Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Last year, I wrote and posted a paper on the forgiveness that we humans are capable of and called to. I argued that we are called to forgive one another *unconditionally.* Further, I take *unconditional* forgiveness to be the Christian norm. But some Christians seem to hold the view that those who have been wronged are entitled -- or maybe even required -- to condition their granting forgiveness on the offender's apology and contrition. I understand that view, but I don't see a basis for it in the Christian revelation. If there is one, I'd like help finding it. Please note that forgiveness is distinguished from reconciliation; prudence may counsel against the latter (as in cases of abuse by a spouse, for example), but prudence cannot (I argue) justify placing conditions on the act of forgiveness. Am I wrong about the Christian understanding of forgiveness?