Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book Review: Why Must We Forgive?

Why Must We Forgive? by Stanley Gale is part of the 12-booklet Cultivating Biblical Godliness series published by Reformation Heritage Books.  This short booklet, at just 31 pages, looks at the forgiveness received by a Christian and why he must reciprocate.

When considering forgiveness received, Mr. Gale looks at the foundation of forgiveness, which is Christ, and then, looks at drinking from the fountain of forgiveness.  He gives a clear Gospel presentation because only Christians can forgive others "as we have been forgiven by Him [God]," (p. 9).

Next, Mr. Gale considers forgiveness reciprocated by looking at the flow of forgiveness and at forgiveness in action.  Under forgiveness in action, both steps of forgiveness, to remove the offense and to remember it no more (p.16), are well-explained.  Finally, the author talks about forgiveness as a commencement, rather than a conclusion, by describing (1) the work of forgiveness, (2) love as an outworking of forgiveness, and (3) the remembrance of forgiveness.  He notes that granting forgiveness is not the final action, but also involves "dealing with sin in our own hearts" and "reestablishing some degree of relationship," (p. 23).  He reminds Christians that "Christ is our example.  We are to forgive as we have been forgiven," (p. 25).

Why Must We Forgive? is a sound primer on forgiveness.  I would recommend this book for all Christians.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you," (Eph. 4:32).