justified sinner

anonymous asked:

Have you ever read The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner? I'm just starting it now, i've to read it for college, and honestly i'd rather step on a lego :/ It's my Wuthering Heights, except I haven't read it yet... i've just no enthusiasm for it at all :c

I actually really enjoyed that book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely batshit, but you give me a book about the devil disguised as a Jesus freak teenager’s doppelgänger and I’m automatically intrigued. (It was also theoretically the inspiration for Jekyll & Hyde, which is a favorite of mine.)

Romans 5:8-11 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Christians With Depression

Even though clinical depression has only been medically categorized and developed in the last few decades, the characters who populate our Scriptures were no strangers to it. In the book named for him, Job despairs: “I cannot eat for sighing; my groans pour out like water. What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come to be. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; instead, only trouble comes …. I will never again experience pleasure … I would rather die of strangulation than go on and on like this. I hate my life” (Job 3:23-26, 7:11, 15-16, NLT).

King David was depressed. In the opening verses of Psalm 13 he writes, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?” And David’s son Solomon wrote, “I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:17).

We can finally explain this disorder biologically; doctors have come to believe that clinical depression is caused by an imbalance of several chemicals in the brain, namely serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Yet, we still have a tendency to see it as a personal or spiritual disorder. We hear about people with depression and think that they must just be lazy or unmotivated or self-pitying. Even seeing that biblical heroes might have been depressed doesn’t shake our instinct that real Christians just don’t get depressed. We explain those passages away and insist that Christians shouldn’t be depressed, because true joy is found in Jesus.

Unfortunately, the spiritual joy of salvation that comes with knowing Jesus does not always precipitate earthly health or happiness. Christians still get ill, and depression is a sickness—perhaps one of the most insidious ones. Depression inspires a worthlessness that undermines the love and mercy of God. Many Christians who suffer from depression find that their affliction makes it more difficult for them to go to church, pray or engage in acts of charity. The direction of causality here is crucial—depression causes spiritual withdrawal, not the other way around.

Some still say that depression is a result of sin in the depressive person’s life and they may be partially right. Guilt and shame can develop and persist because of secret or unconfessed sins in a person’s life and these perpetual feelings can trigger a depressive episode. This doesn’t mean that “eliminating” sin will cure depression, because sin will always be with us. We are all sinners and we’ll all disobey God’s will at some point—otherwise, what’s the point of grace? As Paul writes in Romans, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members” (7:22-23). We are all, as Martin Luther would say, fully justified and yet fully sinners. An emphasis on the sin component of depression is basically blaming the victim.

Here it is helpful to look at depression the way we look at cancer. Some cancers are partially caused by the actions of the victim—they might have smoked cigarettes or suntanned too much. Yet there are many who have never taken even a drag off a smoke and those who use SPF 45 sun block and still get cancer. Carcinogens are all around us, and they are somewhat indiscriminate in their selection of victims. Similarly, sin is all around us. Dr. Fred Lee, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a teaching fellow at Harvard University, put it this way, “The mortality rate of all people—believers and not—is 100 percent, because this is a fallen world. Sin begets disease, too, in the same way it begets death. From that perspective disease is our fault—in the sense that we are a fallen race. However, it is not directly the fault of the individual.”

A much more prevalent sin component of depression is the act of being sinned against. Experiences in our lives deeply scar us—something as simple as a popular kid making fun of our clothes or something as horrific as ongoing physical or sexual abuse. Perpetually being sinned against creates young men and women who believe that they deserve their sad state of fate, that they really aren’t good enough, and that no one, not even God, could possibly love them. Medical studies show that repeated traumatic experiences can permanently lower mood-regulating brain chemicals. This is the legacy of sin that exists in the lives of all of us.

Depression should be treated and can be put into remission through a course of psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy and/or antidepressant medication, supplemented by healthy doses of prayer within a loving Christian community. It is nonsensical to tell a depressed person that if they only read they Bible more or had better quiet times, their depression would surely be lifted. That would be like telling a diabetic that faith alone will regulate her insulin levels. Faith alone gives eternal salvation, but in the meantime, God has given us resources by which to make our temporal existences more palatable. Depression can absolutely be healed by the grace of God, but more often than not, through the tools of His servants, like pharmacists, therapists, pastors and friends.

