Christianity uniquely believes in the power of love and forgiveness to free captive sinners from the bonds of sin and death. Consequently the law (quid-pro-quo justice, conditional love, and punishment) does not fix the problem, but only makes matters worse. But is not the law necessary sometimes? Aren’t there times when justice must be served? For Tolstoy, the answer must be an unequivocal NO! In “The Forged Coupon” – the last novella he ever wrote- Tolstoy challenges the basic assumption that there is a realm of God’s creation where the power of grace is excluded and justice, punishment, and law…

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