If you’re looking for a solid and penetrating book on forgiveness that nourishes the soul and refuses to pedal a cheap bunch of psycho-fluff, I can’t think of a more insightful book than Embodying Forgiveness: A Theological Analysis by L. Gregory Jones. I’ll simply let Jones set the tone of his book:
“I argue in this book that the overarching context of a Christian account of forgiveness is the God who lives in trinitarian relations of peaceable, self-giving communion and thereby is willing to bear the cost of forgiveness in order to restore humanity to the communion in God’s eschatological Kingdom. That is, in the face of human sin and evil, God’s love moves toward reconciliation by means of costly forgiveness. In response, human beings are called to become holy by embodying that forgiveness through specific habits and practices that seek to remember the past truthfully, to repair the brokenness, to heal divisions, and to reconcile and renew relationships.
Most fundamentally, then, forgiveness is not so much a word spoken, an action performed, or a feeling felt as it is an embodied way of life in an ever-deepening friendship with the triune God and with others. As such, a Christian account of forgiveness ought not simply or even primarily be focused on the absolution of guilt; rather, it ought to be focused on the reconciliation of brokenness, the restoration of communion – with God, with one another, and with the whole Creation. Indeed, because of the pervasiveness of sin and evil, Christian forgiveness must be at once an expression of commitment to a way of life, the cruciform life of holiness in which we seek to ‘unlearn’ sin and learn the ways of God, and a means of seeking reconciliation in the midst of particular sins, specific instances of brokenness.”
L. Gregory Jones, Embodying Forgiveness: A Theological Analysis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), xii.
How do I forgive? How can I forgive? I need help learning how to forgive. What is forgiveness? Forgiveness.