New York Times Best-selling author, theologian, and pastor Timothy Keller wants the public to think more deeply about forgiveness. In a polarized culture prone to outrage, he sees people and groups focused on seeking vengeance instead of justice. Keller is quick to caution that forgiveness is not a one-size-fits-all. Speaking to abuse, he cautions spiritual leaders and faith communities from pressuring or coercing survivors. The episode concludes with a young woman who describes the pressure to forgive an abuser and how it impacted her faith.
“Learning How to Forgive is a Skill”
After building a megachurch in Manhattan, Presbyterian Timothy Keller has no trouble engaging secular and skeptical audiences. Keller insists that our culture is failing to value a key skill and essential building block of relationships: the ability to forgive. It’s the subject of his new book, “Forgive: Why Should I and How Can I?” in which he approaches forgiveness from a Christian perspective with lessons for a broader audience. In it, he writes, “…we should forgive because it is profoundly practical. To fail to forgive is to undermine the health and coherence of one’s body, one’s relationships, and the entire human community.”
“Vengeance is not Justice”
The conversation with Keller continues. He talks about lessons from the #ChurchToo movement that sparked investigations and lauded survivors who had the courage to come forward to expose systemic abuse.
Alyssa’s Story – originally broadcast in 2018
Alyssa, a young Mormon woman, tells us her personal story of sexual assault. When her church leaders pressured her to forgive her abuser, it made her feel as if her pain did not matter and that she wasn’t worthy of being believed.