Bell on Forgiveness

Bell on Forgiveness

"Hence, the gift of forgiveness is the gift of the capacity to forgive and the return of the gift is a sign of the gift’s reception. Where it is not given, it has not been received… Conversely, where it has been received, the gift of forgiveness that is love is returned… Moreover, the gift of forgiveness is the communally instantiated capacity to forgive. Being in Christ is to participate in Christ’s body, the Church. Hence, we learn to receive and return the gift in the Church, and the task of the Church is nothing other than the reception and transmission of this gift.

Rather God’s gift of forgiveness in Christ calls forth confession, elicits repentance, or evokes conversion. God’s gift elicits the response of confession and repentance and the response (including extending the gift to others) is the sign of the gift’s reception… Repentance, therefore, is not a condition of forgiveness but rather the means of its reception."
Daniel M. Bell, Liberation Theology After the End of History: The Refusal to Cease Suffering (London, New York: Routledge, 2001), 148, 164.

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  • anonymous
    Bengt Rasmusson (ej verifierad)

    A good quote from a fascinating and well-written book. Here is another good quote: "When history's losers, the crucified people, follow in the steps of Jesus and forgive their enemies, they are wagering on God. They are wagering that God is who the Gospel proclaims God to be, the one who defeats sin and wipes away every tear, not with the sword of a justice that upholds rights but with the gift of forgiveness in Christ" (p. 195).

    maj 07, 2009

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