A dramatic tension confronts every Christian believer and interpreter of Scripture: on the one hand, we encounter images of God commanding and engaging in horrendous violence: one the other hand, we encounter the non-violent teachings and example of Jesus, whose loving, self-sacrificial death and resurrection is held up as the supreme revelation of God’s character in the New Testament. How do we reconcile the tension between these seemingly disparate depictions? Are they even capable of reconciliation? Throughout Christian history, many different answers have been proposed, ranging from the long-rejected explanation that these contrasting depictions are of two entirely different ‘gods’ to recent social and cultural theories of metaphor and narrative representation. The Crucifixion of the Warrior God takes up this dramatic tension and the range of proposed answers in an epic constructive investigation. Over two volumes, renowned theologian and biblical scholar Gregory A. Boyd argues that we must take seriously the full range of Scripture as inspired, including its violent depictions of God. At the same time, we must take just as seriously the absolute centrality of the crucified and risen Christ as the supreme revelation of God. Developing a theological interpretation of Scripture that he labels a “cruciform hermeneutic,” Boyd demonstrates how Scripture’s violent images of God are completely reframed and their violence subverted when they are interpreted through the lens of the cross and resurrection. Indeed, when read through this lens, Boyd argues that these violent depictions can be shown to bear witness to the same self-sacrificial character of God that was supremely revealed on the cross.
The Crucifixion of the Warrior God, in an epic constructive investigation, takes up the set of dramatic tensions between depictions of divinely sanctioned violence in Scripture and the message and life of peace of Jesus centering the New Testament. Over two volumes, author Gregory A. Boyd argues that we must take seriously the full range of Scripture as inspired, and the centrality of the crucified and risen Christ as the supreme revelation of God.
Renowned pastor-theologian Gregory A. Boyd tackles the Bible’s biggest dilemma. The Old Testament God of wrath and violence versus the New Testament God of love and peace—it’s a difference that has troubled Christians since the first century. Now, with the sensitivity of a pastor and the intellect of a theologian, Gregory A. Boyd proposes the “cruciform hermeneutic,” a way to read the Old Testament portraits of God through the lens of Jesus’ crucifixion. In Cross Vision, Boyd follows up on his epic and groundbreaking study, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God. He shows how the death and resurrection of Jesus reframes the troubling violence of the Old Testament, how all of Scripture reveals God’s self-sacrificial love, and, most importantly, how we can follow Jesus’ example of peace.
In Benefit of the Doubt, influential theologian, pastor, and bestselling author Gregory Boyd invites readers to embrace a faith that doesn't strive for certainty, but rather for commitment in the midst of uncertainty. Boyd rejects the idea that a person's faith is as strong as it is certain. In fact, he makes the case that doubt can enhance faith and that seeking certainty is harming many in today's church. Readers who wrestle with their faith will welcome Boyd's message that experiencing a life-transforming relationship with Christ is possible, even with unresolved questions about the Bible, theology, and ethics. Boyd shares stories of his own painful journey, and stories of those to whom he has ministered, with a poignant honesty that will resonate with readers of all ages.
In this bold and compelling work, Gregory Boyd undertakes to reframe the central issues of Christian theodicy. By Boyd's estimate, theologians still draw too heavily on Augustine's response to the problem of evil, attributing pain and suffering to the mysterious "good" purposes of God. Accordingly, modern Christians are inclined not to expect evil and so are baffled but resigned when it occurs. New Testament writers, on the other hand, were inclined to expect evil and fight against it. Modern Christians attempt to intellectually understand evil, whereas New Testament writers grappled with overcoming evil. Through a close and sophisticated reading of both Old and New Testaments, Boyd argues that Satan has been in an age-long (but not eternal) battle against God, and that this conflict "is a major dimension of the ultimate canvas against which everything within the biblical narrative, from creation to the eschaton, is to be painted and therefore understood." No less edifying than it is provocative, God at War will reward the careful attention of scholars, pastors, students and educated laypersons alike.
Where does evil come from? If there is a sovereign creator God, as Christian faith holds, is this God ultimately responsible for evil? Does God's sovereignty mean that God causes each instance of sin and suffering? How do Satan, his demons and hell fit into God's providential oversight of all creation and history? How does God interact with human intention and action? If people act freely, does God know in particular every human decision before the choice is made? In this important book Gregory A. Boyd mounts a thorough response to these ages-old questions, which remain both crucial and contentious, both practical and complex. In this work Boyd defends his scripturally grounded trinitarian warfare theodicy (presented in God at War) with rigorous philosophical reflection and insights from human experience and scientific discovery. Critiquing the classical Calvinist solution to the problem of evil, he advocates an alternative understanding of the sovereignty of the trinitarian God and of the reality of Satan that sheds light on our fallen human condition. While all may not agree with Boyd's conclusions, Satan and the Problem of Evil promises to advance the church's discussion of these critical issues.
Author: Anthony Bartlett
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2001-04-01
Offers a rich historical and theological overview of the evolution of various atonement theories, examining the components of violence and sacrifice as a means of salvation, and using literature, art, and philosophy to provide a creative and provocative reading of Christian atonement. Original.
