Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Christmas Sweater (Part II)

by Glenn Beck

OK, here's the deal now that I've finished reading this. Beck has had a troubled life. His mom committed suicide when he was a teen. Beck later became an alcoholic and drug user. When in his thirties (I think he said) Beck found "faith" and at some point after that had a dream that changed his life.

This book is an allegory aimed at teaching Beck's version of how to thrive in this life even when things are tough. Even when we are broken in spirit. His answer: acknowledge your own worth; grasp the atonement that is there for you. His definition of atonement: peace that comes from forgiving yourself and others.

The story is mostly sweet. It gets a bit hokey just prior to the climax, after which the story rushes to a happy ending.

We all carry around guilt in this life. Some is our own guilt. Some is guilt we take on falsely. By this I mean that we often feel guilty over things that are not our fault. Those of us who are feeling beaten down by this undeserved guilt, might be helped by Beck's allegory. Perhaps. But the true guilt we all have is harder to assuage. The idea that we are "worthy" in and of ourselves and we just need to grasp the "atonement" that is somehow universally available is not a Christian idea. Our true worth comes only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The righteousness God gives us through this sacrifice is what gives us our worth and true atonement. True guilt will only be assuaged by this atonement; and true atonement will give true peace with God and therein lies true wholeness for our brokenness.

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