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Book Review - Repenting of Religion

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Book Review - Repenting of Religion

With 70-75% of our Adventist young people leaving church this book gave a ringing answer to the problem.

Repenting of Religion, Turning from Judgment to the Love of God, by Gregory A. Boyd

Reviewed by Greg Wellman, Pastor of Penticton Adventist Church 

I almost didn't read it, thinking it was just another run of the mill books on just being a nice guy. But Gregory Boyd, looks at the heart of God and the heart of the Trinity truth and reveals the rich eternal love of God. Then he explains how the gospel transfers that love to practical Christianity.

It's easy to sit and Judge people thinking it is 'spiritual discernment' or somehow we have reached a high level of maturity when we see short comings in others and measure them by our standard of holiness. And yet Boyd will argue that Judging and measuring others is eating fruit form the   'tree of knowledge of Good and Evil'. Somehow we feel we have the knowledge and the right to be the Judge and use our wisdom, knowledge and experience to measure and judge others, yet we will always fail to reach the heart as long as we hold on to judging others. Boyd's argument is that we cannot judge someone and truly love them at the same time. A true spiritual Christ-like response to others is simply how can I love this person who Christ has died for. Boyd writes, "The Genesis narrative is replayed in our lives every day. If we are not rooted and grounded in God's love will invariably find ourselves unconsciously or consciously bring God, and then ourselves and each other, before the tribunal of our own knowledge of good and evil. We will live in judgment and the flow of love from God to us and through us will be suppressed." P. 135

Perhaps the deepest moving message of the book is the high value it places on people, showing the rich, extravagant love of God. He challenges us on how God ascribes unsurpassable worth to others, and challenges us on how the church is too show this same love. Boyd never tires of describing God's love, p.52 "Scripture never tires of driving home the centrality of the command to love.' p. 53 Love must characterize our lives day in and day out....

With 70-75% of our Adventist young people leaving church this book gave a ringing answer to the problem. With so many people saying that institutional church is so ' judgmental' Boyd reveals why the church has fallen in this ugly trap but passionately points to the solution. The book is challenging to one's own theological view of what we term 'Christian maturity', rich with deepening your view of God's love, passionate for the lost and those outside of Christ, very realistic, and hard hitting. It's one book that was a life changer for me. Every pastor need to read it and then do one sermon on it.