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Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God Paperback – July 1, 2004
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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.
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From the Back Cover
Freedom from judgmentalism.
Are you frustrated by a tendency to judge others? Pastor and award-winning author Greg Boyd asserts that God shares his unsurpassable worth with each of us, making the practice of judgment foreign to Christian character.
In Repenting of Religion, Boyd shows you how to begin practicing a religion of love rather than embracing judgmental doctrine based on our human perceptions of morality. He exposes lies we have believed about ourselves and others and demonstrates the freedom we have for establishing true biblical community.
If you're ready to reap the rewards of loving others, this book is for you.
"Anything but another run-of-the-mill evangelical book, it is radical and revolutionary. It will make readers think critically about some traditional evangelical habits of the heart."--Roger E. Olson, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University
"The local church is called to be God's community of redemption rather than the exclusive clique of rejection it has often become. This is a prophetic call to repentance."--Gilbert Bilezikian, author of Christianity 101
"Mere Christianity is religionless, Boyd rightly says. It is about dancing with the triune God. And, since it's all about mercy, let's love one another and stop judging."--Clark Pinnock, author of Most Moved Mover
Gregory A. Boyd is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of twelve books, including Seeing is Believing and the best-selling Gold Medallion Award winner Letters from a Skeptic.
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Top customer reviews
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I do have a couple suggestions though. Read the intro at normal speed. Read the rest of the book slowly. Allow time for it to percolate. Check out the scripture references. Read it 'prayerfully'.
Boyd demonstrates with a convincing theological argument that love isn't the opposite of truth; that we should love abundantly and extravagantly all the time to all people. This is not easy believism. This is not liberal. Boyd points out that we can never be the people we're supposed to be until we have escaped the bonds of judgmentalism.
I was like that once. I was bound and neutralized by my inability to love others. Oh, I thought I was being loving. I didn't understand that I was trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit in others lives, and I was terrible at it.
In just over 200 pages, Boyd clears a lot of things up for us. He helps us to be freed from lies we believe about others and ourselves. He shows how necessary it is for us to escape judgment and live and love like Jesus.
Boyd makes it clear that love and judgement cannot co-exist...WITH HUMANS. God however is allowed and the ONLY one that can judge.
If you wonder about the verse where Paul tells church people to "kick out" people from the church who still sin, Boyd clearly addresses this and doesn't discredit the scripture at all.
The supreme commands for us humans are to Love God and love your neighbors (all humans). All else is subordinate to those, or rather reflections of those commands. Judging others fits no where in there.
This is a great book, kind of repetitive, but that I guess is necessary to beat it in our heads to stop being religous, judgemental, legalistic, and wake up to the love, life and freedom that Christ death on the cross offers us.
I would have liked to see a few more modern day examples to cooralate this teaching with how we handle life. It has some but I would like to have had a few more.
Read this before you read Myth of Christian Nation, because that book branches out or rather grows out of the teaching of this book.
AWESOME JOB GREG!
But don't let that one small criticism keep you from reading this book. The message is one that the church desperately needs to hear and respond appropriately.