I heard this quote in a sermon by Tim Keller [The Community of Jesus--you should listen to it.] and found it posted in a review here.

“Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion – without transposing the enemy from the sphere of monstrous inhumanity into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. When one knows that the torturer will not eternally triumph over the victim, one is free to rediscover that person’s humanity and imitate God’s love for him. And when one knows that God’s love is greater than all sin, one is free to see onself in the light of God’s justice and so rediscover one’s own sinfulness.” (Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, p.124)


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This entry was posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 11:00 am and is filed under grace, quote. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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13 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris P.    
August 22nd, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Another attempt to humanize the Lord.
Would that the “church” quit re-incarnating Jesus, just as it is commanded that it not crucify Him over and over.
Mankind is capable of the worst behavior and beyond. Jesus forgave, so we forgive. However, forgiveness is not salvation.
Unregenerate men forgiving unregenerate men is not the Kingdom of God.
The saints are identified with Christ alone. Therefore His sufferings are their sufferings.
All creation exists so that he might be glorified,not because He desired the fellowship of a mankind that He foreknew would reject Him and His word.
Forgiveness does not negate consequence.
He must also be shown to be righteous, holy, and just. His justice includes vengeance.
That, is God’s love which is greater than sin.

2   Chris P.    
August 22nd, 2009 at 3:29 pm

“Beware of the pleasant view of
God that He is so kind and loving
that of course He will forgive us.
Forgiveness, which is so easy for
us to accept cost the agony of
Calvary. Forgiveness cost God
the cross of Jesus before He could
forgive sin and remain a holy
God. The revelation of God is
that He cannot forgive because it
would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be
forgiven is by being brought back
to God by the atonement of
Jesus’ shed blood.” John Piper
(God is the Gospel)

3   nc    
August 22nd, 2009 at 3:54 pm

you’re slipping chris p.

normally you only quote texts from the bible with your particular twist…oops…sorry…”only acceptable reading”…

now you’re quoting another human’s interpretation of texts as if it proves anything…

then again, considering your promotion to membership in the Godhead, we should all just see this as part of your new revelation to all of us in this late hour.

what would we have done if we had not the privilege of living in this era when God finally released the Gospel, so long held in reserve until now?

4   Jerry    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
August 22nd, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Chris P.,

Do you even understand what this quote is about?


5   Neil    
August 22nd, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Mankind is capable of the worst behavior and beyond. Jesus forgave, so we forgive. However, forgiveness is not salvation.
Unregenerate men forgiving unregenerate men is not the Kingdom of God. – Chris P.

I understand your point – but I think it misplaced in this case. Miroslav Volf in among the regenerate. And the forgiveness he calls for can only be accomplished in the power of the Spirit. There is nothing unbiblical in that.

6   Neil    
August 22nd, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Another attempt to humanize the Lord. – Chris P

This is am interesting accusation – since the Lord humanized himself. But that said, I don’t see how this accusation fits this quote.

Volf is simply saying that even the torturer is created in the image of God… and even the innocent victim a sinner. Both are biblical truths.

7   Neil    
August 22nd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Forgiveness does not negate consequence. – Chris P.


But also moot – since no one claimed it does.

8   nc    
August 22nd, 2009 at 10:00 pm

only a vengeful spirit needs to harp and defend the “need” for consequences…

to crooked all things appear crooked…

9   Bo Diaz    
August 23rd, 2009 at 8:08 am

I can see why that quote bothers Chris P, it forces him to include himself in the community of sinners, and to include those he despises as loved by God.

Also, the humanity of Jesus is what separates God from gods.

10   nc    
August 23rd, 2009 at 10:30 am

um, Bo, you forgot…

ChrisP is part of the godhead…he’s not a sinner anymore.

11   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 23rd, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Another attempt to humanize the Lord.

John in his Gospel did just that… and it is part of our faith to believe it is so..

John 1

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2. He was with God in the beginning.
3. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Then what contradicts you perverted belief Chris P is this verse from John;

14. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Paul even humanized the Lord… Though God did it well enough with the incarnation which you seem to be denying here. In fact Paul has the audacity to call Jesus… a man!

1 Cor 15: 46. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

So again, I am glad I worship the God of the Bible who became a human man and dwelt amongst us and is still a man, though glorified, who sits enthroned in Heaven. I am glad to not believe in some hyper Gnostic none man god that you are teaching about and speaking about in this and other threads.

Repent, come to Jesus of the Bible Chris P for only in Jesus Christ who is God who became a man, dwelt amongst us, died, was berried, and raised on the third day… then to ascend into Heaven and sit at the right hand of the Father… on that Jesus will save you, me or anyone… not the Platonist Gnostic god you are talking about.

When I as part of the AG anyone who denied the incarnation would not be allowed to teach or preach or lead worship… I wonder if they read this thread if they would still allow you to do so? I would not in my church if this is what you teach.

12   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
August 23rd, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Forgiveness does not negate consequence. – Chris P.

But Grace does… at least the Grace of God does… but if you deny the incarnation, I guess other things like this don’t matter as well… You just make truth up however you feel lead I suppose…. Go back to God’s word to find Jesus and find Life. The Life is in the Son, Chris, not your inflated ego and ugly pride.

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ and He will lift you up.


13   merry    
August 23rd, 2009 at 9:02 pm

To make a long story short, every author in the Bible humanized God. If God isn’t “humanized” or given human attributes, there’s no point in trying to have a relationship with him because our brains would explode.

Really, it’s the attempts humans make to “deify” themselves that is the bigger concern….