Friday, August 17, 2012

Repentance Defended Against Antinomian Heresy: A Brief Defense of the Indubitable Biblical Fact that Repentance is a Change of Mind that Always Results in a Change of Action, part 1


For approximately the first two-thousand years of Baptist history, Baptist churches—the churches established by the Lord Jesus Christ—have defended the fact that when a lost sinner repents and is born again, a change of action will necessarily follow.  The fact that repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action is the historic Baptist position. There are no Baptist confessional statements that deny that repentance will result in a change of action or that positively affirm that repentance is only a change of mind that may or may not result in a change of action.  The idea that repentance is only a change of mind that may or may not result in a change of action is a new and different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) from the one that has been preached by Baptists throughout the course of the church age, for it is a different gospel from the one taught in the Bible.

The historic Baptist doctrine that repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action will be referenced below as the RAC (Repentance Always results in Change) position, and the new position that repentance is a change of mind that may not result in a change of action will be referenced below as the RNC (Repentance does Not always result in Change) position.

Old Testament Evidence Affirms the RAC

Briefly, the verbs shub[i] and nacham[ii] are used in the Old Testament for the concept of repentance.  Nacham emphasizes the emotional aspect of repentance, conveying the idea of “to be sorry, to come to regret something,”[iii] and is found with reference to human repentance in texts such as Job 42:6:  “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”  Shub means “to turn back . . . turn back to God . . . turning around . . . be converted . . . turn away from, abandon . . . a course of action . . . to desist . . . from doing wrong.”[iv]  It is a very common verb, appearing in passages such as the following representative texts:

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent (shub, Qal[v]), and turn yourselves (shub, Hiphil) from your idols; and turn away (shub, Hiphil) your faces from all your abominations. . . . But if the wicked will turn (shub, Qal) from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. . . . Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return (shub, Qal) from his ways, and live? . . . Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent (shub, Qal), and turn yourselves (shub, Hiphil) from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit:[vi] for why will ye die, O house of Israel? . . . Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn (shub, Qal) from it; if he do not turn (shub, Qal) from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. . . . Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn (shub, Qal) from his way and live: turn (shub, Qal) ye, turn (shub, Qal) ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 14:6; 18:21, 23, 30-31; 33:9, 11)

It is obvious that the RAC is the Old Testament doctrine of repentance—and the gospel is received in the same manner in both the Old and New Testament (Hebrews 11:1-2; Romans 4).  The RNC finds no support from the first three-fourths of the Word of God.

New Testament Lexical Evidence Affirms the RAC

One Greek verb for repentance is metamelomai, meaning “to have regrets about something . . . be very sorry, regret . . . to change one’s mind.”[vii]  Metamelomai bears some similarities to the Old Testament verb nacham.  The Greek verb appears in New Testament texts such as:  “He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went” (Matthew 21:29).[viii]  The central words for the New Testament doctrine of repentance, however, are the verb metanoeo and the noun metanoia.

The standard New Testament Greek lexicon BDAG[ix] lists all verses with metanoeo in the New Testament[x] under the definition “feel remorse, repent, be converted,” including the mention of repentance “of . . . immorality . . . of . . . sins . . . repent and turn away.”

The Louw-Nida Greek lexicon defines metanoeo and metanoia as:  “[T]o change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness — ‘to repent, to change one’s way, repentance.’ . . . Though in English a focal component of repent is the sorrow or contrition that a person experiences because of sin, the emphasis in metanoeo and metanoia seems to be more specifically the total change, both in thought and behavior, with respect to how one should both think and act. Whether the focus is upon attitude or behavior varies somewhat in different contexts. . . . Though it would be possible to classify metanoeo and metanoia in [the category of words for] [t]hink[ing], the focal semantic feature of these terms is clearly behavioral rather than intellectual.”[xi]

Thayer’s Greek lexicon defines metanoeo as:  “to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent (to feel sorry that one has done this or that . . . used especially of those who, conscious of their sins and with manifest tokens of sorrow, are intent on obtaining God’s pardon . . . to change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins . . . [leading to] conduct worthy of a heart changed and abhorring sin.”  Metanoia is defined as:  “a change of mind: as it appears in one who repents of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done . . . especially the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds. . . that change of mind by which we turn from, desist from, etc. . . . used . . . of the improved spiritual state resulting from deep sorrow for sin.”

