Freedom to Love Again
Defeating the #1 Killer of Relationships
From: EduPlex Ministries, authored By M. James Sawyer, Ph.D.
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Course Details

Course Code: 2228-AB1

Course Description

In the book The Shack™ by William P. Young, a main character by the name of Mackenzie spends a weekend with the Triune God wrestling with a wide variety of theological issues.  Some time earlier one of Mack's daughters was kidnapped and murdered and since that time a “great sadness” descended upon Mack.  Unable to shake it, Mack grew distant from God and began to doubt him.  How could God let that happen?  And how could Mack move forward after something like that?

The book deals with several different themes including family, grief, love, heaven, legalism, and how to reconcile the idea of God's sovereignty with the evil that exists in the world.  In addition to these themes the book also addresses forgiveness and finding the freedom to love again.  Can Mack forgive his daughter's murderer?  Should he?  Does God expect him to?  If so, how?

Some of us have been the victims of heinous acts of evil.  Others of us have faced extraordinary griefs and trials when we are abused, neglected, betrayed and hurt in ways that continue to affect us and those we love.  What do we do then?  Do we just forgive and let the perpetrator(s) off the hook?  Do we just pretend that it never happened? 

Because of faulty teaching and our own experience with pain we hold onto many myths about forgiveness.  Freedom to Love Again addresses several myths and teaches what forgiveness really is and what we can expect from the forgiveness process.  The course expands on the themes of forgiveness in The Shack and draws together Bible teaching and contemporary study on the topic to paint a portrait of true, Biblical forgiveness. 

Deep down, human beings desire and even crave justice.  When someone hurts a loved one we want that person to pay.  But our quest for justice can actually ensnare us.  Our quest can become poisonous and do undue damage to our soul and mind.  Freedom to Love Again addresses the question of justice and whether or not forgiveness lets the offender “off the hook.” In this course you will discover:

-Eight truths about forgiveness that counteract popularly held myths
-Why characterizing perpetrators of mass evil as “monsters” actually hurts us, not them
-How pursuing a path of revenge can destroy us
-Why Bible teaching on forgiveness is complex and how to make sense of it
-What the three types of forgiveness are – and why they are misunderstood and commonly taught as one
-Why pursuing reconciliation prematurely is highly dangerous to both the offender and the one sinned against
-How to avoid damaging and re-traumatizing your listeners through improper teaching on forgiveness
-Whether forgiveness is a process or an event in timeā€”and why
-How to experience forgiveness for the wrongs you have committed

Although not required, EduPlex highly recommends purchasing and reading “The Shack” by William P. Young before buying this course.

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Note: Freedom to Love Again addresses a variety of topics related to pain, brokenness and healing and is not suitable for children under the age of 13.

Included in Course

This course consists of three lessons.  Each lesson takes 2-3 hours to complete.

Shipped Materials

There are no additional materials shipped for this course.  However, we do recommend several books at the end of the course for additional study.

Student Interactions

None available.

About The Author...

M. James Sawyer, Ph.D. is Director of Sacred Saga Ministries (  He has been a professor of Systematic and Historical theology for twenty-five years.  In addition to his classroom experience he has written several books including The Survivor's Guide to Theology, Taxonomic Charts on Theological and Biblical Studies,  Reinventing Jesus (co-authored with Daniel B. Wallace and J. Ed Komoszewski) and co-edited Who's Afraid of the Holy Spirit? (with Daniel B. Wallace).  He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, The American Academy of Religion, and the Society for Biblical Literature.

Jim is a visiting Professor at The Theological College in Sofia Bulgaria, and at Pacific Islands Seminary in Guam, a well as Adjunct Professor at A. W. Tozer Seminary and Koinonia Graduate School of Theology.  He also serves on the board of Eduplex Ministries and on the Advisory Committee of Koinonia Graduate School of Theology.  Jim is married to Kay and has four adult sons and three granddaughters.  

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Available Credit

This course is available with 1 ACSI CEU (Association of Christian Schools International Continuing Education Units) for 8 hours of work.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses, if any, are listed below.  If a Course ID is specified, that course must be purchased (and completed) prior to purchasing this course.  If no Course ID is specified, it is the student's responsibility to take the required course before purchasing this course.

No Prerequisite Courses Required

More Information

Below are some links with additional information on the course:

Course Syllabus 

Course Outline

Statement of Faith 


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