on 6 October 2008
This book is phenomenal. I took two books with me on holiday this summer (this and 'the Shack') and loved both. The title grabbed me because Repentance and Religion have been two of my theological preoccupations in the past 3 years.
Boyd's writing is engaging (like his preaching I've discovered) passionate, clear and theologically precise. He builds on Bonhoeffer's ethics and his explanation of Bonhoeffer's understanding of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, is accessible for lay readers without being superficial in any way.
It was refreshing to read a theological book, which wasn't arguing a case in a debate, as much as bringing God's people back to biblical truth, about God's love and our call to live in line with it. He's provocative and some will react, but I believe this book has something profound to teach us and it shines some biblical light into the C21st church.
This is essential reading for every Christian, I'm taking our staff team through it and we're excited by what we're re-discovering.
His interpretation of Genesis 3, is particularly helpful. If I had any critique, I'd ask for more stories, this isn't heavy on illustrations, but it is packed with life changing truth. I'm buying it for all my pastor friends' birthdays in the coming months!
on 10 October 2014
Depending on your definition of religion, the book's main title may mislead you. The author is a pastor of a Christian church in the US. He is not against Christianity or the true meaning of religion but he is against religion as many of us know it--that of legalism and judging others. This book is instead a message of God's unconditional love and a passionate entreaty to love others the way God loves us and calls us to love. I personally believe that this is a book that deserves to be read therefore I do not want to give too much away.
Repenting Of Religion is largely inspired by the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and uses biblical scripture to expound the author's viewpoints. It begins with what I feel is an eye-opening revelation of the root of judmentalism. This is in the introduction which I feel alone is worth buying the book. The author then explains what judgmentalism is in some detail and how it interferes with both our union with God and His plan for the church.
It is an inspiring read although at times may seems a bit repetitive. Stick with it because though it may seem repetitive it actually gives you deeper and deeper insight into God's great commission.
However, there is one point that Boyd makes which many readers dislike. Sadly, when it came to his views on homosexuality, he deals with this by stating that it is no different from gluttony thus treating homosexuality as a sin instead of as an orientation. More sadly still, I found many reviewers on Amazon disliked this statement because they view sin as a hierarchy and therefore dislike that Boyd said it was equal to gluttony. Boyd was only meaning to teach us the importance of inclusiveness and acceptance in the church by stating that we are all equally sinners. As this book was written 10 years ago, I hope that his viewpoint has evolved to one of greater love and acceptance and the belief that it is an orientation not a sin. If we don't see it this way, then I believe the love falls short. However Boyd only gives very small mention of this in his book and the book as a whole is still something worth reading.
Boyd writes well and explains clearly and logically. I feel that Repenting Of Religion has the power to transform. If the main principles were taught in churches, Christians would then be known for their love.