Author Topic: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?  (Read 7939 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #105 on: October 31, 2021, 07:43:08 AM »
"I fear that the Church has lost its prophetic voice," Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin tweeted Friday. "Where are the John the Baptists who will confront the Herods of our day?"

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-slammed-catholic-priests-meeting-pope-francis-communion

Hmmm, was John the Baptist a Christian or Jewish prophet? I am certain that his baptism was not a Christian baptism.

And I am certain that you miss the point because the word repentance is not part of your antinomian vocabulary.

BTW, in addressing your diversion, this is an example of what Lutherans teach about John's baptism:

"Through John the Baptist’s preaching, God changed the hearts of people. Sinners were led to confess their sins and acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God (John 1:29). The Baptism John performed sealed God’s forgiveness to people. The Baptism John performed provided the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit could produce and strengthen faith, and also repentance in people’s hearts. The Holy Spirit changes hearts through the gospel in word and sacrament. John’s Baptism was essentially the same as Christian Baptism."

https://wels.net/faq/john-the-baptists-baptism/
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 07:52:35 AM by Donald_Kirchner »
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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #106 on: November 01, 2021, 09:39:16 AM »
Do Jews consider St. John to be a prophet?
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #107 on: November 01, 2021, 01:27:50 PM »
And I am certain that you miss the point because the word repentance is not part of your antinomian vocabulary.


And I accuse you of bearing false witness against me again.


When I wrote my "notes" on Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30; I included comments about the verses the lectionary skipped over.

WOES TO THREE JEWISH CITIES (11:20-24) [Not part of the lesson, but should be]

In this section, whole towns are upbraided by Jesus for not repenting. Jesus doesn’t just threaten judgment, he declares it. These harshest of Jesus’ words are directed towards those who don’t repent.

In Matthew, Jesus doesn’t criticize anyone for not worshiping or praising God or him. The one time he is critical of those who don’t believe, it is also connected with repentance (21:32). A deed that is required by Jesus is repentance (here corporately, but elsewhere also individually). I don’t believe that one can be a Christian without repentance. It also appears that “deeds of power” are not meant to produce awe or wonder among the people, but repentance.

Why don’t these towns repent? Daniel Patte (The Gospel According to Matthew: A Structural Commentary on Matthew’s Faith) observes that the only difference between the two groups of cities is that the repentant towns are Gentile cities and the unrepentant are Israelite cities. Then concludes that they are unwilling to relate to Jesus’ message and deeds and thus repent because they are Israelite!

Why is that a problem? The criticism of Capernaum illustrates the problem. They assume their privileged relationship with God will guarantee their “exaltation to heaven”. It is their perception of their special relationship with God which leads to the rejection of Jesus and their need to repent, and thus their condemnation. For Israelites (or Americans, or even Christians) who assume a privileged position with God, that assumption could be their downfall as it can lead to the conclusion, “We don’t need to repent” or “We have nothing to repent of.” Such people are condemned by their words.

Hare also makes the point that the unresponsive towns are condemned corporately. “The communities are composed primarily of unresponsive individuals, each of whom must render account at the judgment. Individuals, however, are shaped in part by communities. Each town or village develops its own ethos. Some nurture faith in God, while others discourage it. … Community leaders must remember that they can help shape an ethos that takes human values more seriously than dollars and thus encourages openness to what God is doing in our midst.” [p. 126]

What would happen if we used the Fourth of July weekend to pronounce woes on America for its arrogance or assumed privileged position with God, and call it to repent? That it will be more tolerable for the most sinful of cities/countries than for us? Should that be proclaimed? Could it threaten our position as pastor in some of our congregations? Should such fears determine what we preach?

How do we counter the idea that because we are Americans (or Lutherans or Christians), we are entitled to God’s blessings? Should we even suggest that we need to repent of our white privilege? I believe that we have to, or we become like Capernaum.

