Language of God

32. Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet | Forward in Forgiveness

February 13, 2020

In a small laboratory, a participant sits with electrodes attached to her brow and a heart rate monitor humming in the background as she considers a time in her life when someone did wrong to her. This is a glimpse into a study of forgiveness. The results of a study like this teach us a lot about what forgiveness is and how it works. And although it is a scientific endeavor, it has direct effects on our spiritual lives. 

Jim Stump sat down with Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet, a psychologist from Hope College who has run studies like this, to learn about what forgiveness is, the increased health benefits of forgiveness and how this psychological pursuit can be fruitful toward a theological and spiritual journey. 

This episode is the third in a three part series we’re calling TheoPsych, an exploration of the intersection of psychology and theology. These episodes were made possible in part by the TheoPsych Project, hosted by Fuller Seminary’s office of Science, Theology, and Religion.

Join a conversation about this episode at the BioLogos Forum.

Find more information about the TheoPsych Project here.

Music in this episode is by Joseph McDade

Charlotte mentions the suicide hotline in this episode. If you're thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support you can go to or call 1-800-273-8255.

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