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Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  47 reviews
We human beings are burdened by our tendencies to harshly judge others and ourselves. Unfortunately for believers, this bent is as prevalent in the church as in the world.

Pastor and author Gregory A. Boyd calls readers to a higher standard through understanding the true manner in which God views humanity: as infinitely worthwhile and lovable. Only an attitude shift in how
Paperback, 238 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Baker Books
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Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book blew my freaking mind. I grew up in an extrememly conservative evangelical Christian home and over the years, I have basically quit going to church because of the hipocracy and judgment in the name of God. I've come to dislike and distrust organized religion, yet I've always desired a return to God, but didn't know how. This book was like therapy for me, as someone who has always questioned the status quo with the religion I was raised in. It renewed my faith in God and made me feel li ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. The perfect read for the Church caught in the midst of pluralistic postmodernism - how to remain true to God, His Word and His mission for the Church and what that looks like in today's culture. I recommend this book for anyone. Believers can draw so much wisdom from this book in how to better represent Christ in this world that will change the culture around us effectively and positively, in order to usher in the Kingdom. Unbelievers will find what Christianity is intend ...more
Dan Haley
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am nearly finished with this excellent book by Boyd. I outlined a few chapters for a series of messages on judgment and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I highly recommend this to all believers. Be prepared to change your thinking!
Gerard Kelly
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just discovered this through a friend who is probably more of an Anabaptist than I am - but I have found it very moving and possibly life-changing. I have long believed a) that the fight between 'religion' and relationship is THE key struggle of human history, and the central thrust of the OLd and New Testaments and b) that Biblical truth is contained in embryo in the Genesis narrative - lust as reflexologists find a map of the whole body on the sole of the foot. But I have never succeeded in pu ...more
Lila Diller
I can't say I liked it, but I can't say I don't recommend it, either. There were some good things and some bad things.

Good things:
He argued thoroughly and convincingly that the original sin of Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the basis for all subsequent idolatry, condemnation by us humans, and failure of the Church especially to live out of love.

The first chapter explained the amazing love our triune God has for us, welcoming us into His fellowship.

The Hol
Jamin Bradley
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Repenting of Religion is a wonder of a book. At first I thought it might be a stretch of a thesis but after reading a few chapters I was convinced and left in awe. You have probably never thought of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil this way. You have probably never thought of judgment as a real problem in Christianity. You have probably never looked at Christianity and sin through the lens presented in this book. Illuminate and challenge yourself with this awesome book.
Gayle Alexander
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
one of the best most challenging books on Christianity I've read to date - as someone who grew up in the church & totally bought into some of the more judgmental aspects of faith, sometimes I was almost insulted by some of what Greg proposes but ultimately it was a freeing read that has caused me to rethink what my relationship with Christ means to me as well as my fellow Christians & non-believers. ...more
John Trotter
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The love of Jesus ablaze in us

Boyd roots true Kingdom living in the love of God expressed in the world. He doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for middle ground but it is the message I personally needed this week. The book will challenge your view of what true Christlikeness can bring and the tragic results of religion apart from love.
Brian Christensen
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Premise is we keep eating from the Tree of Good and Evil- the original sin - instead of showing Christ like love. It addresses the mandate for church disciple but has quite of insight into whats been done wrong by the church.

A good book to end 2017 with...on to 2018
Leigh Ann
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a good book, with a good bottome line. I did find it frustrating in that the writer repeats
himself a lot, and his reading style is a bit tedious. But what he says is good.
David Edgren
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic treatment of judgement vs love. This book explorers the sin problem and Salvation solution on a way that truly inspired me with new thoughts and renewed faith in Jesus!
Ph. D.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book needs to be required reading for anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ.
Jeremy Randall
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ologies
read it on family holiday for christmas a while ago.
Amazing look at relationship over "have to"s.
Trent Hodson
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you read one book this year. This would have to be at the top my list.
Absolutely stunning and revolutionary.
This book not only deals to religion but offers the true way of God.
Please read it
Rob Jacobs
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This read helps anyone who's been abused by religion. ...more
JP Saint-Louis
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Important topic! Great explanation of judging v. loving...
Dodi Antunes
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This took me a while to read, mostly because it was so dense and I found I couldn't absorb more than 1 chapter per sitting; which tended to look like a week or so to chew each one.