I struggle with such issues every Fourth of July weekend – and even more so after attending a continuing ed event centered on mission and American civil religion. A speaker, Roger Fjeld, pointed out that the Fourth of July is the first [and perhaps most sacred] of our civil holy days. I also found it interesting that civil religion keeps a belief in God, e.g., “in God we trust,” “one nation under God;” but it doesn’t want Jesus. How many people are aware that “God Bless America” was not written by a Christian? Irving Berlin was Jewish! He is not writing about the Triune God. In looking at the “patriotic” hymns in our hymnal, it’s almost impossible to find Jesus in most of them!

Why no Jesus? First of all, Jesus is divisive. He says that he didn’t come to bring peace, but divisions. Our text is about people rejecting Jesus. Our many denominations are an indication of a divided church – not one that’s united. We want a United States. Jesus creates a division between believers and unbelievers.

Secondly, we also don’t want a vulnerable God who is born, suffers, and dies. We want a God of success. Jesus and John are executed for their beliefs, words, and deeds. As Robert Capon writes: Our kind of Messiah …  wouldn’t do a stupid thing like rising from the dead. He would do a smart thing like never dying.” [Hunting the Divine Fox, p. 91]. He also argues that Superman is really the paradigm of an American Messiah, not Jesus.

Thirdly, Fjeld also mentioned that civil religion removes the need for repentance – the central proclamation of Jesus (and John, and the disciples in the commission at the end of Luke). We believe that we are right and good – the best nation on earth – beliefs that don’t lead to repentance. That is, admitting that we are wrong and bad. We haven’t lived up to God’s expectations of us. We don’t have the power to change ourselves or make ourselves better. Remember how unwilling some former presidents were to admit their faults. When do we ever hear a politician admit that they were wrong. They hire people to create positive spins on just about everything.

I recently noted that some hymnals, including Evangelical Lutheran Worship, have omitted stanza 2 of America. It includes the request: “God mend thine every flaw.” We should be willing to admit that there are flaws in America. We need divine help. We need repentance; or we could be like Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.

One could play it safe, like the lectionary creators and just skip over these verses. However, removing Jesus from religion is removing what is essential from Christianity – as the next section of our text indicates.


I have frequently written, taught, and preached about repentance. You are wrong in what you wrote.



"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #108 on: November 01, 2021, 01:46:52 PM »
Do Jews consider St. John to be a prophet?


No … maybe.


On one hand, the answer is, "no," because according to Rashi there were 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses of Judaism. There was a belief that the Shechinah of God departed Israel with Malachi.


On the other hand, the answer is, "maybe." The Talmud gives other examples of prophets in Israel and cites a tradition that the number of prophets was double the number of Israelites who left Egypt (600,000 males). The 55 prophets (48+7) are recorded because they made prophecies that have eternal relevance for future generations and not just for their own generation, or own ecstatic encounter with God.


There were certainly some Jews at the time of John who considered him a prophet (Mt 11:9; 14:5; 21:26; Mk 11:32; Lu 1:76; 7:26; 20:6). Although in another report, John declares that he is not a prophet (Jn 1:21).
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Rahn

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #109 on: November 01, 2021, 02:09:20 PM »
Whether Jews consider John the Baptist to be a prophet, Jewish prophet, or not a prophet at all is beside the point, imo.  The New Testament indicates that Jesus considered John's call to repentance and Jesus' call to repentance to be different in the respect that Jesus' call, even though similarities to John's call to repent (turn away from) abound, the the turning toward what is ahead is different.  John's call similar to the call to repentance of the OT prophets and Jesus call to repent being similar, Jesus proclaims belief in the Gospel as the object toward which to turn.  The OT prophets refer back onto the person to find an object for restitution, eg. OT sacrificial system or even useless charges to change one's behavior alone.  John's and OT prophets do not have that unique message of what Jesus' repentance finally entails in that it is finally in Jesus’' own body that retitution takes place.. There is something new in evangelical repentance that the Old does not have contained in its content. 

But even Jesus in Matthew's Gospel considers John's mission of his brand of repentance valid within its own realm and partners with John to make this statement:  “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”  The issue of us (John together with Jesus) illustrates what Luther talked about in his writing on the two righteousnesses (I can't remember off the top of my head the exact name of the treatise.) 

