I still like… have no idea what forgiveness entails tbh. =\ I see it described as simultaneously “not holding something against someone” but also that it doesn’t preclude justice/consequences.
One way I’ve heard it described that I understand is basically giving it up to God to mete out justice as God wishes. But isn’t that, as well as any type of justice, just like “outsourcing” holding the sin against them to God (or the state, if applicable, or others)? (I know you can never really “outsource” something that’s God’s jurisdiction to begin with but the sin is still ultimately being held against them… )
What does it mean to choose to forgive someone? What happens when you do?
I wrote about Forgiveness Sunday here. Hopefully this helps.
Dr. Helen Rhee is an Associate Professor of Religous Studies at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA. She earned her B.A in History at UC Berkeley and her M.Div. and Ph.D. at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. She previously served as pastor of Hana Church (Buena Park, CA) for a number of years. Dr. Rhee specializes in early Christian history, especially the second and third century Christian literature, focusing on the diverging Christian self- identities in relation to Greco-Roman culture and society. Her first book, Early Christian Literature: Christ and Culture in the Second and Third Centuries (Routledge, 2005), explores the very issue. She is also the author of Loving the Poor, Saving the Rich: Wealth, Poverty, and Early Christian Formation (Baker Academic, 2012), where she examines and analyzes early Christian attitudes toward and practices involving wealth and poverty and how these contributed to shaping Christian identities within larger Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts. Dr. Rhee received the Bruce and Adaline Bare Teacher of the Year Award in Humanities, 2010.
Very happy to have an interview with Helen Rhee on my main blog. Read it if you haven’t!
As you will be aware if you are not a complete stranger to this blog, I strongly hold to the view that a narrative-historical hermeneutic, informed by good work being done in New Testament Studies, gives us a much better understanding of the New Testament than the theologically driven methods of interpretation that the church generally relies on. The big question, then, is what is the church, with all its practical commitments, supposed to do with it? Well, here’s one suggestion. I have been arguing that Acts frames the mission of the early church narratively, both as the fulfilment of Israel’s story and as the beginning of a new story about YHWH and the nations. It is not our story—it happened 2000 years ago, duh! But we face similar uncertainties about the future, and I would argue that how we tell the story of our own crisis is becoming an essential part of the renewal of mission.
Andrew Perriman is one of the most interesting New Testament scholars that consistently blogs. A lot of interesting and excellent posts.