Arguing from Scripture and history, Dr. Boyd makes a compelling case that whenever the church gets too close to any political or national ideology, ...Show synopsisArguing from Scripture and history, Dr. Boyd makes a compelling case that whenever the church gets too close to any political or national ideology, it is disastrous for the church and harmful to society. Dr. Boyd contends that the American Evangelical Church has allowed itself to be co-opted by the political right (and some by the political left) and exposes how this is harming the church's unique calling to build the kingdom of God. In the course of his argument, Dr. Boyd challenges some of the most deeply held convictions of evangelical Christians in America - for example, that America is, or ever was, "a Christian nation" or that Christians ought to be trying to "take America back for God."Hide synopsis
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Coming from a pretty conservative Christian background, the truths of this book dramatically altered my view of what I've been taught. Gregory Boyd is a gifted writer and teacher. His insight into life and into the Bible combine to make this book a "must read" for anyone, but especially for those who automatically link Christian with Republican. Mr. Boyd sets the stage quite nicely by comparing two kingdoms: the kingdom of this world with its "power over" mentality, and the kingdom of God, the kingdom which Jesus ushered in, with its "power under" decrees. "Jesus, the Son of God, the one who is greatest by any standard, came to earth not to be served but to serve others, and the kingdom he came to establish would be marked by this distinctive feature. It would not be a 'power over' kingdom; it would be a 'power under' kingdom. It would be a kingdom where greatness is defined by serving and sacrificing for others." (p.28)
Gregory Boyd makes a great comparison between "The Kingdom of the Sword" and "The Kingdom of the Cross" in the first two chapters. Every chapter builds on the one before it, but could almost stand on its own as an effective essay on its topic.
In the chapter entitled "When Chief Sinners Become Moral Guardians," Mr. Boyd makes this poignant observation, "Our fundamental job is to love like God loves, not to pretend that we know what only God knows. For unlike God, we can't do the former so long as we're trying to do the latter." (p. 133)
He closes the book with a chapter on Christians and violence, which brings the whole book together.
This book is a highly recommended read.
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