Repentance and the Book of Concord
Is there a correlation between repentance and the belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins? According to Howard Marshall, Luke has de-emphasized the theology of the cross. Yet Luke clearly has a greater emphasis on repentance than any of the other synoptic gospels. Matthew and Mark appear to reduce the emphasis on repentance while advocating the theology of the cross. This suggests that there is a negative correlation between the two doctrines
wherein the “high values of one are likely to be associated with low values of the other.”
Perhaps this negative correlation can be confirmed by looking at the issue from another viewpoint. Lutherans believe in the Theology of the Cross, as proclaimed and defined by Martin Luther. Therefore this statement appearing in the Formula of Concord explains the role of repentance in Lutheran theology:
"We believe, teach and confess that the gospel is not a proclamation of repentance or retribution, but is, strictly speaking, nothing else than a proclamation of comfort and a joyous message which does not rebuke nor terrify but comforts consciences against the terror of the law, directs them solely to Christ's merit, and lifts them up again through the delightful proclamation of the grace and favor of God, won through Christ's merit" (Formula of Concord V,7).