Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Chicken or the Egg?

The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven. It serves as an expression of gratitude rather than an effort to earn forgiveness. Thus the sequence of forgiveness and then repentance, rather than repentance and then forgiveness, is crucial for understanding the gospel of grace.
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Visual Edition.

Wow. I’ve been bought up since my acceptance of Christ to believe that we have to repent to be forgiven. It’s never sat comfortably with me as I got older and wiser (or is that more cynical?) but it’s the only way I’ve heard it preached.

I’ve argued with some of my Cool-Aid swimming Pentecostal friends that you don’t have to wait for someone to ask for forgiveness, to forgive them, and like wise, God will also forgive us, even if we’re a bit slow on the repentance thing.

But this is the first time I’ve read someone else’s view on the subject that resonates with me.

I’ve only read Manning’s book in bit and pieces (it’s a book I keep in the toilet for those times when you need a little longer to, well you know) but most times I pick it up, I seem to find a gem.

If this were Frank’s blog I’d have a link to amazon right about here. But its not, so I’ll give you something better; if you know me personally (basically, if you’re a Cessionite) I’ll get you a real good deal on a copy of the book if you’re interested.

(apologies to Frank, his blog is cool, even with the corporate sell out ;o)


wotsitgonnabe said...

yes - upside down religion... repentance before forgiveness...

servant said...
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