Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace

Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace, by Miroslav Volf

I read this book several years ago, and I find it, of all the “Christian” books I’ve read, one of the most deserving of that description.  — rls

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.

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