Sunday, April 02, 2006

Repentance and the Fourth Gospel

What is the place of "repentance" in the gospel presentation? Some would have us do away with any reference to sin or changing or turning altogether. Some would tell a sinner to stop sinning first, then he can be saved.

This next series of posts will focus on one small aspect of this debate. Robert Wilkin actually invites those who are studying the doctrine of repentance to read the Fourth Gospel to “discover what, if anything, John tells us about the role of repentance in salvation.” That is the challenge these next few posts will take.

First, a few posts will explore the meaning of metanoeo and metanoia. Then various texts from the FG will be presented and analyzed on whether or not they contain the concept of repentance. While it is true that the Greek words metanoeo and metanoia do not occur, that is irrelevant to whether the concept occurs. Many have missed this.

The goal is not to "solve" the old Lordship debate; however, the argument from the FG and its (supposed) lack of reference to repentance is the focus.

So, what does repentance mean? The three most common meanings given are: (1) a turning away from one’s sins (not just a willingness or resolve to do so); (2) the intention, resolve, or willingness to turn from sins; (3) to change one’s mind (about something). Which of these is correct? Or, is more than one correct?

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