Thursday, July 19, 2012

Critique of Chuck Phelps' Forgiveness Lesson - (Page 3a)

He does a review of the first two lessons. Always a good idea when teaching. Then Chuck Phelps is going to talk about the How and then the Why of forgiveness just like he did in lesson one but he’s going to come at it from a different angle.

He divides the How into Vertical Forgiveness (VF) and Horizontal Forgiveness(HF). I’m not sure “how” is the best term. It’s more an explanation about Vertical and Horizontal Forgiveness.

I wish he’d be more clear in his statements. Sometimes I wonder which statements are addressing the offender or the offended. In VF he states seven things. I can understand where he’s coming from on most of them but there are a couple I’m not sure about.
            -- “VF is unconditional.” It’s only true because God already paid the price for our sin and God promises forgiveness. This does not remove the natural consequences of sin.
            -- “VF does not require that the offender show repentance.” – This one puzzles me but my forgiveness is conditional on God’s actions on the Cross, not my behavior.
-- “VF is between the offended party and God.” – Why would the offended person need forgiveness? I believe this would apply to the offender.
-- “VF is a contract between God.” I’m not sure what this “contract” is about. My forgiveness is based on God’s work on the Cross and His promise that He’ll forgive me of my sins.

Chuck Phelps states that Horizontal Forgiveness (HF) is conditional (on what, I’m not sure). Maybe it’s conditional because the offender must repent and that it necessitates a “meeting” and this forgiveness becomes a “contract” (whatever that is) between the offended and offender. Supposedly this forgiveness “heals the alienation” but does not always require “fellowship” afterwards.

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