Unconditional? The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness

Brian Zahnd, Strang/Charisma House, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61638-025-0
In this insightful critique of contemporary Christianity, Zahnd (What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life), pastor and founder of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Mo., challenges Christians to make Jesus' call to forgiveness central to their faith. He bases his argument that Christians are not merely forgiven—a belief he considers "cheap grace"— but also called to "extend the grace of forgiveness to others" on his compelling analysis of the Sermon on the Mount, as well as Jesus' teaching and life, particularly Jesus' own plea on behalf of his executioners. In addition to drawing examples of radical forgiveness from scripture and literature, Zahnd provides powerful role models from recent history: Nelson Mandela's seeking reconciliation in postapartheid South Africa; the astonishing response of the Amish community to the murder of Amish schoolchildren in 2006; Pope John Paul II's befriending of his would-be assassin; and numerous others who chose to "end the cycle of revenge." Zahnd's evident preaching skills enliven this thought-provoking book; for example, he asks: "Who has fired the gun of hate at your heart?" The author may shake up his presumed readership of fellow evangelical Christians with his challenges to red-state America, and his demanding yet hopeful arguments deserve attention from Christians of all persuasions. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Religion
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-60814-799-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-59859-867-4
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-1-61638-066-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4416-8267-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-60981-242-3
Open Ebook - 978-1-61638-401-2
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