A Review of Leah Coulter's 'Rediscovering the Power of Repentance and Forgiveness'
659 Words3 Pages
Book Review: Rediscovering the Power of Repentance and Forgiveness by Leah Coulter
In the book Rediscovering the Power of Repentance and Forgiveness, Dr. Leah Coulter seeks to challenge the conventional Christian approach to forgiveness. Conventional Christianity approaches forgiveness as a Christian duty, and, in many ways, this has been unfair to the victims who have almost been condemned for seeking justice rather than simply forgetting. She asks, "From an all too common Christian view, why must the weight and responsibility of forgiveness be placed on the sinned-against instead of the sinner's repentance?" (Coulter). Therefore, she focuses extensively on the idea of repentance and the duty of the sinner to repent. However, that is not to suggest that Coulter abandons the idea that forgiveness is a Christian imperative, but she attempts to place it within its Jewish context, and demonstrate how other facets of historical Judaism inform the practice of forgiveness and repentance.
What is interesting is that Coulter completely rejects the idea of forgive-and-forget. Coulter explains her own history as a counselor and her experience that expecting this type of unconditional forgiveness was hamstringing victims. She found that God had no expectation of this type of forgiveness. Instead, Luke 17:3 and Matthew 5:24 require repentance before God will offer forgiveness. In addition, there are two levels of forgiveness, horizontal, which she describes as forgiveness and