Brian Zahnd's Unconditional" is already being highly acclaimed by a broad spectrum of Christian leaders and is destined to join the ranks of the classics of Christian literature. Zahnd's message is fresh, relevant, and unyielding. He challenges the status quo and calls for a vibrant authentic compelling faith patterned after the model Christ left for us.
In a day when pay-backs and reciprocal revenge have become expected and accepted, Brian Zahnd invites the reader to revisit, rethink, and restore God's design for forgiveness. This calls for a deeper understanding of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. It is time for the Christian to answer the call to a new world view which demonstrates that "forgiveness has the capacity to rescue human society from the destructive vortex of violence and vengeance and give us a healing alternative." The act of forgiveness is imperative if humankind is to experience world peace.
Filled with illustrations drawn from the lives of survivors of unimaginable torture, suffering, pain, and hurt, as well as Biblical examples, and contemporary stories "Unconditional" heralds the heroes of the faith who have understood that forgiveness is the very core of "transcending beyond tragedy."
Each chapter includes a number of highlighted penetrating profound summary statements ideal for reflection, meditation and personal application. Brian draws from the writings of a wide range of classical authors, well known theologians, songwriters, and contemporary journalists as his resources. These are thoroughly documented in the chapter notes at the close of the book.
Riveting, Revolutionary, and Relevant inadequately express the depth, challenge, and insight contained between the covers of Brian Zahnd's new book "Unconditional: the Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness."
A complementary review copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This has been one of the most extensive books on unconditional forgiveness I have ever read. I wondered when I started the book how anyone could write this much on forgiveness. Brian brings in different levels of forgiveness that can only be accomplished by God through His Son, Jesus, and what He accomplished on the cross. He brings to light the depth of the cross and God's love and forgiveness.
Unconditional forgiveness even comes into play through the most horrific atrocities of man against man-the Holocaust victims, rape, murder, child abuse, infanticide, elder abuse, etc. Yet he continually brings us back to reconciliation and restoration of forgiveness through the cross.
He elaborates on many personal stories, making us wonder how or if we can forgive. Sometimes forgiveness is a daily battle, but it's not about feelings. It's a choice that we all must make. In fact, Jesus tells us to â€˜love our enemies and pray for those who spitefully use us.' Is it easy? No. That's where the power of the cross comes in.
Some of the highlights include:
* If Christianity isn't about forgiveness, it's about nothing at all.
* Jesus's message of love and forgiveness is not rooted in a naive optimism but in the grace that takes the blame, covers the shame, and removes the stain and the endless cycle of revenge.
* Christ's followers are called to radical, unreasonable, reckless, endless, and seemingly impossible forgiveness.
* Not only does forgiveness open new possibilities for the future, but forgiveness also gives us a new perspective on the past. In some mysterious (Godly) way that we may not be able to fully comprehend, forgiveness seems to have the capacity to redeem the past. (my emphasis)
* Forgiveness_gives the possibility of a future unchained from the past and free of bitterness.
* Allowing forgiveness to purge the unforgiveness in our hearts is what enables us to move beyond injustice and not be chained to it for life.
* Forgiveness frames your future-without it, there really is no future.
* The way of forgiveness does not forget the past, but through truth and reconciliation, it finds a way beyond toxic memory. It is the way of restorative justice.
* Radical forgiveness is what it means to take up your cross and follow Jesus.
Unconditional? The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness deliberately meddles in your life in a good way, to help you grow up in Christ. No one is excluded. But Jesus gives us the power to forgive if we allow Him to. Yes, we may stumble along the way, but He is there to help you walk it out.
I highly recommend that you pick this book up and read it through several times. It will change your life if you follow through on it with the Lord. It doesn't always happen in a day, but starting will bring you life.
Special thanks to Anna Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Book Group | Strang Communications for sending me a review copy.