Bringing practicality back to the work of forgiveness for counselors and pastors
Much work in both academic and clinical counseling has focused on forgiveness and what, precisely, it means. We now know forgiveness offers both physical and psychological benefits. Yet despite all this exploration, most Christians are far from having a clear, consistent, theologically informed definition.
Bryan Maier wants this conceptual ambiguity to end, especially for the pastor or counselor sitting across from a hurting person seeking immediate, practical help. The Christian counselor needs to be able to walk the client through the question, "Can forgiveness coexist with justice?"
To this end, Maier examines current popular models of forgiveness, considering where they merge and diverge, and what merits each type of forgiveness has. He then delves directly into Scripture to discover the original model of God's forgiveness to humankind. From there, he builds a new construct of human forgiveness with practical guidance to help those in counseling understand the concept theologically. In doing so, he demonstrates that our understanding that forgiveness leads to healing is inverted; being whole leads to true forgiveness, not the other way around.
Forgiveness and Justice is extremely useful for any practitioner needing to form a useful, theologically sound understanding of forgiveness for those who come for help.
Bryan Maier is a counselor, former pastor, and associate professor of counseling and psychology at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. Maier holds a doctorate of psychology from Wheaton College.