In The Christian Faith, Henri de Lubac makes this comment regarding the Patristic view of conversion:
“Becoming a Christian did not mean merely giving up erroneous beliefs in order to embrace the true teaching offered by the Church; it meant, essentially, renouncing Satan in order to adhere to Christ, or, as St. Justin put it, turning from idols in order to consecrate oneself through Christ to the unbegotten God. It meant, as Hermas said in his vivid language, apostatizing from the angel of evil in order to follow the angel of justice and to live for God.” (pp. 143-144).
de Lubac goes on to show that to the early Fathers, faith was a whole-person commitment to follow Jesus and live, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God. Faith of course involves believing that which has been revealed, but it is more than this. Faith means entrusting oneself to God; pledging the whole being to the Savior who has given Himself to us first. Thus, de Lubac notes, faith “calls to mind the reciprocal gift of spouses.” The bridegroom offers himself and all that he is to the bride promising never to leave or forsake her and the bride responds by giving herself to him without reservation “til death do us part.” (more…)