Having seen anger, resentment, and despair destroy far too many lives, the writer of this extraordinary book on forgiving dispenses with glib pronouncements and lets the often untidy experiences of ordinary people speak for themselves. In Why Forgive? the reader will meet men and women who have earned the right to talk about the importance of ...
Having seen anger, resentment, and despair destroy far too many lives, the writer of this extraordinary book on forgiving dispenses with glib pronouncements and lets the often untidy experiences of ordinary people speak for themselves. In Why Forgive? the reader will meet men and women who have earned the right to talk about the importance of overcoming hurt and about the peace of mind they have found in doing so. Hurt is an understatement, actually, for many of these stories deal with the harrowing effects of violent crime, betrayal, abuse, bigotry, and war. But Why Forgive? examines lifes more mundane battle scars as well: the persistent hobgoblins of backbiting, gossip, and strained family ties, marriages gone cold and tensions in the workplace. As in life, not every story has a happy ending a fact Arnold thankfully refuses to skirt. The book also addresses the difficulty of forgiving oneself, the temptation to blame God, and the turmoil of those who simply cannot seem to forgive, even though they try. Why forgive? Read these stories, and then decide.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-03-13 Little more than a series of anecdotes, this quick read might not be noteworthy were it not for its profound and always timely subject matter. Arnold, a pastor and author whose admirers range from the evangelical Right to the secular Left, tells story after story of people who have forgiven despite unfathomable personal tragedy and a vengeful cultural climate. Readers may recognize many of these tales from Oprah, Guideposts and other purveyors of inspiration, but they are no less remarkable the second or even third time around. Despite the fact that he weaves so little analysis in between these anecdotes, Arnold manages to drive home several points that unequivocally answer his titular question, the most powerful of which is that no one, whether victim or perpetrator, can heal until forgiveness is granted. Not one to engage in long theological explorations, Arnold instead allows many of his subjects to speak for themselves in extended quotations, allowing insight into their desperate, brokenhearted rage. Some of these subjects, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, ultimately choose not to forgive, while others describe a force beyond their conscious control that makes forgiveness inevitable. Arnold also writes about everyday forgiveness in marriage, families, communities and the workplace. In all cases, he reminds us that to forgive is neither to excuse nor to anesthetize ourselves from the pain that attends life and love, but rather to enter again into life's fray. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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