Out of the Protestant Reformation came several important doctrines, including a renewed understanding of repentance. Instead of viewing repentance as a one-time confession, the reformers began to teach what the Bible teaches—that it is both radical and perpetual.
In this redesigned, concise volume Sinclair Ferguson examines how the Bible defines repentance and how the doctrine has fared in today's evangelical churches. He finds many sorely lacking in proper theological understanding: "Once again we need to proclaim the full-orbed doctrine of repentance within an evangelical world that has begun to manifest symptoms of the same medieval sickness." This reversion to a kind of medieval theology includes the viewing of repentance as an isolated, emotional event.
Ferguson combats this trend by pointing us toward repentance in the Bible. As we embrace continual confession and turning from sin, we will find our spiritual walk transformed and our fellowship with Christ renewed. This is an important book for every Christian who wants the grace of repentance to regain rightful prominence in evangelical churches.
“First, repentance cannot be defined exclusively as shame and sorrow” (source)
“Biblical repentance, then, is not merely a sense of regret that leaves us where it found us. It is a radical reversal that takes us back along the road of our sinful wanderings, creating in us a completely different mind-set. We come to our senses spiritually (Luke 15:17). Thus the prodigal son’s life was no longer characterized by the demand ‘give me’ (v. 12) but now by the request ‘make me . . .’ (v. 19).” (source)
“Luther saw that the Gospel called not for an act of penance but for a radical change of mind that would lead to a deep transformation of life.” (source)
“2. Turning away from sin in view of the gracious provisions that the Lord has made for us in his covenant” (source)
“In a sense the covenant is Christ. The focus of attention is now no longer on a promise but on a person.” (source)
Sinclair Ferguson (born 1948) is a Scottish theologian known in Reformed Christian circles for his teaching, writing, and editorial work. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen and was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1971 to 2005, when he transferred to the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He has served as an editor with the Banner of Truth Trust and worked as a minister at St George’s-Tron Church, Glasgow.