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What We Forgot About Forgiveness

When I saw the cover of this issue, my heart leapt—not for joy, but with anxiety over the guilt I have over cutting off relationship with my parents during the past two years.

I identified with much of what Leslie Leyland Fields shared. And I wrestled yet again with what it might mean to forgive my parents. I forgave them for the demeaning physical discipline and their lack of interest in me. I loved them in the meager way I knew how, telling myself that they simply were not equipped to be better parents and partially believing I somehow deserved their criticism.

Fields had many years to heal and get ready to re-engage her father. Unfortunately, I skipped over the necessary healing process of time, distance, and accountability. I now cling to the love of a heavenly Father instead of the hope of a healed earthly one.

Janna Northrup
Edina, Minnesota

After reading your articles expounding biblical forgiveness, I am confused by the lack of emphasis on repentance. Doesn't Scripture suggest that in order to be forgiven, one must repent (2 Pet. 3:9, Acts 17:30)? Fields's father teared up but didn't admit his sinfulness. Sorrow for sin is not necessarily repentance.

Christians have fallen into deceiving unbelievers by asking them if they want to accept Jesus into their hearts. He accepts us—if we repent.

John Thomas
Adrian, Michigan


I noticed a headline in News that referred to Menlo Park Presbyterian Church as "John Ortberg's church." But it is not Ortberg's church. It is Christ's church, where Ortberg happens to serve as a pastor for a while.

I served as a pastor to one congregation for 38 years. It was never ...

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