On the one hand God must honor his commitment to put to death all those who disobey God per his promise to visit death on those who eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, ie. all of us since Adam and Eve.  This is God's rightness, God administering his ultimate right to condemn to death sinners under his law.  Jesus, on the other hand, through his own death and resurrection for others becomes the other righteousness of God in the Gospel.  So death for the sinner is just according to God's administration of his law in that all people have disobeyed God's command not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  God is a just God in that sense.  In the forgiveness of sins in Christ (alone), He is made the sin of the sinner and dies the death in our place, setting us free in Him.  This is the rightness of God under the Gospel and it is God’s last word offered.

We heard about some of this yesterday in the Romans 3 reading.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2021, 06:16:02 PM by George Rahn »

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #110 on: November 01, 2021, 02:35:04 PM »
Also in addition to what I wrote above, this Romans passage contains the key and the "aha" moment where Luther discovered what was missing or hidden under the theological climate within the church of his day.  The biblical interpretive key was reset both in Luther and Melanchthon to coincide to what was the fons et origo of the New Testament proclamation.  In this case and witnessed elsewhere in the Lutheran Confessions was the full way the Christian faith would come to terms with the right preaching so that the possibility of an orthodox faith could be reached.  That is why it is extremely important that preachers and pastors get the teaching right (sic).  The possibility for right faith can only come about if the teaching from scripture is right.  I think it is in the Formula of Concord which uses the image of a plumb-line to capture a picture of how the standard of measurement in Christian teaching ought to be viewed.  Correct and accurate Christian teaching can result in authentic and sufficient confession of the faith of the church.  The scriptures are the ONLY rule and norm out of which authentic and sufficient Christian confession can happen.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #111 on: November 01, 2021, 03:43:40 PM »
Whether Jews consider John the Baptist to be a prophet, Jewish prophet, or not a prophet at all is beside the point, imo.  The New Testament indicates that Jesus considered John's call to repentance and Jesus' call to repentance to be different in the respect that Jesus' call, even though similarities to John's call to repent (turn away from) abound, the the turning toward what is ahead is different.  John's call similar to the call to repentance of the OT prophets and Jesus call to repent being similar, Jesus proclaims belief in the Gospel as the object toward which to turn.  The OT prophets refer back onto the person to find an object for restitution, eg. OT sacrificial system or even useless charges to change one's behavior alone.  John's and OT prophets do not have that unique message of what Jesus' repentance finally entails in that it is finally inJesus'  own body that retitution takes place.. There is something new in evangelical repentance that the Old does not have contained in its content. 

But even Jesus in Matthew's Gospel considers John's mission of his brand of repentance valid within its own realm and partners with John to make this statement:  “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”  The issue of us illustrates what Luther talked about in his writing on the two righteousnesses (I can't remember off the top of my head the exact name of the treatise.) 

On the one hand God must honor his commitment to put to death all those who disobey God per his promise to visit death on those who eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, ie. all of us since Adam and Eve.  This is God's rightness, being right and justice under his law.  Jesus on the other hand through his own death and resurrection for others becomes the other righteousness of God in the Gospel.  So death for the sinner is just according to God's administration of his law in that all people have disobeyed God's command not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  God is a just God in that sense.  In the forgiveness of sins in Christ (alone), He is made the sin of the sinner and dies the death in our place, setting us free in Him.  This is the rightness of God under the Gospel.

We heard about some of this yesterday in the Romans 3 reading.


First of all, μετανοέω; ματάνοια do not necessarily mean "turn away from." I think that Lowe & Nida give a concise definition: to 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 ways, repentance. Though in English a focal component of repent is the sorrow or contrition that a person experiences because of sin, the emphasis in μετανοέω and μετάνοια 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.

To change one's thinking about Jesus should mean a turning towards him.

Secondly, Paul seldom uses these words. The verb, μετανοέω, only at 2 Corinthians 12:21. The noun, ματάνοια, at Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10. (Also 2 Timothy 2:25 by later or pseudo-Paul.) So, in most of Paul's letters, he doesn't mention repentance at all!

