Guest / Limited Access /

Mark D. Roberts is one brave evangelical. After rolling his eyes upon hearing of a new iPhone app that prepares users for the Rite of Penance, the Texas-based pastor decided to try Confession: A Roman Catholic App for $1.99, and lived to write about it.

First, the app created a "custom examination of conscience," based on Roberts's age, gender, marital status, and time of last confession. Then it led him through conscience-pricking questions based on the Ten Commandments, such as, "Do I not give God time every day in prayer?" and "Am I critical, negative or charitable in my thoughts of others?" It then compiled his specific sins and provided a prayer of contrition, prompting him when to say "amen." Then a pause where a priest would offer absolution (Roberts, of course, skipped this), before offering a reminder from Scripture or a saint about God's forgiveness.

After one round of this, "I was chastened," admitted Roberts, who believes confession is "one of the most often disobeyed commands in the whole Bible." While using the app is certainly not requisite, he said, if it "helps some Christians examine their lives and confess their sins, either to the Lord alone or to another in God's presence, then I can see benefit."

Judging by popularity rankings and user reviews, the app is bearing such fruit for some Christians. Impressed by the app's thoroughness and ease, one busy mother who hadn't been to confession in two years told NPR she was going back. "There's a reason we designed it for these mobile devices: We want you to go to confession," said Patrick Leinen, who created the app after the pope's January speech ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThe Best-Dressed Drug Dealers
Subscriber Access Only
The Best-Dressed Drug Dealers
Pharmaceutical companies may be to blame for the current opioid crisis.
Recommended
Subscriber Access Only 'The Purpose of Christmas'
An excerpt on "A Time for Celebration."
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickA Journey as Old as Humanity Itself
A Journey as Old as Humanity Itself
What’s behind our timeless fascination with religious pilgrimage?
Christianity Today
iPhone Apps and the Old Adam
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.