The Theological Lexicon of the New Testament affirms:  “In the NT, metanoeō and metanoia . . . form an essential part of the kerygma [preaching] lexicon, urging ‘conversion’ to Christianity. There is no longer any question of distinguishing between change of thoughts, of heart, of actions. The change is that of the soul, of the whole person (the new creature), who is purified of stains and whose life is transformed, metamorphosed.”[xii]

The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament affirms concerning the New Testament usage of metanoeo and metanoia:  “Metanoeo . . . [is] radical conversion, a transformation of nature, a definitive turning from evil, a resolute turning to God in total obedience . . . [i]t affects the whole man, first and basically the centre of personal life, then logically his conduct at all times and in all situations, his thoughts, words and acts.”[xiii]

Christendom continued to speak of repentance as a change of mind that results in a change of life.  The standard Patristic Greek Lexicon edited by G. W. H. Lampe,[xiv] despite large pages of references to repentance (metanoia, metanoeo) in the patristic writers, never gives a single reference where repentance refers to a change of mind that does not result in a change of action, while it provides overwhelming evidence for the historic Baptist doctrine of repentance in vast numbers of passages in the writers of the early centuries of church history.[xv]

The lexica provide overwhelming evidence in favor of the RAC and against the RNC.  Were the RNC true, all standard lexica would have to be in error.

