Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, a Victim’s Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace

Anthony B. Thompson with Denise George. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (258p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3298-5
Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., gives a stirring and powerful account of the 2015 massacre of nine people at Charleston’s Emmanuel Church, including his wife, Myra. Thompson focuses on his controversial decision to forgive Dylann Roof, the gunman who was motivated by racial hatred and wrote in his journal weeks after the killings: “I am not sorry. I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.” Thompson delivers a compelling argument for the healing potential of forgiveness, showing that, though Roof hoped to incite a race war with his killings, he instead brought unity to Charleston. Thompson makes an eloquent and intelligent case for Christian forgiveness, and his account of his pain, anger, and recovery as the spouse of one of the murdered brings emotional immediacy to the story. An added strength is Thompson’s discussion of other examples of mass violence and responses to it, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, a 2006 Amish school shooting, and the 2018 Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. This riveting and optimistic account of coping with violent tragedy in a humane, honest way is highly worthwhile for any reader. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/21/2019
Release date: 06/04/2019
Genre: Religion
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