Forgiven and Forgiving

L. William Countryman

Feb/1998, 144 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819217349



"Only the strong can forgive. God, who is strongest, forgives best," writes Dr. L. William Countryman in this fresh look at forgiveness. Unlike most books on the subject, Forgiven and Forgiving is not about a step-by-step process. Rather, it is about conversion. Once we truly understand the depths of God's love for us and know deep-down that we are forgiven, we begin to see the world anew through God's eyes. Only when we are able to accept God's forgiveness for ourselves can we offer forgiveness to others. Biblically based with sound academic research, yet written in a conversational style, Forgiven and Forgiving offers valuable insights for clergy, laity, and church study groups.

downloadable study guide

L. William Countryman has authored numerous books for scholars and laity. He is a retired professor of New Testament from Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

"Countryman's lively style and his lucid insights into the nature of forgiveness make this a must read for clergy, laity, and general readers." --Publishers Weekly

"In this fine book, Countryman sheds light on ‘the gracious and generous project of redeeming the world through the spread of forgiveness.'"
--Values & Visions

"Combining excellent theology, theory, and practical pastoral suggestions, Countryman explores the concept of forgiveness. Basing his work less on a step-by-step process and more on the concept of conversion, or change of perspective, the author helps readers understand what it means to know God's forgiveness first in their own lives and how that knowledge leads to forgiveness of ourselves and others. The writing is biblically based with solid academic research behind the ideas, making it helpful for clergy, but written in a conversational tone that will be appealing to laity and church study groups."

"The joy of Forgiven and Forgiving is the way in which Countryman leads us to take the life and message of Jesus seriously--joyfully seriously!--by reminding us of what we knew all along, that God begins by creating something good and breathing life into it."
--Pacific Church News

"In a world as fractious and broken as ours, this book is a much needed and welcome gift...When Countryman begins to unfold his text, one steps back with a deep sense of appreciation and admiration for how thoroughly comprehensive this little book is on this topic. This is a wonderful book...The depths of insight are worthy of many dips into the hands of everyone who is struggling to be a follower of God who sent his Son to reconcile us--and then make us his ambassadors of reconciliation."
--Sisters Today

"...pastoral theology at its best...benefical tools for a priest and pastor to use in counseling and for any parish to use in an adult forum situation." --Jeffrey Allen Mackey, Sewanee Theological Review

"This is a wise book about tough forgiveness--real forgiveness--that comes from God's love. At once practical and challenging, Countryman's insights help us to understand how knowing and sharing forgiveness as a way of life open us up to the future and bring strength and maturity to life's pilgrimage."
--The Rt. Rev. Frederick H. Borsch, Bishop of Los Angeles

"Forgiven and Forgiving appears on the scene at a time of some of the most contentious events in the Church and in society. Countryman opens up a whole new perspective on the meaning of forgiveness. As the author points out, forgiveness is an act full of power and true life-changing potential, not a superficial gesture of 'making nice.' If we could read this insightful book with an open mind and a determination to take its theology to heart, we would be much better off in our relationships with one another."
--Pamela Chinnis, President, House of Deputies, The General Convention of The Episcopal Church

"Biblically based with sound academic research, yet written in a conversational style, the book offers valuable insights for clergy, laity, and church study groups."
--East Tennessee Episcopalian

"...Countryman presents a book which is both theologically and psychologically sound, the true meaning of pastoral theology. It is fortunate that the two fields are wed so well here, because they often are not."
- Philip Culbertson for The Anglican Theological Review

"After considering why forgiveness is important and what it is and is not, this biblical-theological study deals with forgiving oneself, forgiving one another, forgiveness as building the furture, some practical problems, the forgiving spirit, and forgiveness and life of faith. Countryman ... concludes that forgiveness means taking the risk of conversion, and experiencing a change of mind in which we embrace the joy of God's creative love in place of our own hurt and anger and sense of helplessness."

"Countryman begins by explaining some distortions and misunderstandings people often hold in regard to forgiveness. Real forgiveness is based on God's truth, Countryman claims, and on God's gift of forgiveness. He focuses on conversion as a change of mind, taking a risk, embracing the joy of God's creative love in place of our own hurt and anger and sense of helplessness. God's love makes us strong and rich and able to give and forgive."
- Episcopal Life

"It is clear from his earlier writing that the author, whose primary discipline is New Testament studes, enjoys onccasinal side trips into adjacent fields, this time that of pastoral theology and the dynamics of forgiveness. And we may be glad for the venture."
- Rev. Harold Brumbaum, The Living Church

"The joy of Forgiven and Forgiving is the way in which Countryman leads us to take the life and message of Jesus seriously - joyfully seriously."
- Rev. Joseph Lane, Pacific Church News

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  • Spirituality
  • Theology

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