Are Christians Obliged NOT to Forgive? A Response to Martin (1997)

Volume
Volume 28
Issue
Spring 2000
Title
Are Christians Obliged NOT to Forgive? A Response to Martin (1997)
Abstract

In contrast to the prevailing wisdom of many Christian and secular psychologists, biblical studies scholar T. Martin (1997) claims that a Christian has an obligation not to forgive an unrepentant offender. In this article, I analyze each of his points, offer more evidence from the writings of the early Church, and reach the following conclusion: Although we must always remember that reconciliation between victim and offender is the goal in Christian relationships, subtle distinctions between God'€™s forgiveness of humans or the Church'€™s reconciliation with offenders (on the one hand) and forgiveness between two individual Christians (on the other hand) allow us to maintain that Christians can and should forgive unrepentant offenders, at least as forgiveness is defined in the psychological tradition. I end with a series of forgiveness-related challenges and questions for scholars in biblical studies, theology, and psychology.

Author
Dr. E.A. Gassin
Pages
36 - 42
Price
Add to Cart $5.00