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Jesus Creed

Here’s a good question from Miroslav Volf’s book, The End of Memory: “But it is right to insist on the everlasting memory of suffered wrongs?” (Read this.) The question Volf is asking is if it is desirable or inevitable that we will forever remember those who have wronged us and what they have done to us? If you were abused or grossly mistreated or robbed unjustly of an opportunity in life, he is asking, do you want to come to a time when you will no longer remember the person or the actions?
Does forgiveness involve forgetting? In the OT it is said of God that he forgets our sins (Jer. 31:34). And Volf observes that for a long time Christian theologians — he quotes from Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Calvin, Rahner and Barth — have contended that forgiveness involves forgetting. But those times have changed today.
Volf explores Dante’s visions of the river of forgetting and remembering: forgetting one’s sins and remembering one’s good deeds. And Dante contends all this occurs as one sees God, Who is All Goodness, and gazing into the face of this God makes one forget all sin.
This is the Gift of Non-remembrance: undeserved by sinners, flows from the grace of God, forgiveness flows out of repentance, and something only fully experienced in God’s new world.
Now a significant point: we will never “forget.” However, the gaze of God can create a world in which wrongs suffered will not come to mind. Not coming to mind, that’s his point.

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