--TDR


[i] The verb appears 1,075 times in 956 verses, listed here in the order they are found in the Hebrew Bible:  Gen 3:19; 8:3, 7, 9, 12; 14:7, 16–17; 15:16; 16:9; 18:10, 14, 33; 20:7, 14; 21:32; 22:5, 19; 24:5–6, 8; 26:18; 27:44–45; 28:15, 21; 29:3; 30:31; 31:3, 13, 55; 32:6, 9; 33:16; 37:14, 22, 29–30; 38:22, 29; 40:13, 21; 41:13; 42:24–25, 28, 37; 43:2, 10, 12–13, 18, 21; 44:8, 13, 25; 48:21; 50:5, 14–15; Ex 4:7, 18–21; 5:22; 10:8; 13:17; 14:2, 26–28; 15:19; 19:8; 21:34; 22:26; 23:4; 24:14; 32:12, 27, 31; 33:11; 34:31, 35; Lev 6:4; 13:16; 14:39, 43; 22:13; 25:10, 13, 27–28, 41, 51–52; 26:26; 27:24; Num 5:7–8; 8:25; 10:36; 11:4; 13:25–26; 14:3–4, 36, 43; 16:50; 17:10; 18:9; 22:8, 34; 23:5–6, 16, 20; 24:25; 25:4, 11; 32:15, 18, 22; 33:7; 35:25, 28, 32; Deut 1:22, 25, 45; 3:20; 4:30, 39; 5:30; 13:17; 17:16; 20:5–8; 22:1–2; 23:13–14; 24:4, 13, 19; 28:31, 60, 68; 30:1–3, 8–10; 32:41, 43; Josh 1:15; 2:16, 22–23; 4:18; 5:2; 6:14; 7:3, 26; 8:21, 24, 26; 10:15, 21, 38, 43; 11:10; 14:7; 18:8; 19:12, 27, 29, 34; 20:6; 22:8–9, 16, 18, 23, 29, 32; 23:12; 24:20; Judg 2:19; 3:19; 5:29; 6:18; 7:3, 15; 8:9, 13, 33; 9:56–57; 11:8–9, 13, 31, 35, 39; 14:8; 15:19; 17:3–4; 18:26; 19:3, 7; 20:48; 21:14, 23; 1 Sam 1:19; 3:5–6; 5:3, 11; 6:3–4, 7–8, 16–17, 21; 7:3, 14; 9:5; 12:3; 14:27; 15:11, 25–26, 30–31; 17:15, 30, 53, 57; 18:2, 6; 23:23, 28; 24:1; 25:12, 21, 39; 26:21, 23, 25; 27:9; 29:4, 7, 11; 30:12, 19; 2 Sam 1:1, 22; 2:26, 30; 3:11, 16, 26–27; 6:20; 8:3, 13; 9:7; 10:5, 14; 11:4, 15; 12:23, 31; 14:13, 21; 15:8, 19–20, 25, 27, 29, 34; 16:3, 8, 12; 17:3, 20; 18:16; 19:10–12, 14–15, 37, 39, 43; 20:22; 22:21, 25, 38; 23:10; 24:13; 1 Kings 2:16–17, 20, 30, 32–33, 41, 44; 8:33–35, 47–48; 9:6; 12:5–6, 9, 12, 16, 20–21, 24, 26–27; 13:4, 6, 9–10, 16–20, 22–23, 26, 29, 33; 14:28; 17:21–22; 18:43; 19:6–7, 15, 20–21; 20:5, 9, 34; 22:17, 26, 28, 33; 2 Kings 1:5–6, 11, 13; 2:13, 18, 25; 3:4, 27; 4:22, 31, 35, 38; 5:10, 14–15; 7:8, 15; 8:3, 6, 29; 9:15, 18, 20, 36; 13:25; 14:14, 22, 25, 28; 15:20; 16:6; 17:3, 13; 18:14, 24; 19:7–9, 28, 33, 36; 20:5, 9–11; 21:3; 22:9, 20; 23:20, 25–26; 24:1; Is 1:25–27; 5:25; 6:10, 13; 9:12–13, 17, 21; 10:4, 21–22; 12:1; 14:27; 19:22; 21:12; 23:17; 28:6; 29:17; 31:6; 35:10; 36:9; 37:7–8, 29, 34, 37; 38:8; 41:28; 42:22; 43:13; 44:19, 22, 25; 45:23; 46:8; 47:10; 49:5–6; 51:11; 52:8; 55:7, 10–11; 58:12–13; 59:20; 63:17; 66:15; Jer 2:24, 35; 3:1, 7, 10, 12, 14, 19, 22; 4:1, 8, 28; 5:3; 6:9; 8:4–6; 11:10; 12:15; 14:3; 15:7, 19; 16:15; 18:4, 8, 11, 20; 22:10–11, 27; 23:3, 14, 20, 22; 24:6–7; 25:5; 26:3; 27:16, 22; 28:3–4, 6; 29:10, 14; 30:3, 10, 18, 24; 31:8, 16–19, 21, 23; 32:37, 40, 44; 33:7, 11, 26; 34:11, 15–16, 22; 35:15; 36:3, 7, 28; 37:7–8, 20; 38:26; 40:5, 12; 41:14, 16; 42:10, 12; 43:5; 44:5, 14, 28; 46:16, 27; 48:47; 49:6, 39; 50:6, 9, 19; Ezek 1:14; 3:19–20; 7:13; 8:6, 13, 15, 17; 9:11; 13:22; 14:6; 16:53, 55; 18:7–8, 12, 17, 21, 23–24, 26–28, 30, 32; 20:22; 21:5, 30; 27:15; 29:14; 33:9, 11–12, 14–15, 18–19; 34:4, 16; 35:7, 9; 38:4, 8, 12; 39:2, 25, 27; 44:1; 46:9, 17; 47:1, 6–7; Hos 2:7, 9; 3:5; 4:9; 5:4, 15–6:1; 6:11; 7:10, 16; 8:13; 9:3; 11:5, 9; 12:2, 6, 9, 14; 14:1–2, 4, 7; Joel 2:12–14; 3:1, 4, 7; Amos 1:3, 6, 8–9, 11, 13; 2:1, 4, 6; 4:6, 8–11; 9:14; Obad 1:15; Jonah 1:13; 3:8–10; Mic 1:7; 2:8; 5:3; 7:19; Nah 2:2; Hab 2:1; Zeph 2:7; 3:20; Zech 1:3–4, 6, 16; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:14; 8:3, 15; 9:8, 12; 10:6, 9–10; 13:7; Mal 1:4; 2:6; 3:7, 18; 4:6; Psa 6:4, 10; 7:7, 12, 16; 9:3, 17; 14:7; 18:20, 24, 37; 19:7; 22:27; 23:3, 6; 28:4; 35:13, 17; 44:10; 51:12–13; 53:6; 54:5; 56:9; 59:6, 14; 60:0–1; 68:22; 69:4; 70:3; 71:20; 72:10; 73:10; 74:11, 21; 78:34, 38–39, 41; 79:12; 80:3, 7, 14, 19; 81:14; 85:1, 3–4, 6, 8; 89:43; 90:3, 13; 94:2, 15, 23; 104:9, 29; 106:23; 116:7, 12; 119:59, 79; 126:1, 4; 132:10–11; 146:4; Job 1:21; 6:29; 7:7, 10; 9:12–13, 18; 10:9, 16, 21; 11:10; 13:22; 14:13; 15:13, 22; 16:22; 17:10; 20:2, 10, 18; 22:23; 23:13; 30:23; 31:14; 32:14; 33:5, 25–26, 30, 32; 34:15; 35:4; 36:7, 10; 39:4, 12, 22; 40:4; 42:10; Prov 1:23; 2:19; 3:28; 12:14; 15:1; 17:13; 18:13; 19:24; 20:26; 22:21; 24:12, 18, 26, 29; 25:10, 13; 26:11, 15–16, 27; 27:11; 29:8; 30:30; Ruth 1:6–8, 10–12, 15–16, 21–22; 2:6; 4:3, 15; Song 6:13; Eccl 1:6–7; 3:20; 4:1, 7; 5:15; 9:11; 12:2, 7; Lam 1:8, 11, 13, 16, 19; 2:3, 8, 14; 3:3, 21, 40, 64; 5:21; Esth 2:14; 4:13, 15; 6:12; 7:8; 8:5, 8; 9:25; Dan 9:13, 16, 25; 10:20; 11:9–10, 13, 18–19, 28–30; Ezra 2:1; 6:21; 9:14; 10:14; Neh 1:9; 2:6, 15, 20; 4:4, 12, 15; 5:11–12; 6:4; 7:6; 8:17; 9:17, 26, 28–29, 35; 13:9; 1 Chr 19:5; 20:3; 21:12, 20, 27; 2 Chr 6:23–26, 37–38, 42; 7:14, 19; 10:2, 5–6, 9, 12, 16; 11:1, 4; 12:11–12; 14:15; 15:4; 18:16, 25–27, 32; 19:1, 4, 8; 20:27; 22:6; 24:11, 19; 25:10, 13, 24; 26:2; 27:5; 28:11, 15; 29:10; 30:6, 8–9; 31:1; 32:21, 25; 33:3, 13; 34:7, 9, 16, 28; 36:13.

