In gospel proclamation today, the critical New Testament element of repentance can be far too often ignored, minimalised or dismissed. Yet John the Baptist, Jesus himself, and those he commissioned to spread his gospel all spoke of the urgent need to repent.
Michael Ovey was convinced that a gospel without repentance quickly distorts our view of God, ourselves and one another by undermining grace and ultimately leading to idolatry. Only when we grasp the need for true repentance as consisting of a real change -- a transforming work of the Spirit of God -- can we fully understand the gospel Jesus preached.
With care and clarity, Ovey focuses first on the relevant biblical material in Luke-Acts, examining who repents and who does not, and the characteristics of both groups. He surveys the ‘feasts of repentance’ of Jesus with Levi, the Pharisees, and Zaccheus, and in the parable of the Lost Son. He then moves to more systematic-theological aspects of repentance, in relation to idolatry and to salvation; and finally to pastoral theology in the corporate life of the people of God today, with regard to self-righteousness, hypocrisy, humility, forgiveness and justice.