Item description for Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace: The Archbishop's Official 2006 Lent Book by Miroslav Volf...
Overview The Archbishop of Canterbury's official book of Lenten meditations for 2006 is a rich and intimate text that includes group discussion questions, questions for personal reflection, and prayers.
Publishers Description We are at our human best when we give and forgive.But we live in a world in which it makes little sense to do either one.In our increasingly graceless culture, where can we find the motivation to give? And how do we learn to forgive when forgiving seems counterintuitive or even futile? A deeply personal yet profoundly thoughtful book, Free of Charge explores these questions -- and the further questions to which they give rise -- in light of God's generosity and Christ's sacrifice for us. Miroslav Volf draws from popular culture as well as from a wealth of literary and theological sources, weaving his rich reflections around the sturdy frame of Paul's vision of God's grace and Martin Luther's interpretation of that vision. Blending the best of theology and spirituality, he encourages us to echo in our own lives God's generous giving and forgiving. A fresh examination of two practices at the heart of the Christian faith -- giving and forgiving -- the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lenten study book for 2006 is at the same time an introduction to Christianity. Even more, it is a compelling invitation to Christian faith as a way of life.'Miroslav Volf, one of the most celebrated theologians of our day, offers us a unique interweaving of intense reflection, vivid and painfully personal stories and sheer celebration of the giving God ... I cannot remember having read a better account of what it means to say that Jesus suffered for us in our place.'-- Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
From Publishers Weekly Arguing that Christians are called to imitate God's generosity, Volf, a theology professor at Yale Divinity School and Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, explores what that looks like in the area of giving and forgiving. Volf relies heavily on Martin Luther's writings in this accessible book that demonstrates how to build "a bridge from self-centeredness to generosity." The first half of the book, on giving, and the second half, on forgiveness, are divided by a short interlude that tries to connect the two parts. While there is a relationship between the two, this book might have been more successful as two separate volumes. Nonetheless, Volf's thinking and writing are lucid and instructive. He eschews pop psychology, relying instead on biblical, ethical and theological understandings of God's generosity. Volf never shies away from the difficult personal and communal issues that giving and forgiving pose; the result is a practical and hopeful resource for those struggling to understand their responsibilities in these areas. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote the foreword. Copyright 2006 Publishers Weekly
Citations And Professional Reviews Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace: The Archbishop's Official 2006 Lent Book by Miroslav Volf has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 02/06/2006
Christian Century - 03/07/2006 page 41
Christianity Today - 06/01/2006 page 61
Christianity Today - 05/01/2011 page 74
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 5.42" Height: 0.68" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Feb 16, 2006
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310265746 ISBN13 9780310265740 UPC 025986265748
Availability 0 units.
More About Miroslav Volf
Miroslav Volf (DrTheol, University of TUbingen) is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture in New Haven, Connecticut. He has written more than twenty books, including A Public Faith, Public Faith in Action, and Exclusion and Embrace (winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and selected among the one hundred best religious books of the twentieth century by Christianity Today). Matthew Croasmun (PhD, Yale University) is associate research scholar and director of the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He is also staff pastor at the Elm City Vineyard Church.
Miroslav Volf currently resides in the state of California. Miroslav Volf has an academic affiliation as follows - Biblijsko-Teoloski Institut, Zagreb.
Reviews - What do customers think about Free Of Charge?
The Best Book I've Read on the Subject of Forgiveness Oct 24, 2006
As far as understanding the nature and power of forgiveness, this was a paradigm shifter for me. More importantly, it moved me to action, literally becoming a catalyst for mending, what was at the time, a seriously damaged relationship. I have not read a better book on the subject. Volf's a deep thinker, but he doesn't have his head in the sand. He writes from a place of humility and grace. And his understanding of the Gospel and what it makes us capable of becoming is so illuminating and life-giving. I hope I don't sound too enamored with the man, but his insights have proven to be very wise. I feel that I am in his debt.
Primer for Christians, Other Faiths or Even No Faith May 15, 2006
This is a primer on the most gracious acts we can participate in: giving and forgiving. It is for Christians as well as those of other faiths or even no faith. The author sets out to explain first who is God and explains the difference between God's reality and his image. He then "...examines how to conceive of and live out two basic human practices, giving and forgiving."
Dr. Volf admits this is not a scholarly book, but says that "Most books I write, I write for myself, as s spiritual exercise almost." I found it a thought provoking study that requires contemplation rather than a quick fifteen minutes of reading before bedtime. I also see it as a basis for a Bible study class resulting in endless interesting discussions.
While Bible verse references are frequent, the author refers to the classics in literature as well as examples from movies. This book is not stuck in the stories of 2000 years ago, but in the reality of our times as well as those of Jesus.
Through each chapter the author defines the differences between God's acts of giving and our own, as well the differences in how we forgive. Early on he states with authority that "Faith is the first part of the bridge from self-centeredness to generosity." Dr. Volf's explanations provide a clarity which had me shaking my head in understanding many times. We all know it is good to give a gift, but as the author says, "When a gift is given, life becomes extraordinary because God's own gift giving flows through the giver." This is a perspective I hadn't considered, but it feels like the sun rising on a new day.
He goes on to address the question of why forgiveness is required and says it is a "...special kind of gift." He is not unrealistic and acknowledges how difficult it is. Examples from his own family show that it can be done, even in the most difficult situations. We can only hope to learn to forgive half as well as his parents did.
I challenge you to undertake the study of this subject. Give yourself the gift of knowledge and understanding, which will benefit those around you.
Dr. Volf, Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, is a native of Croatia. He is the author ten books, including "Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation" which won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. "Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace" was commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Official 2006 Lent Book.
Powerful lessons from a man who's walked the walk Mar 21, 2006
In this practical and profound book, Volf gets down to the nitty-gritty of what it means for us as Christians to forgive those who have wronged us. Simply put as he states in his book, "We forgive because God forgives. We forgive as God forgives. We forgive by echoing God's forgiveness." While this is one of those deceptively simple lessons that takes me a minute to learn but a lifetime to master, Volf has given his fellow Christian brothers and sisters some tools to get us started on this journey toward reconciliation.