[ii] The verb appears 108 times in 100 verses, listed here in the order they are found in the Hebrew Bible:  Gen 5:29; 6:6–7; 24:67; 27:42; 37:35; 38:12; 50:21; Ex 13:17; 32:12, 14; Num 23:19; Deut 32:36; Judg 2:18; 21:6, 15; 1 Sam 15:11, 29, 35; 2 Sam 10:2–3; 12:24; 13:39; 24:16; Is 1:24; 12:1; 22:4; 40:1; 49:13; 51:3, 12, 19; 52:9; 54:11; 57:6; 61:2; 66:13; Jer 4:28; 8:6; 15:6; 16:7; 18:8, 10; 20:16; 26:3, 13, 19; 31:13, 15, 19; 42:10; Ezek 5:13; 14:22–23; 16:54; 24:14; 31:16; 32:31; Joel 2:13–14; Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9–10; 4:2; Nah 3:7; Zech 1:17; 8:14; 10:2; Psa 23:4; 69:20; 71:21; 77:2; 86:17; 90:13; 106:45; 110:4; 119:52, 76, 82; 135:14; Job 2:11; 7:13; 16:2; 21:34; 29:25; 42:6, 11; Ruth 2:13; Eccl 4:1; Lam 1:2, 9, 16–17, 21; 2:13; 1 Chr 7:22; 19:2–3; 21:15.

[iii] The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, L Koeher, W. Baumgartner, M. Richardson, J. J. Stamm.  New York:  Brill, 1999.

[iv] The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, L Koeher, W. Baumgartner, M. Richardson, J. J. Stamm.  New York:  Brill, 1999.

