Sometimes it seems that modern churches have abandoned the practice of corporate confession. Duguid and Houk seek to revive it, using all manner of specifics regarding what we've done and left undone and tying these into particular Scriptures and hymns, at the same time offering assurance of God's pardon. 208 pages, softcover. P&R.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But what are those things? Why do we confess them? The purpose of confessing our sins is not simply to remind us what great sinners we are, but rather to point us to the great Savior we have. Inspired by the Puritan classic The Valley of Vision, this book provides specific prayers of confession in response to particular Scripture passages. They are ideal for use in church or in personal devotions. These prayers thank God for Jesus perfect righteousness and substitutionary atonement for our sins and ask for the help of the Spirit in pursuing holiness. They close with a scriptural assurance of pardon in Christ for the sins of Gods people. Appendices include the hymns referenced in each prayer, as well as the sermon texts that accompanied these confessions as they were originally used in worship services.
Barbara Duguid holds an advanced certificate in biblical counseling from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania. She is a counselor and ministry assistant at Christ Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Glenside, a pastor's wife, and the mother of six children. Wayne Duguid Houk is the events director and conference planner at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
At a time when some fear that confession of sin will be a turn off to the gospel, Duguid and Houk show how the heart longing for reconciliation with God can find peace and beauty in biblical confession. Long ago, another wrote that grace is not sweet, if sin is not bitter. Duguid and Houk help us face the bitter to taste the sweet.
When Scripture is scattered like seeds into good soil, a garden grows. This book is a fruitful garden, the fruit of good soilfragrant, nutritious, beautiful. It calls us into the light, humbles us in our varied needs, delights us in God's many mercies. It is a resource for worshiping honestly and well. And it is a resource for living honestly and well. And it is a resource that will bless you when you put it to work.
This book has many virtues. One is its flexibility in being adaptable to a range of situations, including public worship and private devotions. Another is the careful thought that went into the individual prayers. A third virtue is the rootedness of the individual units in Bible passages. Finally, the table of contents shows at a glance that the book covers the whole of the Christian life. I love the overall aims and the method of this book, as well as the execution of details.
"I find it easier to learn about God than to talk to him. These devotionals and prayers assist me in doing both, with the added benefit that they inspire me to pray those prayers with others."