Item description for Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God by Gregory A. Boyd...
Overview Human beings are burdened by tendencies to harshly judge others and themselves. Pastor and author Boyd calls readers to a higher standard through understanding the true manner in which God views humanity as infinitely worthwhile and lovable.
Publishers Description We human beings are burdened by our tendencies to harshly judge others and ourselves. Unfortunately for believers, this bent is as prevalent in the church as in the world. Pastor and author Gregory A. Boyd calls readers to a higher standard through understanding the true manner in which God views humanity: as infinitely worthwhile and lovable. Only an attitude shift in how we perceive ourselves in light of God's love can impact how we relate to people and transform our judgmental nature. Believers wrestling with the reality of God's love and Christians struggling with judging in the local church will appreciate this examination of how we move from a self-centered to a Christ-centered life.
From Publishers Weekly Boyd, pastoral theologian and author of Seeing Is Believing, presents a
forceful, if one-sided, solution for Christians torn between judgment and
acceptance. Drawing on biblical images including the Tree of Knowledge, the
Samaritan woman at the well and Jesus' reputation as a "friend of sinners,"
Boyd argues that "the church must be the community of people who simply love
as God loves." Christians who judge others are, in effect, eating forbidden
fruit, labeling people as good or evil in exchange for a tainted boost of
spiritual energy. Even in the context of church discipline with the best of
motives, Boyd is skeptical about the benefits of confrontation and rebuke,
decrying the "trust we have in our power of judgment rather than the power of
God and his love flowing through us." Bucking evangelical convention is
nothing new for Boyd, but his development of the biblical basis for his
conclusions is less comprehensive than in most of his previous works. This is
unfortunate considering that Boyd's proposals for the church-such as treating
homosexuality and overeating as essentially equivalent issues-are already
guaranteed to raise eyebrows among evangelical readers. While its message is
engaging, this title incorporates more repetition and less nuance, more
rhetoric and less practical pastoral guidance, than Boyd usually delivers.
(July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God by Gregory A. Boyd has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 06/14/2004 page 60
Christianity Today - 02/01/2005 page 87
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Studio: Baker Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2004
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 0801065062 ISBN13 9780801065064
Availability 0 units.
More About Gregory A. Boyd
Gregory A. Boyd, formerly professor of theology at Bethel College, is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church where average attendance has grown to 5,000 since he helped plant the church in 1992. He is the author of many books, including the critically acclaimed Seeing Is Believing and the best-selling Gold Medallion Award-winner Letters from a Skeptic. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Al Larson is a national board certified counselor and the president and founder of Dynamics of Growth Inc., a counseling, consulting, and training organization. He lives in Oakdale, Minnesota.
Gregory A. Boyd currently resides in the state of Minnesota. Gregory A. Boyd was born in 1957.
Reviews - What do customers think about Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God?
Paradigm Shifting Jan 15, 2007
This book will rocked my world. I found it challenging in its call to love without judgment. Drawn partly from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, it is rich in insight and powerful in its call for us to desist from practicing religion and enter into relationship. A worthy read!
Repenting of Religion Jan 5, 2007
Unreadable, repetitive, badly written, even before one argues about the central theme, which is greatly flawed and unbalanced! I bought the book after I had read the reviews ranging from 1 to 5 stars, and thought I'd form my own opinion about this book. I agree with all the 1 star reviews. But additionally, I have to say that the writing is so repetitive that I felt it was an insult to my intelligence. The book could have been condensed to one or two chapters. I threw it away in the bin so I wouldn't bore anyone else with it. It's not worth the paper it's written on. This is the first time I have written an on-line review even though I'm a regular buyer of books on this site, because I felt so compelled to warn others not to buy this unscriptural and poorly written book. Sorry, Dr Boyd, but that's my honest, judgmental criticism, done out of love for this site readers.
unbiblical and unbalanced Dec 8, 2006
Classic case of a guy who picks a few verses to make a point, while completely ignoring huge sections of scripture. The assumption that judgment and love are in polar opposition to one another is foolish at best, deceptive at worst. God loves unconditionally, and at the same time judges righteously. Paul instructed the Corinthian church to pass judgment on a fellow believer, out of love for him. The author also says we should never make conclusions based on good and evil, and that to do so is repeating the sin of Adam & Eve - apparently forgetting the fact that the Bible is filled with instructions regarding good and evil!
he says we should never judge others and that to do so indicates hypocrisy and a lack of love - his book, however, is filled with judgments cast at believers and churches based on the author's assumptions about their motives. He assumes that any a believer (other than him) evaluates another person's behavior we are obviously trying to cover up some sin in our own lives. I think Paul, Moses, Nathan, Elijah, Jesus, and pretty much all of the prophets who spent significant chunks of time confronting others about their sin, would disagree. Maybe - just maybe - sometimes we confront sin not to try to elevate ourselves - but out of genuine love and concern for another person's spiritual well-being. Maybe sometimes we confront sin not out of hypocrisy but out of a love for and commitment to truth and holiness as revealed in God's Word.
