A Just Forgiveness: Responsible Healing Without Excusing Injustice, By Everett L. Worthington Jr.
A Just Forgiveness
  • Length: 252 pages
  • Published: October 13, 2009
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3701
  • ISBN: 9780830837014

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When serious injury or wrongdoing takes place, we cry out for justice to be done. At the same time, Christian faith calls for forgiveness and mercy. But forgiveness is often seen as letting people off the hook. Is it truly possible to forgive a betrayal, a rape, a genocide? How can Christians forgive without excusing wrongdoing?

Psychologist and leading forgiveness researcher Everett Worthington demonstrates how Christians can and must hold forgiveness and justice together. He gives Christian foundations for understanding just forgiveness and dealing with wrongdoers. With concrete examples and field-tested exercises, Worthington shows how just forgiveness can be accomplished in families, churches and the world at large. This comprehensive guide offers practical resources for both individuals and communities, addressing situations from interpersonal to societal levels.

Scripture tells us that righteousness and peace will kiss. Here's how we can respond to transgressions with justice, forgiveness and humility.

"Everett Worthington is one of the most respected psychologists in America. He promises a book that will be a 'thoughtful and thoroughly Christian exploration of justice, humility and forgiveness in the face of injustice and evil,' and he delivers. This book is a lifeboat for those drowning in the murky waters of theodicy. In it you will find compassion, honesty, wisdom and practical advice."

Gary W. Moon, Ph.D., vice president and integration chair, Richmont Graduate University, and author of Apprenticeship with Jesus

"Emotionally honest and realistic, A Just Forgiveness offers a redemptive, clear look at the concepts of justice, forgiveness and humility. This book is universal in scope, but also extremely practical and full of real-life examples. Worthington has wrestled personally with grave injustice, and his own journey of forgiveness after personal tragedy is uplifting. A Just Forgiveness is a much-needed addition to the literature. I recommend it highly!"

Marnie C. Ferree, M.A., LMFT, author of No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Shame and director of Bethesda Workshops, Nashville

"We are all broken and in need of healing--and healing comes through learning to forgive. From years of experience and research in the area of forgiveness, Dr. Worthington once again has written a book beyond compare that will teach you the steps to forgive justly, break free and move forward in your healing journey."

Dr. Tim Clinton, president, American Association of Christian Counselors

"Everett L. Worthington Jr. has devoted so many years of his life as a practitioner and student of forgiveness. He is among just a small handful of distinguished Christian thinkers who have made the topic of forgiveness one that nowadays is on the lips of almost everyone across our society and around the world. This book is a model of integrative Christian wisdom, lifting up a culture that so much needs to be transformed. Dr. Worthington stands at the pinnacle of creative Christian achievement with this outstanding book, one that speaks with love and clear thinking about that great gift that Christ brought to the world when he said, 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do.'"

Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., director, CenterĀ for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics, Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University Medical Center

"This thought-provoking book highlights the positive role forgiveness plays in healing individuals and groups while allowing room for justice to be served."

Lisa Millen, Religious Studies Review, December 2010


Introduction: What to Expect

Part 1: Understanding Just Forgiveness
1 Tensions and Questions
2 Humility
3 Justice
4 Forgiveness
5 Dealing with Wrongdoers

Part 2: Living Out Just Forgiveness
6 Just Forgiveness in the Family
7 Just Forgiveness in the Church
8 Just Forgiveness in Communities and Society
9 Just Forgiveness in the World
10 What Can We Do?



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Everett L. Worthington Jr.

Everett L. Worthington Jr. (PhD, University of Missouri) is professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and former executive director of the Templeton Foundation's A Campaign for Forgiveness Research. Worthington has studied forgiveness since the 1980s and has published more than two hundred articles and papers on forgiveness, marriage and family, psychotherapy, and virtue in a wide variety of journals and magazines. He was the founding editor of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal and sits on the editorial boards of several professional journals. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and The 700 Club, and been featured in award-winning documentary movies on forgiveness such as The Power of Forgiveness and The Big Question. He is the author of seventeen books including Handbook of Forgiveness, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling, and Forgiving and Reconciling.