Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perception produces repentance: An articulation and defense of a concept of reformed soteriology
by Huff, Ben, Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2016, 369; 10243432
Abstract (Summary)

The thesis of this study is that perception produces repentance in the unconverted. The study will demonstrate that Reformed sources, as well as the Scriptures, repeatedly pinpoint a proper perception of God, self, and Christ, as the impetus of repentance in fallen humanity. The study will demonstrate that Reformed sources, as well as biblical authors, repeatedly differentiate between mere knowledge of biblical truth and a genuine perception of spiritual realities. The study will demonstrate that historic Reformed soteriology, as well as the Scriptures, affirm that a mere knowledge of the gospel is ineffectual, while also affirming that perception invariably produces repentance in the subject.

Research Methodology: This work will begin by surveying the works of significant Reformed theologians in order to discern what they have identified as the impetus of repentance. Chapter 2 will survey the works of Reformed theologians who: (1) fail to identify an impetus of repentance, or; (2) fail to substantially defend the impetus of repentance that is identified. In chapter 3 the work will survey the writings of additional Reformed theologians, as well as the thoughts of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Alvin Plantinga, in order to demonstrate that Reformed theologians/sources most often identify the impetus of repentance as a proper perception of God, self, and Christ. This work will focus on the writings of theologians who are recognized as representatives of the Reformed faith.

The validity of the thesis will also be demonstrated from the biblical witness. In chapter 4 this work will focus on two key texts from the Old Testament canon (Deut 29:2–4 and Isa 6:9–10), which demonstrate that the Old Testament makes a distinction between mere knowledge and perception. The work will also focus on the Hebrew verb yada, which encapsulates the Hebrew concept of knowledge. This work will also demonstrate that the thesis of this work is consistent with conversion stories from the Old Testament, as well as the writings of Hebrew prophets.

The work will also demonstrate that the thesis of this work, that spiritual perception produces repentance, is derived from the New Testament. A survey of key occurrences of μϵτανoια and ϵπιστρϵ&phis;ω in the New Testament, as well as an examination of the concept of repentance in the New Testament, will show that the New Testament consistently presents spiritual perception as the impetus of repentance. The writings of Matthew, Luke, Paul, Hebrews, and John will be examined in order to demonstrate that the thesis is derived from the biblical witness. It will be evident that the New Testament creates a link between a proper perception of God, self, and Christ, and repentance. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate that the thesis, that perception produces repentance, is derived from the Scriptures, and is consistent with historic Reformed theology. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Keathley, Ken
Commitee: Brand, Chad, Hammett, John
School: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Department: Department of Graduate Studies
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Theology
Keywords: Impetus of repentance, Perception, Reformed, Reformed soteriology, Repent, Repentance
Publication Number: 10243432
ISBN: 9781369369588
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