The Triune God loves us, offers us forgiveness, and seeks our reconciliation. This is the bedrock truth, despite our betrayals, rejections, manipulations, and abusiveness directed toward people, the creation, and God. This gracious and good news, if we embrace it, shapes us into Christian communities of forgiveness, which train and support us to offer human forgiveness and to receive it.
Forgiveness is the heart of Christian ethics; accordingly it is a most suitable theme for this inaugural issue of Christian Reflection. Our contributors offer thoughtful reflection to enrich our understanding, and guidance to stir our practice of embodying God's forgiveness, through articles, inspirational pieces, book reviews, an interview, Christian art, a hymn, and worship aids.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to enrich our understanding of God's forgiveness and of God's call to congregations to become forgiving communities. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Forgiveness issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
- "See How They Love One Another," by Dorothy C. Bass and Frederick A. Niedner, Jr.
- "The Purpose of God and the Politics of Salvation," by Dorothy Jean Weaver
- "Forgiveness: Taking the Word to Heart," by J. Randall O'Brien
- "Forgiveness as a Character Trait," by Robert C. Roberts
- "God's Repentance-Enabling Forgiveness," by Ralph C. Wood
- "Failing Leaders," by Robert B. Kruschwitz
- "A Startling Mystery," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Montauti, The Return of the Prodigal Son
- "Our 'Dangerous Innocence,'" by Heidi J. Hornik, on Cole, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
- "Cherishing God's Forgiveness," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Poussin, Sacrament of Penance
Hymn and Worship Service
- "Heaviness of Heart and Conscience," by Terry W. York and C. David Bolin
- Worship Service by David G. Miller
- "To Err is Human; To Forgive...?," by Thomas G. Long
- "The Forgetfulness of God," by Brian L. Harbour
- Other Voices, Quotations on Forgiveness
- "Which Way to Forgiveness?," by Caroline J. Simon
- Johann Christoph Arnold, Why Forgive?
- L. Gregory Jones, Embodying Forgiveness: A Theological Analysis
- Patrick J. Brennan, The Way of Forgiveness: How to Heal Life's Hurts and Restore Broken Relationships
- "The Science of Forgiveness," by Katheryn Rhoads Meek
- Everett Worthington, Dimensions of Forgiveness: Psychological Research and Theological Perspectives
- Michael E. McCullough, et al (eds.), Forgiveness: Theory, Research, and Practice
- "The Heart of Reconciliation: A Conversation with John Paul Lederach," by Robert B. Kruschwitz
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)
- "Forgiveness is God's Purpose"
- "Why Should We Forgive?"
- "The Politics of Salvation"
- "Becoming Forgiving People"
- "See How They Love One Another"
- "Failing Leaders"
- "Frodo's Forgiveness," by Ralph C. Wood (Inklings of Glory)