[v] Speaking simply, the Qal is the basic Hebrew verb stem, while the Hiphil is often causative.

[vi] Exhortations such as this one make it clear that Ezekiel is calling unconverted Israelites to salvation, not simply calling backsliders among the true people of God to live up to their privileges;  Ezekiel calls the Israelites to enter into the promises of the New Covenant of a new heart and a new spirit.  Compare Isaiah 65:2, which does not just contextually refer to idolatrous and unconverted Israelites (65:2-7), but is employed by Paul of the unregenerate Jews who reject the gospel (Romans 10:21), in contrast with those Gentiles who believe it (Isaiah 65:1; Romans 10:20).  It is clearly erroneous to assume that every passage in which the Lord addresses His chosen nation refers to those who truly belong to Him because Israel was, in a national sense, the people of God.  Rather, texts warning sinning Israel frequently refer to the unconverted, rather than merely to those who are not properly obedient (cf. Romans 9).

[vii] A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian Literature (3rd ed.), W. Arndt, F. Danker, & W. Bauer. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

[viii] The complete list of New Testament references is:  Matt 21:29, 32; 27:3; 2 Cor 7:8; Heb 7:21.

[ix] A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian Literature (3rd ed.), W. Arndt, F. Danker, & W. Bauer. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

[x] The kind of shallow abuse of lexica that is sadly characteristic of “Baptist” advocates of the RNC heresy could appear were a RNC to note BDAG definition 1 for metanoeo, “change one’s mind,” and the fact that, while metanoia is defined as “repentance, turning about, conversion,” the words “primarily a change of mind” are also present in the lexicon.  The RNC, assuming that the lexical definition of the word as “change of mind” proves that the word means only a change of mind, and a particular kind of change of mind, one that may result in nothing, could then pretend to have support from BDAG for the RNC position.  Such a conclusion represents an extreme misreading of the lexicon, for:  1.) The lexicon places none—not a single one—of the 34 New Testament uses of metanoeo underneath the definition in question.  It gives no indication that this is a use that is found in the New Testament at all.  2.) References listed under definition #1 in BDAG in extrabiblical Greek, whether to the Shepherd of Hermas, Diodorus Siculus, Appian, Josephus, and so on, actually refer to a change of mind that results in a change of action—the RAC position—as is evident if one actually looks at the passages.  The RNC needs to demonstrate that at least one of the texts referenced in BDAG actually is a clear instance of its doctrine—which has not been done.