I also found it surprising that the noun doesn't occur in any prophetic books of the LXX; but once in Proverbs, once in Sirach, and three times in Wisdom. While the verb is used 13 times in the prophets, all but one are in reference to God changing his mind!
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #112 on: November 01, 2021, 06:03:49 PM »
Whether Jews consider John the Baptist to be a prophet, Jewish prophet, or not a prophet at all is beside the point, imo.  The New Testament indicates that Jesus considered John's call to repentance and Jesus' call to repentance to be different in the respect that Jesus' call, even though similarities to John's call to repent (turn away from) abound, the the turning toward what is ahead is different.  John's call similar to the call to repentance of the OT prophets and Jesus call to repent being similar, Jesus proclaims belief in the Gospel as the object toward which to turn.  The OT prophets refer back onto the person to find an object for restitution, eg. OT sacrificial system or even useless charges to change one's behavior alone.  John's and OT prophets do not have that unique message of what Jesus' repentance finally entails in that it is finally inJesus'  own body that retitution takes place.. There is something new in evangelical repentance that the Old does not have contained in its content. 

But even Jesus in Matthew's Gospel considers John's mission of his brand of repentance valid within its own realm and partners with John to make this statement:  “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”  The issue of us illustrates what Luther talked about in his writing on the two righteousnesses (I can't remember off the top of my head the exact name of the treatise.) 

On the one hand God must honor his commitment to put to death all those who disobey God per his promise to visit death on those who eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, ie. all of us since Adam and Eve.  This is God's rightness, being right and justice under his law.  Jesus on the other hand through his own death and resurrection for others becomes the other righteousness of God in the Gospel.  So death for the sinner is just according to God's administration of his law in that all people have disobeyed God's command not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  God is a just God in that sense.  In the forgiveness of sins in Christ (alone), He is made the sin of the sinner and dies the death in our place, setting us free in Him.  This is the rightness of God under the Gospel.

We heard about some of this yesterday in the Romans 3 reading.


First of all, μετανοέω; ματάνοια do not necessarily mean "turn away from." I think that Lowe & Nida give a concise definition: to 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 ways, repentance. Though in English a focal component of repent is the sorrow or contrition that a person experiences because of sin, the emphasis in μετανοέω and μετάνοια 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.

To change one's thinking about Jesus should mean a turning towards him.

Secondly, Paul seldom uses these words. The verb, μετανοέω, only at 2 Corinthians 12:21. The noun, ματάνοια, at Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10. (Also 2 Timothy 2:25 by later or pseudo-Paul.) So, in most of Paul's letters, he doesn't mention repentance at all!

I also found it surprising that the noun doesn't occur in any prophetic books of the LXX; but once in Proverbs, once in Sirach, and three times in Wisdom. While the verb is used 13 times in the prophets, all but one are in reference to God changing his mind!

My intent (and perhaps I wasn’t as successful at getting it clear) was to capture both the sense of turning away and then turning toward as being contained in the act of repentance.  Turning from something means also turning toward something different as well.

Dave Benke

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #113 on: November 01, 2021, 06:05:05 PM »
Whether Jews consider John the Baptist to be a prophet, Jewish prophet, or not a prophet at all is beside the point, imo.  The New Testament indicates that Jesus considered John's call to repentance and Jesus' call to repentance to be different in the respect that Jesus' call, even though similarities to John's call to repent (turn away from) abound, the the turning toward what is ahead is different.  John's call similar to the call to repentance of the OT prophets and Jesus call to repent being similar, Jesus proclaims belief in the Gospel as the object toward which to turn.  The OT prophets refer back onto the person to find an object for restitution, eg. OT sacrificial system or even useless charges to change one's behavior alone.  John's and OT prophets do not have that unique message of what Jesus' repentance finally entails in that it is finally inJesus'  own body that retitution takes place.. There is something new in evangelical repentance that the Old does not have contained in its content. 

But even Jesus in Matthew's Gospel considers John's mission of his brand of repentance valid within its own realm and partners with John to make this statement:  “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”  The issue of us illustrates what Luther talked about in his writing on the two righteousnesses (I can't remember off the top of my head the exact name of the treatise.) 

