Monday, February 22, 2010

More on Lent, Alleluia, and Repentance

On Pr. McCain’s blog I posted a comment regarding his challenge, a comment directed particularly toward his statement quoted below. He deleted my comment without permitting it to be displayed, so I am posting it here as I believe the challenge that he publicly presents is one that should be answered publicly. I believe that there is a cogent explanation to his challenge, and there is benefit in hearing it. So here is what I believe is a cogent explanation for all who desire to hear one, regarding why the omission of certain ascriptions of praise during Lententide is indeed a helpful expression of repentance. The deleted post follows:

PTM, in comment # 38 you say "I’ve yet to hear any cogent explanation for why not saying “Praise the Lord” is an expression of repentance."

You have repeatedly stated similarly on this matter throughout this challenge that you have presented. I find that amazing considering your knowledge of the languages.

Perhaps you have permitted your remembrance of the meaning of the word "repentance" to be narrowed by various causes and experiences.

In the Scriptures of the New Testament the word for repentance is metanoia. Varied forms of the verb are used as well, but this is the word used for repentance both as a noun and as a verb. You already know this, of course. You also know that this word means "change of mind/thinking."

The Scriptural usage of metanoia concerning us sinners is always a change from our thinking to the thinking that the Lord works and declares for us and also in us. It is a change from our thoughts and ways. Such things as fasting were outward exercises that assisted in remembering this needed change in the thinking of the members of the household of faith, continually needing to be called apart from our thinking to thinking akin to the way of true faith.

How then, being as knowledgeable and aware as you are, can you say that you do not see how the omission of "Alleluia" and certain other ascriptions of praise is an effective means of reflecting upon our need for change of mind/thinking, i.e., repentance? How is it that you persistently ignore the direct contrast that this presents to our sinful inclination toward the theology of glory and enthusiasm and the thinking of the church growth movement? How do you continue to deny the obvious "change of mind" involved in setting aside some of our ascriptions of praise for a brief season so as to be re-minded regarding the fact that true praise does not originate with us but with the activity of God in and for His Church?

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