Review of Rousas John Rushdoony, The Cure of Souls
While I heave learned much from the mind of Rushdoony, I do not hold to Reconstructionism. Nevertheless. Rushdoony was often a trenchant social critic, who was gifted in applying theological categories to contemporary issues. On this, I recommend: The Messianic Character of American Education, This Independent Republic, The Nature of the American System, and The Revolt Against Maturity, to name just a few.
In this work, Rushdoony reflects on the nature of confession. He does so in 49 short chapters (or essays), which cover a wealth of angles. His goal is to reaffirm "the biblical doctrine of confession" as opposed to secular surrogates. To that end, Rushdoony cites many stories from his own long life as well as mining church history.
Rushdoony's central thesis is astute: the biblical doctrine of confession has been largely lost in the contemporary world. Many churches do not include it in their liturgy. Those outside the church may blather on about their sins without any sense of the meaning of sin or forgiveness. Rushdoony emphasizes that confession should be linked to repentance and restitution. We confess our sins before a holy God who commands us to "bear fruit worthy of repentance," as John the Baptist put it.
I found this book to be fascinating and challenging. It is a bit marred by poor editing, but that does not detract from the wisdom it contains. Surely "the cure of souls" is impossible without a proper doctrine and practice of confession