On the one hand God must honor his commitment to put to death all those who disobey God per his promise to visit death on those who eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, ie. all of us since Adam and Eve.  This is God's rightness, being right and justice under his law.  Jesus on the other hand through his own death and resurrection for others becomes the other righteousness of God in the Gospel.  So death for the sinner is just according to God's administration of his law in that all people have disobeyed God's command not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  God is a just God in that sense.  In the forgiveness of sins in Christ (alone), He is made the sin of the sinner and dies the death in our place, setting us free in Him.  This is the rightness of God under the Gospel.

We heard about some of this yesterday in the Romans 3 reading.


First of all, μετανοέω; ματάνοια do not necessarily mean "turn away from." I think that Lowe & Nida give a concise definition: to 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 ways, repentance. Though in English a focal component of repent is the sorrow or contrition that a person experiences because of sin, the emphasis in μετανοέω and μετάνοια 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.

To change one's thinking about Jesus should mean a turning towards him.

Secondly, Paul seldom uses these words. The verb, μετανοέω, only at 2 Corinthians 12:21. The noun, ματάνοια, at Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10. (Also 2 Timothy 2:25 by later or pseudo-Paul.) So, in most of Paul's letters, he doesn't mention repentance at all!

I also found it surprising that the noun doesn't occur in any prophetic books of the LXX; but once in Proverbs, once in Sirach, and three times in Wisdom. While the verb is used 13 times in the prophets, all but one are in reference to God changing his mind!

This is very helpful data, Brian. 

The turning toward or change is of course Spirit-led and directed - and as you point out that is a turning toward for Lutherans - the Holy Spirit has "called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with gifts, sanctified and kept me...."

But isn't every day a reclamation of the Spirit's promise and power in realizing that in the flesh we still fail to do the good and do instead the evil, so that we end up crying "Lord, have mercy?."  And the Lord does indeed show mercy.

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #114 on: November 01, 2021, 06:19:32 PM »
Yikes.  I’m a terrible editor of my own writing.  I had to go back just now to redact what I wrote earlier in the day.  My meaning of what I was trying to convey has become more precise now.  And hopefully clearer to you and for you, as well.  Ach!

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #115 on: November 01, 2021, 08:37:11 PM »
Yikes.  I’m a terrible editor of my own writing.  I had to go back just now to redact what I wrote earlier in the day.  My meaning of what I was trying to convey has become more precise now.  And hopefully clearer to you and for you, as well.  Ach!
. . . as Werner Elert might have exclaimed!  ;D

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #116 on: November 02, 2021, 08:14:55 AM »
And I am certain that you miss the point because the word repentance is not part of your antinomian vocabulary.

And I accuse you of bearing false witness against me again.

What would happen if we used the Fourth of July weekend to pronounce woes on America for its arrogance...Should we even suggest that we need to repent of our white privilege? I believe that we have to, or we become like Capernaum.

I struggle with such issues every Fourth of July weekend...

 Oh, I stand by my observation. You know what the word means. Yes, you can do a word study on  μετανοέω/repentance. But, it's not part of your vocabulary, just as in the popular "''Can't' is not part of my vocabulary," the person certainly knows what the word means. The. person rejects its use. You do similar. You've given us examples where culture and the church changes it's view on various sins, no longer deeming them sinful but, rather, simply "find[ing] better ways of applying God's grace to sinners." So, repentance for that former sin no longer is unnecessary. And what the hay! Even if it is still deemed a sin, forget repentance. God's grace covers that sin too. Got that done!

