Forde, Gerhard O. The Preached God: Proclamation in Word and Sacrament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 8, “Absolution: Systematic Considerations” Loc. 2067-2229.
In absolution God promises forgiveness of sins, which Forde asserts does actually imply that God forgets our sins (Forde 2007, Loc. 2072). This is critical to the Christian life. Forde continues that “absolution, the concrete act of forgiving sin, from me to you in the name of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ here in the living present, is the only solution to the systematic problem of the absoluteness of God” (Ford 2007, Loc. 2076).
As the “absolute” God is the one who is entirely free in and of himself (Forde 2007, Loc. 2081). This is a situation which should bind our wills and consciences, though God does not seem to restrict us very actively (Forde 2007, Loc. 2094). This, Forde says with Luther, applies to things “below us” - those mundane affairs of life (Forde 2007, Loc. 2099). When we come up against the absolute God, though, we are driven to try to rescue ourselves. We necessarily fall into sin (Forde 2007, Loc. 2110). We elevate our desires to the level of divinity. The solution Forde sees to this is only receiving forgiveness (Forde 2007, Loc. 2120). This is counter to our established intuition of using correct theology to make change. It cannot establish forgiveness in place of absolution.
As forgiveness is undervalued, Forde alleges that theology can become increasingly abstract and separate from actual life and pastoral care (Forde 2007, Loc. 1264). Counter to this, in Christ God has had mercy on his people (Forde 2007, Loc. 2157). This counter-intuitive move disrupts all our plans by showing God as the one who forgives without conditions (Forde 2007, Loc. 2171). What does Forde view as the effect of absolution of the believer? For some reason Christians have often wished to limit forgiveness of sin (Forde 2007, Loc. 2194). The forgiveness of the gospel is liberating and powerful. Luther strove to make that absolution as full and free as possible (Forde 2007, Loc. 2198). This absolution in effect puts the sinner to death in order to make him new (Forde 2007, Loc. 2220).