Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Review: Edward F. Mrkvicka, Jr. - The Sin of Forgiveness

When I saw the title of this book I was reminded of a book by Jay Adams called, "From Forgiven to Forgiving: Learning to Forgive One Another God's Way". When I first read Adams' book, it caused me to rethink my whole view of forgiveness.

Seeing that this book was in the same vein, I looked forward to building onto the foundation that Adams started. That was not the case.

Even though the author dealt with the subject from the same point of view, it seemed his theology is somewhat off.

The premise of the book is "Forgiveness is conditional". That seems like a hard pill to swallow. Aren't we supposed to forgive and forget? Doesn't God hold us accountable if we do not forgive those who have wronged us?

Both Mrkvicka and Adams agree that love should be unconditional but forgiveness should not. If we just forgive and forget, we do a disservice to those we are forgiving. We are not holding them accountable. We need tough love that does not say when wronged - "It's OK, I forgive you." We should say that it is not OK and I forgive you if you repent.

Should we forgive the man that rapes a small child but has no remorse? The answer is no. Forgiveness wipes the slat clean. A slate should not be cleaned unless the person committing the crime has remorse, turned from it, and repents. That does not mean we do not love and pray for him. We are not to keep a grudge. but we are not supposed to sweep what he did under the rug either. By doing that we could be placing other children in harms way.

Back to Mrkvicka's book. Even though the subject is the same as Adams, the theology and execution are not. Where Adams is clear and precise, Mrkvicka is murky and unconvincing. Theology is where Adams shines but where Mrkvickais lacking.

Peppered through the whole book are jabs at those who disagree. He calls them "New Age" and "deceived by Satan". Even though this may be true in some cases, it does not serve the argument and should have been left out. Why not spend more time in the exegesis of scripture.

Speaking of exegesis, where Adams writings are plenteous, Mrkvicka provides very little, if any. Where scriptures are introduced, he throws out 10 verses in succession, then explains in the Q and A section that scripture speaks for itself and need no interpretation. That seems a little lazy for a book trying to convince someone away from the majority view.

All in all, the book was an okay read, but I would suggest bypassing it all together and picking up Adams' instead.

I  give it 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from CrossLink Publishing and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

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