Seeing Is Believing , presents a forceful, if one-sided, solution for Christians torn between judgment and acceptance. Dra"/>

REPENTING OF RELIGION: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God

Gregory A. Boyd, Author . Baker $12.99 (238p) ISBN 978-0-8010-6506-4

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)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 07/01/2004
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