Author: Paul Marston
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Release Date: 2001-07-01
"Forster and Marston have delivered a stellar book that attempts to present an exegetical and Scriptural framework for the content presented in the book. Instead of beginning from a set of deductive theological assumptions and then attempting to support that system from Scripture, Forster and Marston examine Scripture and attempt to build their case directly from the text. The authors unabashedly admit that their views are very similar to those of Arminian and Weslyan traditions, but they state in the beginning of the book that they do not want to be labeled with these names, but want to construct a theology that is in line with the teachings of the first 300 years of Christianity. Anyone who reads their appendix will come to understand that the teachings presented in this book were the orthodox consensus of the early Church for the first 300 years, and that it was Augustine who introduced serious deviations into the mainstream orthodox Christianity of his time. Forster and Marston begin by describing the battle that is being waged between God and the spiritual forces that oppose Him. They examine the book of Job and see how this relates to the overall struggle. Then the authors examine the 9th chapter of Romans to see if this book is dealing with election and individual destinies, or God's actions within human history. The authors do an excellent job of arguing for their opinion that this chapter is speaking about God's involvement in human history and it deals with God's choosing of one nation or individual over another nation or individual to accomplish His purpose. Other sections of interest in this book are the sections on foreknowledge and predestination and the chapters on faith and works. The section on faith and works was particularly interesting because it relies on much of the teaching of the new perspective which has shed much light on how a 1st century Palestinian Jew would have approached Scriptural issues. The research, argumenation, and exegesis in this book are solid so every chapter is excellent, but the ones mentioned above were two of my favorites." -- Amazon.com.
The church was established to serve the world with Christ-like love, not to rule the world. It is called to look like a corporate Jesus, dying on the cross for those who crucified him, not a religious version of Caesar. It is called to manifest the kingdom of the cross in contrast to the kingdom of the sword. Whenever the church has succeeded in gaining what most American evangelicals are now trying to get – political power – it has been disastrous both for the church and the culture. Whenever the church picks up the sword, it lays down the cross. The present activity of the religious right is destroying the heart and soul of the evangelical church and destroying its unique witness to the world. The church is to have a political voice, but we are to have it the way Jesus had it: by manifesting an alternative to the political, “power over,” way of doing life. We are to transform the world by being willing to suffer for others – exercising “power under,” not by getting our way in society – exercising “power over.”
Author: Benjamin D. Thomas
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
Release Date: 2014-07-29
This study explores one of the oldest and most central issues of the Hebrew Bible -- the compositional history of 1--2 Kings. Its approach does not proceed from the assumption prevalent since the time of de Wette, namely, that the origins of 1--2 Kings should be explained through a process of Deuteronomistic literary redaction rooted in the Josianic reform. Rather, this study reads 1--2 Kings through the lens of other texts with similar genres existing in its historical context. More precisely, the texts under question belong to the genre of "chronography": kinglists, chronicles, and royal inscriptions, possessing similar or, in some cases, identical structures and motifs to those found in 1--2 Kings. This study includes a literary-critical analysis of every main structural feature of the regnal framework: regnal year totals, synchronisms, geographic filiations, naming the queen mother, source citations, death and burial formulae, regnal evaluations, royal predecessor-formula, and cultic reports. It also seeks to determine the extent of the original framework by mapping its opening and conclusion. The results of the study indicate that the framework's opening was in Solomon's account and its original climax was in Hezekiah's account and represented the latter as a royal YHWHist par excellence excellence, the restorer of order who limited sacrificial space to Jerusalem. The genealogical structure of this Hezekian History emerges from the Davidic royal ideology rooted in Jerusalem. There is no decisive indication that calls for the original framework structure's classification as Deuteronomistic or Josianic. The author of the framework wrote during the early-to-mid seventh century B.C.E. and reported the major historical events surrounding Hezekiah's reign, including the survival of Jerusalem in 701 B.C.E. -- in the B1 narrative -- as well as his centralizing reform.
Author: Randolph J. Klassen
Publisher: Pandora Press U.S.
Release Date: 2001-01-01
Randy Klassen studies every significant reference to hell in the Bible, seeking an interpretation that both takes the Bible seriously as the very Word of God and harmonizes with the character of the God and "Abba" revealed through Jesus Christ.
Author: Matthew W. Bates
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2015-03-12
How and when did Jesus and the Spirit come to be regarded as fully God? The Birth of the Trinity offers a new historical approach by exploring the way in which first- and second-century Christians read the Old Testament in order to differentiate the One God as multiple persons. The earliest Christians felt they could metaphorically "overhear" divine conversations between the Father, Son, and Spirit when reading the Old Testament. When these snatches of dialogue are connected and joined, they form a narrative about the unfolding interior divine life as understood by the nascent church. What emerges is not a static portrait of the triune God, but a developing story of divine persons enacting mutual esteem, voiced praise, collaborative strategy, and self-sacrificial love. The presence of divine dialogue in the New Testament and early Christian literature shows that, contrary to the claims of James Dunn and Bart Ehrman (among others), the earliest Christology was the highest Christology, as Jesus was identified as a divine person through Old Testament interpretation. The result is a Trinitarian biblical and early Christian theology.
Author: Michael S. Burdett
Release Date: 2014-12-05
The rapid advancement of technology has led to an explosion of speculative theories about what the future of humankind may look like. These "technological futurisms" have arisen from significant advances in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology and are drawing growing scrutiny from the philosophical and theological communities. This text seeks to contextualize the growing literature on the cultural, philosophical and religious implications of technological growth by considering technological futurisms such as transhumanism in the context of the long historical tradition of technological dreaming. Michael Burdett traces the latent religious sources of our contemporary technological imagination by looking at visionary approaches to technology and the future in seminal technological utopias and science fiction and draws on past theological responses to the technological future with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Jacques Ellul. Burdett’s argument arrives at a contemporary Christian response to transhumanism based around the themes of possibility and promise by turning to the works of Richard Kearney, Eberhard Jüngel and Jürgen Moltmann. Throughout, the author highlights points of correspondence and divergence between technological futurisms and the Judeo-Christian understanding of the future.