On top of all this he bases most of his theology on his own fanciful interpretation of what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents. The original sin, he says, was judgment. I'm not sure who he thinks Adam and Eve were judging when they ate the fruit, but it seems to me the original sin was disobedience to a simple command. Call me crazy.
This book is highly misleading and inexcusably unbalanced. It does not represent Scripture or the character of God. I would not recommend it to anyone.
At last, a logical interpretation Nov 4, 2006
An extremely well-argued case for love and judgment being the two dichotomous trees in Eden. The book challenges every Christian to reevaluate his/her approach to their fellow sinners.
The whole counsel of God? Oct 14, 2006
This book urges us to get back to basics: to enjoy God's outrageous love and be a conduit of it. Also, we need to stop being critical and judgmental, and show a needy world what God's unconditional love is like. Instead of living by legalism, rules, and human effort, we need to rest in the acceptance and grace Christ offers us, then share this with others.
For the most part that is an important message and one which all of us need to be reminded of. But perhaps because Boyd seems to think that we are all so far from where we should be in this regard, he tends to resort to unnecessary polarisation and overstatement. His message thus at times comes across as unbalanced and skewed. The fullness of the biblical data seems to be lost and the whole counsel of God seems not to be presented.
Of course Boyd is a leading proponent of what is known as free-will theism, which claims, for example, that God is not really sovereign, he does not know the future, etc.
Boyd's emphasis on the love of God is heavily influenced by this particular theology. For example, he seeks to make love the primary attribute of God. But it may be more in accord with the entire biblical revelation to acknowledge that all of the attributes of God are primary - that is, all are to be seen as operating together.
To single out one attribute of God and effectively ignore or downplay the others would seem to present a truncated picture of God. Yes, God is love. But God is also holy. God is also just, and so one.
Given Boyd's view on the love of God, it comes as no surprise that he has little to say about the wrath of God. He certainly does not see it as an attribute of God. Indeed, he argues that love and judgment cannot co-exist.
But, is this really the case? I can think of at least three very important counter-examples here. God seems quite capable of loving and judging simultaneously. Parents are called to do the same. And Christians are enjoined in Scripture to do just that as well.
Boyd seems to set up a false antithesis or artificial tension here. It is not a case of either/or, but both/and. He seems to engage in unnecessary polarisation where Scripture does not.
He does allow that "in exceptional conditions" there will be a place for "confrontation and questioning". I am glad he does makes this concession. But how does this square with the New Testament evidence? There we find numerous examples of Paul and others challenging people, confronting people, even rebuking people. Numerous passages enjoin us to make righteous judgement, to warn and rebuke, to chastise and to admonish.
But Boyd thinks this should be done sparingly at best. But Scripture seems to say it should be done when needed. It seems to be a part of the normal Christian life. Of course such discipline and admonition must be done in love, with humility, and with the recognition that we are all fallen. But it is a regular part of church life. Jesus himself insisted upon this, as in Matthew 18.
And what about the Old Testament prophets? They made prophetic denunciations against foreign nations which featured the same themes and language as they used against Israel. Boyd does mention Ezekiel's call to be a watchman, but says it only applies to Israel. Yet Ezekiel 25-32 are oracles against foreign nations.
On occasion he will modify his remarks, offer a brief corrective, or throw in a qualifying comment. And his closing chapters seek to look at these issues in a bit more detail. But these qualifications seem few and far between, and one suspects that Boyd makes them grudgingly.
And then there is the problem that Boyd seems to do the very thing that he rails against throughout this book. On a number of occasions Boyd makes judgments about the rest of the Christian church.
While such judgements might be true they are nonetheless just that: judgments, the very thing Boyd thinks we should not be making. Indeed, he accuses believers who are not following his scheme of things of "spiritual pathology" and "religious idolatry". It seems that even Boyd cannot make his case without resorting to judgment. And that makes my case, I would argue. One can seek to build up the body, to be loving, while at the same time making judgments and pointing out shortcomings.
I found this book to be somewhat frustrating. Its message is important. Yet I can't help feeling that for all that he says, he leaves much unsaid, and the end result is a somewhat skewed message. He could perhaps have written this book in a different fashion and still made much of his case.
I for one will try to apply some of the truths contained in the book to my life. I know I need to be a lot more loving and a lot less judgmental. But I have enough reservations to be hesitant about passing this on to others without at least some qualifying remarks.