Article Review: The Church as Forgiving Community: An Initial Model

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Article Review: The Church as Forgiving Community: An Initial Model Liberty University Summary “The Church as Forgiving Community: An Initial Model,” by Chad M. Magnuson and Robert D. Enright is a research article based on the study of forgiveness. This article guides the reader through steps on how to work towards forgiveness as an individual, through the church, and into the community, and also how to then sustain the forgiving community that has been built through this forgiveness education. Magnuson and Enright propose a three-tiered holistic psycho-educational approach to forgiveness education called “The Forgiving Communities.” They state, “The goal of The Forgiving Communities is to deepen…show more content…
Reflection This article seemed appealing to me because of the topic of forgiveness itself. Forgiveness has always been a struggle for me as I continue to grow and learn in my relationship with God. Forgiveness was never something that was discussed in the church I grew up in, and it was not until I attended Christian counseling as a client that I learned of the true concept of forgiveness and why it is beneficial both in my life and in the life of the one who has hurt or offended me. Until reading this article, I had never really considered the scientific side of forgiveness. Magnuson and Enright provide a lot of evidence to support the positive effect that forgiveness has on psychological, relational, and physical health. I also had never actually considered approaching forgiveness as a process of steps in order to achieve a goal. In granting forgiveness, Freedman et al (2005) as cited in the article explains that, “One must first uncover one’s anger. In doing so, one can work through such issues as identifying psychological defenses (like denial), confronting the anger, or sometimes acknowledging the experience of shame…Once one has committed to forgive, one can begin the work of forgiveness by viewing the offender in new ways by developing empathy and compassion toward the offender…After one has work on forgiveness, one might find new meaning in the suffering, recognize that one has been an offender in the past, and realize that one is not alone

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