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Return to Me: A Biblical Theology of Repentance (Anglais) Broché – 17 avril 2015
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
'Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you ...' (Zech. 1:3 ESV).
Repentance concerns the repair of a relationship with God disrupted by human sin. All the major phases of church history have seen diversity and controversy over the doctrine. The first of Luther's famous ninety-five theses nailed to the church door in Wittenburg in 1517 stated that 'the entire life of believers should be one of repentance'. In recent times, two divisive debates within evangelicalism - over 'lordship salvation' and 'hypergrace' - have had repentance at their core.
The theme of repentance is evident in almost every Old and New Testament corpus. However, it has received little sustained attention over the past half-century of scholarship, which has been largely restricted to word studies or focused on a particular text or genre. Studies of the overall theology of the Bible have typically given the theme only passing mention.
In response, Mark Boda offers a comprehensive overview of the theological witness of Scripture to the theme of repentance. The key to understanding is not simply to be found in word studies, but also in the broader meaning of texts as these communicate through a variety of words, images and stories. The importance of repentance in redemptive history is emphasized. It is fundamentally a return to intimate fellowship with the triune God, our Creator and Redeemer. This relational return arises from the human heart and impacts attitudes, words and actions.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Boda structures his work by first employing the discipline of Biblical theology and dedicating the first (and majority) portion to allow the Biblical writers to shape and give nuance to the theme. It’s only after finishing with Revelation that he begins to flesh out the theological implications of the findings. And in regards to these implications, I found his rooting of repentance within the Covenant relationship most compelling and without stretching its meaning too far or coloring outside the lines. But I appreciate that he didn’t stop there. I think there can be a tendency to only consider one’s inner orientation while remaining somewhat mealy-mouthed about the practical outward expressions. But Boda fearlessly goes on to say this, “what is clear, however, is that, while repentance is fundamentally an inner reorientation of covenant relationship, external changes in behavior are essential to the biblical vision of repentance, and verbal expressions often accompany it” (emphasis mine). I think Boda is correct in his assertion, that there is in fact a reorientation of one’s inner posture but it ought not negate the necessity for having an outward one. But it seems though, that rather than trying to parse out the individual inner and outer aspects or simply create an unnecessary dichotomy, his intentions and desire are to train the mind to understand the interweaving of both.
With any work, though, there is bound to be something that strikes your fancy and stirs in you a desire for more. So my critique (if you would even call it that) of the book here is not so much what he said, but in terms of how much he said. I would have liked to have seen more written on both the divine enabling for repentance as well as a more rich exposition to the sociological aspects. At the end of both sections I simply had more questions than answers. Also, in terms of the “purpose” for repentance, it would have been helpful for him to speak more to the healing psychological effects that repentance brings. James 5:16 is such a weighty verse and seems that much could be said regarding it. I think it would have been helpful to have had a longer discourse surrounding the theme of “healing.” Nevertheless, this book has been tremendously helpful in forming for me a more smooth foundation. I recommend it to anyone with the caveat that the first portion may be a bit difficult and cumbersome for the laity. It seems to me that perhaps laymen would feel more comfortable in the later sections but I could be wrong. But with that said, I’m sure that it will stand to be both a blessing and an aid to the church for years to come providing for those wishing for a more full understanding of repentance its implications for daily living.
I could go on about how good this book is, but rather than read my review, go get the book! If you're looking for a solid Christian resource on repentance in Scripture, this should be at or near the top of your list! (As a side, if you want a solid and more systematic look at repentance to complement Boda's book, check out Thomas Watson's "The Doctrine of Repentance.")
When it comes to a topic such as repentance, the temptation is to immediately investigate the New Testament text, almost as if repentance did not formulate itself as a necessary part of God’s people until post-cross. This is unfortunate, as we can see, if time and sufficient energy is taken, the foundation of repentance as revealed in the Old Testament, in particular what was expected of the people of God when they claimed they had repented.
Mark Boda, in his excellent study on this topic called Return to Me: A Biblical Theology of Repentance, walks the reader from the beginning pages of the Old Testament to the concluding pages of the New Testament with the express purpose of taking an in-depth look at what repentance is all about, the words associated with repentance, and perhaps most importantly, what repentance looks like in action.
This book is part of the ever expanding and very helpful New Studies in Biblical Theologyseries from IVP Academic. Each book I have read thus far in this series has been quite impressive and this entry is no exception.
After outlining his intended approach and establishing some ground rules and the basis for his discussion, Boda begins by looking at repentance in the Torah. It is notable that repentance first presents itself very early in the biblical corpus, namely in Genesis 4 in relation to Cain and Abel. Boda aptly comments, “This early story in the Old Testament highlights the importance of the inner affections to repentance. Its tragic outcome foreshadows the struggle of humanity in general and Israel in particular to embrace the agenda of repentance fully.”
Building even further on the foundation for repentance found in the Torah, Boda then continues his journey through Scripture. Along the way, he spends a good deal of time and rightly so working through key terms such as putting away, turn, return, and their various cognates. This type of word study may seem boring to some; however, grasping word definitions in context, their use, and application is absolutely vital to something such as biblical theology. In fact, it is essential for any interaction with Scripture or the desire to understand what God is saying through the particular terms chosen. Boda correctly notes that repentance was not just about making a statement that one was sorry for sinful behavior. While that is part of repentance, it is the turning away, that physical action or movement away from sinful behavior towards an increasing place of holiness that defines true repentance.
The portion of this book I appreciated most was the chapter on the theological implications of repentance. Again building on the theme that repentance involves active turning from sin, Boda rightly avers “Repentance is not just the gateway into relationship with the triune God; it is the pathway for that continuing relationship.” He goes on to correctly state that “repentance at the outset of the Christian life restores us to relationship with God, and we (re)discover our true identity as children of the living God. But as in any relationship between parent and child there is the opportunity for growth in that relationship…Returning to and repairing our relationship with God with the spiritual resources that God grants us is part of the reality of life lived in this present evil age, and this is why the New Testament consistently calls a redeemed Christian community to repent.”
Since repentance is a necessary part of our daily Christian walk, having a solid understanding of the biblical message regarding repentance is essential to our spiritual growth. Mark Boda does an excellent job of walking the reader through the relevant Scriptural references about repentance while driving home in a practical and theologically consistent manner the importance of turning away from sin and walking in holiness with our Creator. This is a book I highly recommend and is one I will return to many times in the future as I continue to study the topic of repentance.
I received this book for free from IVP Academic and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”