Posts Tagged Greg Boyd
Those who know me will know that Greg Boyd has been one of my teachers and theological mentors over the years. He continually stretches my thinking and challenges me to wrestle courageously with the Biblical text and not mindlessly adopt the traditional beliefs handed down through church history. Some of his views are controversial and I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything. In fact, I don’t. However, he is a passionate lover of Jesus, preacher of the gospel, and thoroughly committed to the authority of Scripture.
So, it is exciting to find some of the core aspects of his teaching summarized succinctly in one place — his ReKnew Manifesto. What do you think about his challenge found in these crucial areas of faith and doctrine? Enjoy! -JB
A ReKnew Manifesto by Greg Boyd
As our curious name indicates, ReKnew exists to encourage believers and skeptics alike to re-think things they thought they already knew. We want to promote a beautiful, Jesus-looking vision of God and his kingdom. We want to promote a host of related theological convictions that we believe were compromised or lost in traditional Christianity—especially since the 5th century when the Church first acquired political power and became the religion of “Christendom.” And we want to be a catalytic resource for the new tribe of Jesus-followers who are rising up and re-thinking their faith now that Christendom—which has been dying for over a century—is gasping its last breaths.
This does not mean we aren’t deeply appreciative for the multitude of true and beautiful aspects of the Church throughout history. To the contrary, we believe that all theological reflection should be humbly carried out in a respectful dialogue with the Church tradition. Yet the focus of ReKnew is to challenge those aspects of the tradition we don’t believe are consistent with the movement Jesus birthed, and with the teachings of the New Testament.
What follows is an overview of these core convictions stated in their simplest form. You might think of this as the first draft of a “ReKnew Manifesto.” Read the rest of this entry »
Just for fun – watch this!
While I have enjoyed this rather faithful telling, I have also been reminded of just how violent and barbarous the OT can be, and some of the acts/commands given by God make me squirm in my seat. What about all those Egyptian babies slaughtered by the Angel of Death because of one pharaoh’s stubborn heart? How many times do we hear the Israelite men yell out “For Israel” before plunging their sword into an enemy’s heart? And its hard to watch the Israelites ruthlessly invade city after city as they take the Promised Land for their God.
Now, I am well aware of the many ways evangelical Christians try to soften these stories, or justify the violence. Still I can’t help but wonder how these portraits of God can be easily reconciled with the portrait of God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ who tells us to “love our enemy” and shows us a way of non-violence in dealing with our enemies.
If you share these feelings then I recommend checking out the honest ponderings of Greg Boyd on this difficult subject. No evangelical scholar is more honest and courageous in working through the complexities of this issue than Boyd (and sure to be controversial). Read this for starters. Love him or hate him, Boyd is not afraid to ask the hard questions that many of us are afraid to admit out loud. Agree or disagree with his conclusions, but don’t accuse him of not wrestling with Scripture in a vigorous and Christocentric way.
What do we make of the story of the wise men following a magical star from the East to the newborn king in Bethlehem? Sound a bit far-fetched and fairytale-ish? I used to think so as well.
Many deny the possibility of a supernatural explanation to begin with. This is unnecessary. If God can bring the universe into being with divine decree and raise the dead at will, then I see no reason why he could not have also sent a bright star that first Christmas.
However, must we rule out all naturalistic explanations? A little historical and cultural background of this story also reveals some very plausible scientific theories as to what this astronomical/astrological phenomenon might have been. Perhaps under God’s wise sovereignty and foresight, that “star” that led the magi to Bethlehem was a combination of natural astral activity in concert with God’s supernatural sending of his son “when the fullness of time had come” (Gal 4:4). Let’s take a look.
First, these were not “three kings” as the song goes. They were “magi” from the East — most likely superstitious astrologists perhaps from the royal court of the Babylonian empire. It does not specify how many. The ancients assigned great significance to the art of reading and interpreting the movements of the skies. They kept careful records of the notable celestial activity, and with computer technology today we can calculate exactly where each star and planets were in the sky accurately all the way back 2,000 years and beyond.
Second, the scientific records indicate some pretty interesting astral activity occurring around the time of Jesus’ birth. Read the rest of this entry »
What do you think of Greg’s approach to churches addressing this issue? If you have time, watch the video, too.
Here is a word I a shared this last weekend with Woodland Hills Church (where I’m senior pastor) in response to numerous questions I’ve received over the last several months. People have asked me why the leadership of WHC refuses to jump on the bandwagon of evangelical churches in the Twin Cities who rally their congregations to get out and vote “yes” for the marriage amendment currently on our ballot in Minnesota. Others have asked for clarification on WHC ‘s view of homosexuality, especially in light of the fact that we host a vibrant LGBT support group (called “Sacred Space”) that accepts people where they’re at, regardless of how they personally integrate their faith with their sexual orientation.
Many progressive, evangelical Christians like myself face something of a conundrum regarding these sorts of questions. On the one hand, we believe the Bible is God’s Word and we can’t with integrity deny that it teaches that sex outside the parameters of a monogamous, life-long, marriage covenant is sin, whether it is sex with a person of a different gender or sex with a person of the same gender. We find the arguments of those who try to argue that Rom.1:24-28-, I Cor. 6:9 and I Tim. 1:10 don’t apply to monogamous gay relationships simply aren’t very persuasive. On the other hand, we sense that something is “off” with the stance of the church throughout history, and the stance of most evangelical churches today, toward gay people. Read the rest of this entry »
This prank is so cruel….please don’t start an April Fools tradition at MainStreet! I beg you! Greg is a good sport — I fear I would have reacted less graciously… :) WATCH THIS!
Q: What do you believe about spiritual warfare and its affects on people, including believers? I know it is pretty open ended question and topic but I am not quite sure what type of answer I am looking for. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
A: Here’s my brief input on the topic of spiritual warfare. Much more could be said — but I thought 7 points was a good start. =)
1. The battle is very real. Satan’s most effective tactic against modern Western people is to keep them disbelieving in his existence altogether. As C. S. Lewis has the senior devil Screwtape say:
“I don’t think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that ‘devils’ are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.”
2. The battle is rarely overt with outward manifestations (e.g., possession, exorcism, etc). It’s usually more subtle. Read the rest of this entry »
Every year around Halloween, I like to explore the topic of spiritual warfare — you know, angels, demons and the cosmic forces of evil. Here are some of the posts on this topic from the past.
Today I want to share Greg Boyd’s basic articulation of what he calls a “Warfare Worldview” — that is, how can Christians affirm that God is all-powerful and still believe that other evil forces (human and angelic) are working to thwart God’s will? If created beings have genuine free will, then how can we be certain that God is really in control of this broken world? Here’s how Greg approaches these questions.
The warfare worldview is based on the conviction that our world is engaged in a cosmic war between a myriad of agents, both human and angelic, that have aligned themselves with either God or Satan. This is the view that is presupposed throughout the entire Bible, and it’s especially evident in the New Testament. For example, Jesus unequivocally opposed evils such as disease, demonization, and even natural disaster (i.e. when Jesus rebuked a storm) and saw them as originating in the wills of Satan, fallen angels, and sinful people, rather than in the will of God.
This is a link to one of my all-time favorite resources: Hours of Q & A with Pastor Greg Boyd and Professor Paul Eddy of Woodland Hills Church on all things theological and biblical. Q & A themes include New Age Spirituality, Imaginative Prayer, Letters from a Skeptic Book, The DaVinci Code debate, and recently Heaven & Hell. I could spend many hours listening to these — and recommend you all download some onto your iPod for the drive into work.
I look forward to the day when MainStreet Covenant Church can host our own Open Forums on such topics right here in downtown Mound!