It was quite repetitive in the wording of things, but I also felt this to be necessary for the most part (not always) when emphasising certain topics. I love the way he words things (quite lengthy though, and not everyone likes that), and I found myself taking 3x as long to read just for the fact that I was recording
Gwen Henson
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve recently read Irresistible by Andy Stanley, where he talks about how simple the gospel really is, and that we are under a new covenant- grace. Our new measure of everything is love. As opposed to all of the laws in the Old Testament ie old covenant. The OT is instructive and fascinating history, but we no longer live under the law. This book by Boyd finished the thought- that rather than spending our lives fixated on how to get everyone around us to stop sinning, we ought to stop being judg ...more
Trevor Lloyd
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although it gets rather dense and lumpy in its style at times, meaning it's not quite as accessible as Greg Boyd might have liked, I think this book captures so much of what I feel I have been trying to learn over the last few years. It summarises so many areas where I have been happily travelling on my theological journey in recent years. The focus is away from judgement and the faith as ethics (who and what is right and wrong), to love and faith as the experience of true life through the love ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Perhaps not so great exegesis, but good theology nonetheless. The idea of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" is intriguing, even if his interpretation is taken a bit too far in its application. The motif is not a great theme of the Bible in the sense Boyd would have you believe, but his ideas about judging are quite valid nonetheless, and his concluding chapters are perhaps the most important. The book suffers from Boyd's commitment to explain things exhaustively. He uses way too many word ...more
Elena Forsythe
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really fantastic challenge to the Church that when Jesus demonstrated that love is greater than judgment he meant we now need to actually *live* that way. The sin of Adam and Eve in eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is that they began to judge according to their own knowledge rather than trusting in the loving and perfect knowledge of God. Our false ideas about God and our lack of love for our neighbor come from that usurpation of his authority as judge and our attempts to find re ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Absolute must read. One of the best books I have read in years. I can unequivocally recommend this book. The book builds on Bonhoeffer's teachings on the two trees in the garden. I remember first reading Bonhoeffer 30+ years ago and being fascinated by the implications of that teaching. It seemed so obvious at the time that this was how Jesus called us. So purely, lovingly and mercifully to himself and sending us in that same pure merciful ove to everyone else. I confess, somehow over the years, ...more
Pastor Dave
In this challenging book, Boyd takes on the concept that judgment and love are mutually exclusive activities for human beings. Only God can rightly do both. So for us to truly love as God commanded, we must let go of our judgment. And for Boyd, the problem of judgment began the moment the first humans ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Boyd uses the story of Genesis 3 to outline the trouble of knowing good and evil, and the problem of replacing God as the center and source of our ...more
Ryan Mcguire
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
This book gets 5 stars because of content. Boyd's insights are at times astounding, although his mechanical writing style would be a deterrent for many. This book, like most of his books, reads like a university textbook. This isn't so much a criticism as it is a note about genre.

Repenting of religion draws the reader to the idea that religion seeks to judge and save from the outside in. But the love of God expressed definitively through Jesus, and especially on the cross, changes us from the in
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jesus-and-stuff
While I honestly believe that Boyd has some great things to say, I found that his either/or diction, use of extreme cases, and redundancy alienated his themes. What he said could have been said more concisely, and without citing primarily extreme instances. He allowed for little for disagreement because when he represented a possible contradiction he painted it in the worst light possible -- either/or language.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the fresh take on loving as Christ loved, but more importantly the call to face and lay down our judgments. Easily understandable explanations that one can wrap your mind around without being bogged down in theological language. Loved how he explained the proper context of accountability. the modern church's failure is not just our judgmental ideologies but is systemic in the way we do 'church.' Some great food to chew on throughout the book. ...more
Lauren Sheil
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent, detailed analysis of age old truth. Puts Bonhoeffer into context and makes him accessible to the modern reader. I was hoping for a bit more personal confession and incite into what this type of repentance looks like on a pracitical level but it never came. If you are looking for a scholarly study of ethics and the fall this is it. If you want a personal "how to" this is not the book for you. ...more
Darrell Amy
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
A Must Read for Every Christ Follower

This book challenged me to see the way that judgement has successfully edged out love in my life. Boyd traces the problem back to the moral superiority we received when we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While God has forbidden judgement and commanded us to love, most of Christianity has ended up doing the exact opposite. If you want a book that will rock your world, pick this one up and read it.
Jeremy A
Nov 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Assisted me in taking, I hope and believe, a few more significant steps in my faith journey toward a Christianity with more love and acceptance of others and less judgment. Boyd has always claimed that authentic Christianity is not a religion at all, that Jesus message transcends and trumps religion, and this book makes the case is some profound ways.
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read for anyone who wants to "Love The Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul, and your neighbor as yourself." IOW, for those who want to love others without judging them. As Boyd sums it up: "We must testify that it is only by the outrageous love and mercy of God that any of us have any hope. And that, in the end, is the only message we have ever had to offer anyone." ...more
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Gregory A. Boyd is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of ReKnew. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD). Gre

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41 likes · 21 comments
“God took on our humanity, our sin, and the just punishment that sin deserves, dying a God-forsaken, hellish death on the cross, because only this could rescue us from our self-chosen destruction. God expresses unsurpassable love for us and ascribes unsurpassable worth to us by sacrificing the One who has unsurpassable value on our behalf!” 6 likes
“The loving oneness of the church is to reflect the loving oneness of the Trinity. Indeed, the loving oneness of the church is to participate in the loving oneness of the Trinity: “As you . . . are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us.” As we participate in God’s loving oneness, we replicate this loving oneness among ourselves. And as we replicate this loving oneness, the world sees and believes that Jesus Christ is sent from the Father. The world knows the reality of the triune God because they encounter the love of the triune God in us.” 3 likes
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