Re: Repentance and Remorse (was Re: [asa] (introducing... sin) "Evolutionary Creation" book comments)

From: dfsiemensjr <>
Date: Tue Oct 06 2009 - 17:24:13 EDT

For your citing of Luke 15 to be relevant, the sheep would have to
rejoice, not the shepherd and his neighbors, who represent the beings in
heaven. The other two passages are relevant to the repenter's joy.
Dave (ASA)

On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 04:40:49 +1100 Murray Hogg <>
> Hi Burgey,
> First, very important to note that my representation of Calvinism
> was crude (very crude). A somewhat more refined way of making the
> point would be to point to the debates that John Wesley had with his
> Calvinist contemporaries over the notion of prevenient grace - but,
> as you say, the precise details aren't so very important in the
> context.
> On the question of the meaning of "repentance" I'll first make the
> observation that, strictly speaking, the meaning of the word itself
> is really a simple matter of New Testament lexicography - it "means"
> what the NT authors "used" it to mean, nothing more.
> That, however, is just a tip of the hat to scholarly pedantry and
> it's clear your real interest lies in what associations I make
> between the notion of "repentance" and whatever else.
> Here I would make four preliminary comments;
> First, individuals vary in the response they make to given
> circumstances - which raises the question; if we define remorse as
> one of the attendant aspects of repentance then what do we mean by
> "remorse" and just how much of it is enough?
> Second, I do take "repentance" to mean - in strictest terms -
> nothing more than "turning from" and I am of the view, frankly, that
> the notion of remorse attending repentance can be dangerously
> overemphasised. This isn't a theoretical claim: I have seen
> repeatedly Christians who so confuse the notions of remorse and
> repentance that they either (1) think that "feeling sorry for sin"
> is an adequate response (and the sorrier they feel, the better!); or
> (2) think that their failure to feel sufficient "remorse" is
> evidence that they are not, in fact, living in obedience to God's
> will.
> Third, the correct understanding of the relation of repentance to
> remorse is, in my view, to see them both as responses to an
> awareness of sin (or, better, to an awareness of God's holiness and
> righteousness). The three important points to draw out here, I
> think, is that these two responses are not mutually exclusive but
> nor are they dependant. I certainly do not think that remorse
> precedes repentance - that's a view which can diminish our Church
> services and preaching to a terrible extent as worship and prophetic
> declaration of God's Word respectively descend into little more than
> rank emotional manipulation.
> Fourth, I find it curious that so few people see JOY as one of the
> emotional markers of repentance! It seems to me that there is very
> great imbalance here - as if it is forgotten that one of the things
> which attends repentance is forgiveness on God's part, and loving
> gratitude on ours. Thus, from Luke 15;
> <cite>
> 1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to
> hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This
> Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable
> to them, saying:
> 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them,
> does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the
> one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he
> lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he
> calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice
> with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you
> that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who
> repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
> 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins,[a] if she loses one coin,
> does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until
> she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and
> neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the
> piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the
> presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
> </cite>
> And Matthew 13;
> <cite>
> 44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
> which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all
> that he has and buys that field.
> </cite>
> And Galatians 5;
> <cite>
> 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is ... joy.
> </cite>
> So, preliminaries aside, I would want to urge that there are
> actually quite a few more issues involved in repentance than simply
> "turning away" and "feeling remorse." I don't want to deny that an
> emotionally healthy person ought to feel some pangs of guilt at
> their previous short-comings, but if this is the ONLY thing we have
> to say about repentance, then we have certainly overlooked some of
> the other key biblical motifs and stand in danger of seriously
> misrepresenting the nature of our faith and our God.
> The short answer(!), then, is that repentance invokes (for me) a
> complex of issues centred around awareness of who we are, of who we
> have been, of who we can become, and (more importantly) an awareness
> of the God in whom, and by whom, and for whom, we were created and
> who leads us from darkness to light not just because he is righteous
> and holy, but also because he is grace and love. And as we respond
> to this God as individuals who are a sorry amalgam of hurts and
> fears, hopes and longings, each with a story unique amongst 6
> billion fellow individuals, I think we should allow that the our
> experience of salvation, and the emotional response that comes with
> it, is as individual as we are. There are common elements, to be
> sure (we are all human, and God is always God), but whilst Scripture
> certainly legitimises our calling persons to repentance, I don't
> believe it anywhere legitimises our making proscriptive
> announcements as to how those persons should feel about the matter.
> Blessings,
> Murray
> John Burgeson (ASA member) wrote:
> > On 10/2/09, Murray Hogg <> wrote:
> > "Calvinists (crudely speaking) think of spiritual enlightenment
> coming
> > AFTER the moment of repentance whereas Wesley (again, crudely
> > speaking) thought of spiritual enlightenment coming BEFORE the
> moment
> > of repentance."
> >
> > Speaking only for myself, if that's what Calvin believed, then (as
> a
> > Presbterian) I do not follow him. But it seems to me to be an
> > unimportant point.
> >
> > Question: Does (to you) the word "repentance" mean simply "turning
> > from" or does it mean "turning from with remorse?" Or something
> else?
> >
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Received on Tue Oct 6 17:27:21 2009

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