“best of” reading list: encyclopedic novels, metafiction, & hypertext fiction.

the encyclopedic novel is a literary concept popularized by edward mendelson in two 1976 essays (“encyclopedic narrative” and “gravity’s encyclopedia”). in mendelson’s formulation, encyclopedic novels “attempt to render the full range of knowledge and beliefs of a national culture, while identifying the ideological perspectives from which that culture shapes and interprets its knowledge”. qualities include “accounts of at least one technology or science”, extensive use of synecdoche, and the display of “an encyclopedia of literary styles, ranging from the most primitive and anonymous levels … to the most esoteric of high styles”. metafiction is a a genre of fiction, wherein a fictional work self-consciously draws attention to being a work of imagination, rather than a work of non-fiction; and about the process by which fiction makes the author’s statements. metafiction poses philosophic and critical questions about the relation between fiction and reality, usually by applying irony and self-reflection. hypertext fiction is an evolving genre of electronic literature, characterized by the use of hypertext links that provide a new context for non-linearity in literature and reader interaction. while some use this to primarily describe the new subset of reading known as “choose-your-own adventure” books, i find the name most aptly suits describing stories in which a nonlinear narrative and interactive narrative is achieved through internal references. after being in a book* hangover for the longest time after reading homestuck, i feared that i’d never be satisfied with anything less complex and that i’d never be quite so absorbed by something afterward! these genres have seen me through that. if you prefer linear plots and dickensian, “god bless us, every one” style endings these probably aren’t for you, but they’re right up the alley of anyone who prefers rich complexity (and often a certain degree of smugness) to works and is getting tired of commonplace literary and general fictional conventions, on the hunt for… a new frontier. these genres are not necessarily interconnected, but i find that they often are, especially in these works. they’re also all closely tied to postmodernism, if you’re looking for further reading


  • don quixote - miguel de cervantes
  • the canterbury tales - geoffrey chaucer
  • jacques the fatalist - denis diderot
  • the history of tom jones, a foundling - henry fielding
  • the private memoirs and confessions of a justified sinner - james hogg
  • the life and opinions of tristram shandy, gentleman - laurence sterne
  • northanger abbey - jane austen
  • vanity fair - william makepeace thackeracy
  • london fields - martin amis
  • the handmaid’s tale - margaret atwood
  • the new york trilogy - paul auster
  • chimera - john barth
  • lost in the funhouse - john barth
  • one for the morning glory - john barnes
  • the divine comedy - dante
  • the mezzanine - nicholson baker
  • the savage detectives - roberto bolaño
  • 2666 - roberto bolaño
  • the garden of forking paths - jorge luis borges
  • short stories of jorge luis borges including “tlön, qqbar, orbis tertius”, “the book of sand”, “pierre menard, author of the quixote”, and “the library of babel”
  • naked lunch - william s. burroughs
  • second thoughts - michel butor
  • possession: a romance - a.s. byatt
  • if on a winter’s night a traveler - italo calvino
  • hopscotch - julio cortázar
  • little, big - john crowley
  • house of leaves - mark z. danielewski
  • s. - j.j. abrams, doug dorst
  • foucalt’s pendulum - umberto eco
  • the name of the rose - umberto eco
  • a heartbreaking work of staggering genius - dave eggers
  • the “malazan book of the fallen” series - steven erikson
  • the eyre affair - jasper fforde
  • sophie’s world - jostein gaarder
  • one hundred years of solitude - gabriel garcía márquez
  • grendel - john gardner
  • the counterfeiters - andré gide
  • book: a novel - robert grudin
  • the curious incident of the dog in the night-time - mark haddon
  • ulysses - james joyce
  • gödel, escher, bach: an eternal golden braid - douglas hofstadter
  • the unbearable lightness of being - milan kundera
  • therapy - david lodge
  • with the people from the bridge (poena damni book 2) - dimitris lyacos
  • underworld - don delillo
  • life of pi - yann martel
  • atonement - ian mcewan
  • finnegan’s wake - james joyce
  • cloud atlas - david mitchell
  • kafka on the shore - haruki murakami
  • moby-dick - herman melville
  • severel of the “discworld” novels by terry pratchett
  • faust - johann wolfgang von goethe
  • the people of paper - salvador plascencia
  • pale fire - vladimir nakobov
  • the things they carried - tim o’brien
  • at swim-two-birds - flann o’brien
  • haunted - chuck palahniuk
  • diary - chuck palahniuk
  • gold bug variations - richard powers
  • the book of the book - idries shah
  • the double - josé saramago
  • gravity’s rainbow - thomas pynchon
  • the cantos - ezra pound
  • slaughterhouse-five - kurt vonnegut
  • brief interviews with hideous men - david foster wallace
  • war and peace - leo tolstoy
  • orlando - virginia woolf
  • the fifth head of cerberus - gene wolfe
  • the castle of crossed destinies - italo calvino

