excerpt from From Hope Against Darkness, p. 146
If we don’t get forgiveness, we’re missing the whole mystery. We are still living in a world of meritocracy, of quid-pro-quo thinking, a world of performance and behavior that earns and loses rewards. Not much better than a lottery.
Forgiveness is the great thawing of all logic and reason and worthiness. It is a melting into the mystery of God as unearned love, unmerited grace, the humility and powerlessness of a Divine Lover. Forgiveness is the beginning, the middle and the end of the whole gospel, as far as I can see. It is forgiveness toward almost everything for not being what we wanted it to be.
Without radical and rule-breaking forgiveness received and given there will be no reconstruction of anything. It alone breaks down our damnable world of trying to buy and sell grace. Grace and forgiveness are the gifts that must always be given freely—or it is not grace and it is not forgiveness! (See Ephesians 2:7-9)