problem well enough: “The wages of sin were estrangement, oppression, corruption, vengeance, calamity, panic, starvation, defeat, slavery, torpor, idolatry, decline, sterility, death” (154).
Telford explores forgiveness as atonement, that atonement is integrally connected to other theological ideas … “Where sin is barrenness, atonement is replenishment” (159). Forgiveness is also mission. “Apostolic forgiveness is thus mission, and apostolic mission is forgiveness” (165). Forgiveness is also rehumanization.