comics & comic series:

  • watchmen - alan moore and dave gibbons, dc
  • animal man - grant morrison, dc
  • deadpool - various (especially cullen bunn’s work), marvel
  • unbeatable squirrel girl - various, marvel
  • cerebus the aardvark - dave sim
  • homestuck - andrew hussie, mspa
  • understanding comics - scott mccloud

feel free to mssg me suggestions of things to add! im thinking of doing a watchlist of films and maybe shows for this as well so if ur interested… lmk

Review for Queer Gothic by George E. Haggerty

From the back cover:

Gothic fiction explores the worlds of sexual and social transgression, and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it remained semirespectable in spite of its lurid scenes of sexual violence and interpersonal abuse. George Haggerty’s Queer Gothic argues that gothic fiction itself helped to shape thinking about sexual matters and animated the darker shadows of the dominant fiction with materials that anticipated later developments in the fields of sexology and psychology.

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So, late last night scandalousnurse suggested we compare books and immathrowabrickatyou was curious what’s on my shelves too.  

So, I spent like two hours just now cataloging every book currently in my possession (not including stuff on my Kindle, or things that are in storage for safekeeping, i.e., sets of Dickens and Shakespeare published in the 1800s). 

So, here’s a list of all the books I currently own, organized by category and then alphabetized by author, because I work in a bookstore and that’s how we do things. 

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2014's Reading List

A new year, a new reading list… I have lots of academic and mandatory reading ahead this year as I finish off my BA and start grad school… lots of classes to take to fill in the gaps, lots of feminist theory, social history, etc., and so I suspect my beloved classic novels are going to be quite absent from my studious world. Of course, that means I need to compensate with my leisure reading! 


  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald *
  • Richard II - William Shakespeare
  • The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield


  • Lady Audley’s Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

To Read:

  • The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin 
  • The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
  • Daniel Deronda - George Eliot
  • The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot
  • Jamaica Inn - Daphne Du Maurier  
  • Forty Stories - Anton Chekhov 
  • The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton 
  • Vile Bodies - Evelyn Waugh 
  • Howards End - E.M. Forster 
  • Regeneration - Pat Baker
  • The Children’s Book - A.S. Byatt
  • Longbourn - Jo Baker 
  • Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
  • My Antonia - Willa Cather 
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding *
  • Fear of Flying  - Erica Jong *
  • Unbearable Lightness - Portia de Rossi *
  • Women’s Room - Marilyn French *
  • Vida - Marge Piercy *
  • Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson *
  • Lanark - Alasdair Gray *
  • Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - James Hogg *
  • Final Harvest - Emily Dickinson *
  • Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman *

To Reread

  • The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton 
  • The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton 
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen 
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë 
  • This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald 

I will update this list as I read more and buy more books throughout the year! Starred books are for class. 

oh hey look at that i found dumbledore’s autobiography (ft grindelwald’s creepy skull face)

[Image: A book cover, the title reading ‘The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner’ by Albus Dumbledore. The image beneath is a man in a purple suit holding a knife while a demonic face looks over his shoulder.]