“Forgiveness of one another is one of the most important subjects in the Bible, and yet one so often misunderstood. Now Christopher Brauns has done a magnificent job in helping us understand the true nature of biblical forgiveness. Every Christian will profit from reading and applying this book.” Jerry Bridges. Author of many books including The Pursuit of Holiness and The Discipline of Grace.
“There is no more common or urgent pastoral need in the church today than to cultivate the Gospel practice of forgiveness. Christians need to know what the Bible teaches and live it out, radically. Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds is an engaging, convicting but emphatically encouraging treatment of this hugely important (and sometimes mindbogglingly challenging) part of life. Dr. Brauns writes from the standpoint of a faithful, wise, experienced and caring pastor who has seen the heartbreak of an unforgiving spirit at work in the lives of people, but also the power of grace in the hearts of Christians who have learned to forgive and be forgiven.” Ligon Duncan, First Pres, Jackson, MS
“There are few things more unnatural and few things more holy than forgiveness. Living as we do in a fallen world, we are given endless opportunities both to extend and to seek forgiveness. In Unpacking Forgiveness, Chris Brauns eschews the easy answers and looks to the Bible to provide God’s wisdom on how and when we are to forgive. Relying on his experience as a pastor and his deep knowledge of Scripture, he provides what is a logical, well-illustrated book on the subject. With humor at times and appropriate gravitas at others, Brauns leads the reader first to understand and then to apply what the Bible teaches on forgiveness. Because it deals biblically with a subject of universal importance, any reader can benefit from reading Unpacking Forgiveness. I recommend that you do just that.” Tim Challies, Author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment
“With pastoral realism, biblical conviction, and thoughtful reflection on wide reading, Brauns masterfully unpacks the complexity of Christian forgiveness. His humor and liveliness, with a striking story-telling gift, disarmingly navigate beyond the popular ‘therapeutic model’ into deeper understanding of biblical forgiveness. From the opening quiz you know his approach is different, and you will likely find your questions both asked and answered by this powerfully practical book. Taken seriously it will revolutionize your life.” Michael Quicke, Charles W. Koller Professor of Preaching & Communication, Northern Seminary, Lombard, IL
“Chris Brauns has written a twofer. Unpacking Forgiveness not only challenges popular, therapeutic notions of forgiveness, but it also supplies practical, step-by-step instructions for those who aren’t sure how to begin. Grounded in Scripture and sharpened by ministry to hurting people, Braun’s godly counsel will inspire many to shake off years of guilt and bitterness and begin the long, healing journey of forgiveness.” Mike Wittmer, Professor of Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary; author of Heaven Is a Place on Earth and Don’t Stop Believing
“Biblical, accessible, thorough, and practical. Rev. Brauns builds from the Scriptures a solid model of forgiveness that is clear, engaging, and convincing. He tackles the issues, answers the questions, and provides the guidance needed to forgive even the hard cases in a Christ-honoring way. Highly recommended!” John N. Day, Pastor of Bellewood Presbyterian and author of Crying for Justice.
“Offenses will come. It’s a given. Unpacking Forgiveness wisely prepares us for the aftermath. Grieving the loss of our six children in a van accident and then being reminded of that loss throughout thirteen years of subsequent legal battles, forced me to search the Scriptures concerning the issue of forgiveness. Chris not only confirmed answers that I found, but has thoroughly sorted out what it takes to be right with God and man. This is a diligent work with heart.” Scott and Janet Willis
“My grandmother used to say that every healthy relationship is made up of two good forgivers. Chris Brauns has written a book that compliments my grandmothers saying by showing us the indispensibility of understanding and practicing forgiveness. Biblically sound, theologically rich, sensitively illustrated, and profoundly practical, Chris’ book shows that forgiveness is at the heart of the Gospel. And because of it’s Gospel-centeredness, Unpacking Forgiveness provides the perspective needed to liberate you from past relational pains, present relational tensions, and future relational fears. This is a book that needs to be read. This is a book that needs to be lived. I heartily recommend it!” Tullian Tchividjian, Founding Pastor of New City Church and author of Do I Know God? Tullian blogged that Unpacking Forgiveness is one of three books he most eagerly awaits in 2008.
“Traveling through life cannot be done without unpacking forgiveness. This is as good of an explanation on what true forgiveness is and how it is accomplished as I have ever read. All interpersonal relationships and our relationship with God can be helped by reading this book. Unpacking Forgiveness is a compelling read!” Chip Bernhard, Senior Pastor, Spring Creek Church, Pewaukee, WI.
“In a culture that all too often embraces over simplistic remedies for forgiveness and reconciliation, Brauns provides a truly helpful and honest discussion about Biblical forgiveness. Unpacking Forgiveness will be an essential resource for small groups, students, and ministry leaders (seasoned or newcomer) because it wrestles with the intellectual, emotional, and biblical issues of living in redemptive relationships in a fallen world.” Dr. Peter Osborn, Assistant Professor & Associate Dean of Student Services, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
“‘Forgive as God forgives,’ this book describes something other than a cheapened ‘automatic’ forgiveness. Dr. Brauns lays careful gridlines which are “dripping with Scripture”, as he puts it, for working through complex and deeply painful situations. Unpacking Forgiveness offers a tender hand of guidance to those who ache to unpack what life has flung at them, and awakens their desire for the happiness that only forgiveness can unlock.” Shannon Popkin, Grandville, MI, free-lance writer
“Unpacking Forgiveness is a must read for every believer. All my life I was told to forgive, and now Chris Brauns tells me how. This practical and powerful book paints a penetrating picture of the forgiving Christ, my model on how to forgive. I cannot escape the bold and beautiful biblical truths within these pages. As a Christ follower, I know exactly how to respond to those who have hurt me, and each action response sets me free . . . indeed.” Doug Fagerstrom, President, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
“Here is a book that lives up to its title. Forgiveness remains a distant dream for many people precisely because they don’t know what it means, where to begin or what to expect. Blending contemporary stories with the teaching of the Bible, Christopher Braun unpacks forgiveness so that we can be set free from bitterness. I especially appreciated his emphasis on coming back to the character of God and learning to delight in him as the only way forward when we have been deeply hurt. A book to be read on your knees. It could change your life.” Dr. Ray Pritchard, President, Keep Believing Ministries , Author: The Healing Power of Forgiveness, Credo, Discovering God’s Will for Your Life, The Incredible Journey of Faith.