Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Book Review - Finding Forgiveness: Discovering the Healing Power of the Gospel by Stanley D. Gale
Answers to most questions you have about asking for or receiving forgiveness can be found in this well illustrated and biblically faithful explanation of forgiveness. New believers will find some well roasted meat to chew on. Mature Christians will discover new richness to the theology found in the old hymns and catechisms as author Stanley Gale sometimes summarizes his exposition of scripture with one or more of these.
The inclusion of questions at the end of each chapter makes this book suitable for a small group study.
This book is an expanded version of his pamphlet “Why Must We Forgive”. Stanley Gale has added a really helpful chapter on “What About Forgiving Ourselves?” The writing is clear, concise and his explanations are well developed, making very helpful distinctions in the nuances of words often used carelessly in conversation. The inclusion of many personal stories makes this an enjoyable read that communicates well the essential theological understanding of forgiveness and the implications for putting it into practice.
I found Gale’s answer to the question “Why does John say that God is ‘faithful and just’ to forgive us when we confess rather than ‘faithful and merciful’ most enlightening. In this, as in the rest of the book, there are clear connections to the finished work of Jesus Christ as what we trust in. He calls this “Kingdom Currency”. Gale says “Mercy does not give us the consequence deserved. ‘Just,’ however, necessarily captures the transaction involved in forgiveness, how that forgiveness was achieved.”
The second most helpful discussion for me was the discussion around the inadequacy of “apology” to achieve authentic forgiveness. An apology may recognize a wrong, but it does not necessarily bring about a plan of action to address a wrong. In contrast, saying “will you forgive me” engages the other person and brings about the beginning stages of reconciliation.
Are you having difficulty with forgiveness? This book is a timely, helpful, uplifting and encouraging read.
I received this book from Reformation Heritage Books in exchange for an honest review.