Book Recommendation: Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  After packing and moving 150+ boxes, we have finally settled into our new place!

During packing, I sorted through our book collection for the last few years.  While many books went into the donate/sell pile, I paused when I came across this book:

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Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace
by Miroslav Volf.

 

Read this book when I was wrestling through some deep inner conflict. Professor Volf’s observations and struggles helped me understand the decision I needed to make in order to forgive and heal from my past. This was not an easy book to read emotionally. Many times, I had to put it down because of the overwhelming truth and depth of God’s grace, and the inner conflict the book had stirred up.

In light of the recent discussions about justice in our communities, I thought the message of this book is immensely relevant. This was not a book written as a theological exercise nor a Bible study guide. Rather, Professor Miroslav Volf had to wrestle through what it truly meant to forgive through a personal tragedy. When we each come to the place where we are called to forgive, how do we move forward as Christians? And what will forgiveness cost us?

As the title of the book suggests, the ideas of forgiveness and grace are disappearing from our culture. In the States, whenever something unfortunate happens, we are quick to look for someone to be responsible. In the social forums and even churches, we hear many voices calling out for justice. However, I see very few if any who advocates for Jesus’ message of grace and forgiveness.  Certainly, the message of forgiveness is unpopular. It is unpopular because it costs us dearly to forgive. Even so, God calls us to chose forgiveness.  As Christians, we are called to forgive as we have been forgiven. We forgive because we have been forgiven.

The banner we carry as Christians is the banner of profound grace and forgiveness.  It is for such a time as this that books such as “Free of Charge” can help us develop a better understanding of God’s divine generosity in His grace and forgiveness. In so doing, may we be enabled to engage our community in grace and become a catalyst of healing and reconciliation.

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