Critical Essay

Christian peacemaking and the role of forgiveness

Seeking justice is critical. Is it enough?

As I have watched the political skies shift since the election, I’ve had the nagging feeling that there is something that Christians are not saying, or not saying loudly enough. We affirm and proclaim the importance of justice, but are we falling short of our full witness?

Christians engaged in justice work must first and foremost be peacemakers. But Christian peacemaking begins with forgiveness. Forgiveness is essential to being the church, being in the world but not of it. It is also essential that we bring this witness to the public sphere. Justice seeking alone, without a Christian orientation to peacemaking, will not be sufficient.

But before forgiveness can do its peacemaking work, it must first be rescued from definitions that make it irrelevant.