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‘Forgive and forget’ and other myths of forgiveness

Allender, Dan B
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) In God and the victim: Theological reflections on evil, victimization, justice, and forgiveness, ed. Lisa Barnes Lampman and Michelle D. Shattuck, 199-216. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; and Neighbors Who Care: Washington, D.C.

Drawing from real-life relationships, Dan Allender explores the nature and purpose of forgiveness. In the first part of the chapter he exposes and scrutinizes several common misunderstandings about forgiveness. Common misunderstandings include the following: that forgiveness requires forgetting the harm; that forgiveness means complete release of anger; that forgiveness involves not desiring revenge; and that forgiveness seeks relational peace at any price. In the second part of the chapter Allender unfolds his understanding of a biblical perspective on forgiveness. Forgiving another person involves knowing how much you have been forgiven as well as a yearning for reconciliation. Forgiveness seeks to overcome sin and move a person to repentance. And forgiveness anticipates restoration of the wrongdoer’s relationships with the one who forgives and with God.


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