February 13, 2014

Therapeutic Forgiveness vs. Biblical Forgiveness

Kevin DeYoung has posted a helpful interview with Chris Brauns, author of Unpacking Forgiveness, on the true nature of biblical forgiveness.

Brauns:
"Therapeutic forgiveness” insists that forgiveness is at its core a feeling. Our culture has picked up on this in a big way. When most people say that they forgive, they mean that it is a private matter in which he or she is not going to feel bitter. . . . Biblical forgiveness is something that happens between two parties. When God forgives us, our relationship with Him is restored. . . . Once people make forgiveness therapeutic, you have all sorts of non-biblical things happening. For instance, some say it is legitimate to forgive God. This is a heretical idea because God has never done anything which requires forgiveness. But, “therapeutic” forgiveness needs to forgive God so bitterness is no longer felt. Therapeutic forgiveness also diminishes the necessity of two parties working out there differences. If forgiveness is simply how I feel, there is no need to worry about the relationship. The tragedy of therapeutic forgiveness is that in making individual feelings the center of everything, I think it ultimately leads to bitterness and the wrong feelings.

Read the rest here.

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