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After injustice

What makes forgiveness possible

Justice and love are of course connected, as are justice and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a manifestation of the love that scripture attributes to God and that Jesus enjoins on us. Anders Nygren went further and held that we should think of all love on the model of God’s forgiveness of the sinner. That goes too far. But there can be no doubt that love manifested in forgiveness is a fundamental component of the Christian vision.

Everyone would agree that forgiveness cannot be dispensed indiscriminately hither and yon. Forgiveness presupposes that someone has wronged someone, deprived the person of something to which the person had a right; it presupposes that an injustice has occurred. It furthermore presupposes that the one doing the forgiving recognizes that someone has been wronged, recognizes that an injustice has occurred.

 

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