The RNC could also appeal to the Liddell-Scott lexicon of classical or pre-Koiné Greek for alleged evidence, noting the definition in the lexicon of “perceive afterwards or too late.”  Here again the entire lack of any evidence for this meaning in the New Testament must be ignored.  It is also noteworthy that, with one exception, the listed examples of this definition are from the Greek of the 5th century B. C. (Epicharmus, Democritus).  Similarly, the examples for “change one’s mind or purpose,” which, in any case, suit the RAC position, as one who changes his purpose will actually act differently, are all from the 5th or 4th century B. C., while the definition “repent,” which the lexicon presents as that of the “NT,” and which includes a good number of examples from Koiné Greek that is contemporary with the New Testament, is certainly an affirmation of the RAC position.  Liddell-Scott defines metanoia as “change of mind or heart, repentance, regret,” placing the New Testament examples in this category, and categorizing the meaning “afterthought, correction” as one restricted to rhetoric and cited as present only in an extrabiblical rhetorical treatise.  The history of the development of metanoeo and metanoia is traced in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Kittel;  cf. also Metanoew and metamelei in Greek Literature until 100 A. D., Including Discussion of Their Cognates and of their Hebrew Equivalents, Effie Freeman Thompson, pgs. 358-377 of Historical and Linguistic Studies in Literature Related to the New Testament Issued Under the Direction of the Department of Biblical and Patristic Greek, 2nd series, vol. 1.  Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago, 1908.  Thompson, who made a “[d]iligent search . . . for all the intsances of the words under consideration, with a view to including all the works of all the known authors in each period” (pg. 353), noted that metanoeo and metanoia moved away from a purely intellectual sense that was present, although not exclusively so, in early Greek.  In relation to Greek that is contemporary with the New Testament, he notes:  “[In] non-Jewish post-Aristotelian writers to about 100 A. D. . . . passages continaing metanoeo show that . . . there is no instance of . . . purely intellectual action. The change is that of feeling or will . . . In the Old Testament Apocrypha and other Jewish writings to about 100 A. D. . . . metanoia means change of purpose . . . this change is (a) moral; (b) from worse to better; (c) internal; (d) necessarily accompanied by change of conduct” (pgs. 362, 368-9).  Philo is cited as affirming:  “[T]he man has lost his reason who, by speaking falsely of the truth, says that he has changed his purpose (metanenohke¿nai [a form of metanoeo, “to repent,” in this tense and sentence, “says that he has repented”] when he is still doing wrong” (pg. 369)—the RAC exactly.  In contemporary “Palestinian writers, there is no instance of the intellectual simply; but there are abundant instances of both the emotional and volitional action” (pg. 375).  Coming to the New Testament usage, Thompson writes:  “An examination of the instances of metanoeo shows that . . . the verb is always used of a change of purpose which the context clearly indicates to be moral . . . this change is from evil to good purpose . . . is never used when the reference is to change of opinion merely . . . is always internal, and . . . results in external conduct . . . metanoia reveal[s] a meaning analogous to that of the verb . . . mwtanoia does not strictly include outward conduct or reform of life . . . [but] this is the product of metanoia . . . lupe [sorrow] is not inherent in metanoia, but . . . it produces the latter[.] . . . The New Testament writers in no instance employ [repentance] to express the action solely of either the intellect or of the sensibility, but use it exclusively to indicate the action of the will” (pgs. 372-373).  Thompson concludes:  “In the New Testament, metanoeo and metanoia . . . are never used to indicate merely intellectual action. . . . [T]hey are always used to express volitional action . . . the change of purpose . . . from evil to good. . . . [T]hey always express internal change . . . [and] they require change in the outward expression of life as a necessary consequent . . . [t]he fullest content [is] found in the . . . radical change in the primary choice by which the whole soul is turned away from evil to good” (pgs. 376-377).  The RAC is obviously validated by a historical study of the development of the meaning of metanoeo and metanoia, while the RNC is obliterated.

[xi] Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament:  Based on Semantic Domains.  J. P. Louw & E. A. Nida.  New York:  United Bible Societies, 1996.

[xii] Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, C. Spicq & J. D. Ernest.  Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson, 1994.

[xiii] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich. Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1964.  TDNT provides a detailed diachronic study of the words in addition to a synchronic study of the New Testament evidence.

[xiv] A Patristic Greek Lexicon, ed. G. W. H. Lampe.  Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 2007.

[xv] The RNC could seek to abuse Lampe in the same way as BDAG by simply quoting Lampe’s definition A for metanoeo, “change of mind,” and definition A for metanoia, “change of mind, afterthought,” and then reading the RNC definition of  a “change of mind” into the lexicon.  Were a RNC to actually look at the texts referenced by Lampe in his definition, he would discover that they all refer to a change of mind that results in a change of action—that is, the RAC position.  For example, under metanoeo definition A Lampe refers to the Martyrdom of Polycarp 9:2; 11:2 and the Shepherd of Hermas 15:3;  the Shepherd speaks of people who repent “and return again to their evil desires”—an obvious change of action—while the references in the Martyrdom of Polycarp record a call by a Roman official to Polycarp to repent of his Christianity, renounce Christ, and worship Caesar—a very radical change of action.  Overwhelming evidence in the usage of early church history establishes the RAC position, while not a single instance of metanoeo or metanoia out of the hundreds of passages referenced by Lampe establishes the RNC position.

3 comments:

Charles E Whisnant said...

The reason why there is such a radical change in a person who has been saved, is because this change has been made by God rather than man. Man ability to change spiritually toward God is zero. Only God can change a person. Salvation is 100% God's grace in a man's heart to turn him to repentance.

Denise Graziano said...

God is a living God!

My husband and I continue to enjoy reading the fruit of your study Kent. We particularly enjoy discussing it over breakfast.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Denise, but this was written by Thomas Ross. He writes on Fridays here.