Oh, right. You know how to use repentance when criticizing America for its white privilege! How popularly woke of you, Brian. You can stand next to Rep Bush who implies that Sen Manchin's opposition to portions of Build Back Better, of course, is racist. After all, he is a white male, considered by some to have been "born evil" simply because he's white.**   ::)

**No, spare me the original sin reference.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 10:13:35 AM by Donald_Kirchner »
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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #117 on: November 02, 2021, 10:00:19 AM »
Yikes.  I’m a terrible editor of my own writing.  I had to go back just now to redact what I wrote earlier in the day.  My meaning of what I was trying to convey has become more precise now.  And hopefully clearer to you and for you, as well.  Ach!
. . . as Werner Elert might have exclaimed!  ;D

Peace,
Michael

😊

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #118 on: November 02, 2021, 11:07:14 AM »
I also found it surprising that the noun doesn't occur in any prophetic books of the LXX; but once in Proverbs, once in Sirach, and three times in Wisdom. While the verb is used 13 times in the prophets, all but one are in reference to God changing his mind!

I think this is an interesting point, but I'm curious where you would go with it.  It seems to me if we posit God as One Who changes His mind, how can we be sure He won't change His mind about Jesus atoning for the sin of the world?  I would suggest that where the word is used in the Septuagint to denote God's "metanoia," it has a different context and meaning than when it is said of Christians living in the world.  And while I haven't done a word study, I'd further suggest that the nature of God versus the nature of man ought to make this clear.  But I'm curious what you would say.

As a brief aside, though the word "metanoia" is translated in many translations as "repentance," in the Orthodox Church we would say the two terms are related but not synonymous.  In a literal sense, "metanoia" means something like "after-thought" or "after perception," and refers to a distinction between it and a former thought.  And even there, "thought" is more akin to "heart," as the Greek word "nous" is part of the etymology of "metanoia," and the "nous" is not merely the conscious mind and its thoughts, but in fact the window to the soul.  So essentially, "metanoia" is the state where the Christian now has his heart set in a place other than where it was before.  There is no indication in the word itself that this place is more or less sinful, or even involves sin at all.  Repentance, by contrast, is that same state, only moved by a conscious desire to avoid sin and approach God.  So perhaps part of the problem is treating "metanoia" as if it meant the same as "repentance," when in actuality it does not.  God can certainly change course, have an "after thought" or "after perception," but this is from an anthropomorphic standpoint -- it is what we perceive.  It does not indicate God has changed.  It indicates we perceive Him to have changed.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #119 on: November 02, 2021, 11:14:12 AM »
I also found it surprising that the noun doesn't occur in any prophetic books of the LXX; but once in Proverbs, once in Sirach, and three times in Wisdom. While the verb is used 13 times in the prophets, all but one are in reference to God changing his mind!

I think this is an interesting point, but I'm curious where you would go with it.  It seems to me if we posit God as One Who changes His mind, how can we be sure He won't change His mind about Jesus atoning for the sin of the world?  I would suggest that where the word is used in the Septuagint to denote God's "metanoia," it has a different context and meaning than when it is said of Christians living in the world.  And while I haven't done a word study, I'd further suggest that the nature of God versus the nature of man ought to make this clear.  But I'm curious what you would say.

As a brief aside, though the word "metanoia" is translated in many translations as "repentance," in the Orthodox Church we would say the two terms are related but not synonymous.  In a literal sense, "metanoia" means something like "after-thought" or "after perception," and refers to a distinction between it and a former thought.  And even there, "thought" is more akin to "heart," as the Greek word "nous" is part of the etymology of "metanoia," and the "nous" is not merely the conscious mind and its thoughts, but in fact the window to the soul.  So essentially, "metanoia" is the state where the Christian now has his heart set in a place other than where it was before.  There is no indication in the word itself that this place is more or less sinful, or even involves sin at all.  Repentance, by contrast, is that same state, only moved by a conscious desire to avoid sin and approach God.  So perhaps part of the problem is treating "metanoia" as if it meant the same as "repentance," when in actuality it does not.  God can certainly change course, have an "after thought" or "after perception," but this is from an anthropomorphic standpoint -- it is what we perceive.  It does not indicate God has changed.  It indicates we perceive Him to have changed.

The one I remember from the OT is the destruction of Nineveh, where God "repents" of the intention to destroy and saves the city, which bothers Jonah to no end, and then the famous line "they don't know their right hand from their left."  Which has scatological meaning.

Dave Benke