Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On forgiveness

In a few weeks, I will be attending the Emergent Theological Conversation
at Yale. In preparation I have been reading Miroslav Volf's Exclusion and Embrace. Oh my aching brain!!! It's been a while since I have had to keep a dictionary next to me while reading a book. It's defintely been worth the effort though.

Volf has got me thinking alot about forgiveness or more correctly a lack thereof. Using Christ as the example Volf writes, " the victim who refuses to be defined by the perpetrator, forgives and makes space in himself for the enemy," the thought challenges me. By not forgiving those who harm us, hurt us, wrong us, we empower them further. Whatever resides in us where forgiveness belongs is a further product of the perpetrator. The original harm is magnified and continued by our own lack of forgiveness. Instead of the common misperception, my own misperception, of somehow forgiveness being a symbol weakness, it is indeed one of strength. Forgiveness is taking control of that which formerly controlled us. I think....

2 comments:

Greg said...

I think, as with God's other commands, there are double reasons. One, the commands are there because they are pleasing to God. Second, they are there because they are good for us.

The Ten Commandments show the same thing. They reflect God's holiness, and they also make life a heck of a lot easier.

Jared said...

I just interviewed Dr. Volf about his next book, Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. You might like it:

An Interview with Dr. Miroslav Volf - Jared Coleman's Blog