Repentance is tricky, for me. Trickier than for some other pastors. I am a firm and non-wavering advocate of prevenient grace. This is the grace of God which acts on me which makes it possible for me to respond to God. God acts first - we respond.
So then, where does repentance fit into such a scheme?
We can't be expected to repent first, if it is grace that makes it possible for us to do so.
But if there is no change in our lives, can it be said that grace has been active? So repentance must occur.
My experience has been so overwhelming and powerful that I have found myself searching for ways in which I might more completely live in harmony with the One who has allowed me to experience. Overcome by the enormity of God's grace toward me I search for ways in which I can reflect God's goodness and God's hope for creation. My repentance is a renunciation of those things which do not allow me and my life to share this good news with others.
I don't have a problem with repentance. My difficulty is with repentance understood as a precondition to God's goodness coming into our lives.
And I have no hesitation in challenging you to repent - to look at your life and to allow your study of scripture to expose where that life is out sync.
John is right - we must turn, continually turn.