Since I'm up ...

In the meta for Challies' review of the Shack, a little boil-up is occurring over whether or not the forgiveness of God is unconditional.

I know Tim, and in this case I am going to speak for him because, well, this isn't a topic for a nice guy to cover by himself.

Here's the Biblical landscape:

[1] All men are under the wrath of God -- that is, the problem men have which matters most in this world is that God is going to punish sin, and all men are sinners. (the verse wonks can look up Rom 1-3 for a longer explanation of that)

[2] However, God intends to save many. (Heb 9:28)

[3] The means by which God will save many is the obedient life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Phil 2)

[4] The method by which God will save many is by grace through faith. (Eph 2)

[5] The mode by which this is accomplished is the preaching of the Gospel. (Rom 10)

[6] The Gospel is God's offer to forgive those who repent. (Acts 2) This is so critical -- because all men are not right now forgiven by God, but all men can rightly say that God is offering them forgiveness which has been bought by Christ's suffering in their place.

God's forgiveness is not unconditional: it is conditioned wholly on the price Christ paid to secure a right payment for sin. What Christ did made God both just -- that is, a just judge, able to forgive without being a violator of justice -- and the justifier of men.

And in that, your forgiveness is wholly balanced on whether or not you repent.

Turn away from sin -- because sin is what Christ paid for. Christ died for our sins, people -- respect that by recognizing it's the condition of forgiveness.