Miroslav Volf, Free Of Charge, chapter 5

I can’t report from tonight’s Lent group, because it was cancelled due to a shortage of available group members. But chapter 5 is probably my personal highlight from the book so far, so instead of reporting some group reflections, here below are my notes from my favourite part of the chapter. (And it was hard just to select one part.)

The Place of Repentance (pp 181-186)

If forgiveness is unconditional, does that dispense
with repentance? No: forgiveness is social; it isn’t simply about making the offended
party feel better. The offended party forgives, but the gift of forgiveness is
only truly received by repentance. Otherwise it gets stuck in the middle.
Repentance is not a condition but a consequence of forgiveness. When we have
done wrong we find it hard to admit our fault, but the fact of unconditional
forgiveness makes repentance possible.

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