Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks
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.”
Published: Zondervan on May 18, 2009
ISBN: 9780310565918
List price: $6.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory A. Boyd
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

In The Myth of a Christian Nation, Gregory Boyd takes a purer and certainly more demanding route. Starting with Christ’s temptation (when He is offered worldly kingdoms) and moving on to Pilate’s question (My kingdom is not of this world), Boyd call for Christians to be members of Christ’s Kingdom first and citizens of any group a decided second.Yes, Christians should participate in the world’s governance and should work to make that government as fair and just as possible, but they should not confuse that with their real calling – to live in God’s Kingdom while still stuck in the world. Christians should be as soldiers stranded in enemy territory or resident aliens. This verges on Manichean duality, but Boyd isn’t going there. Instead he argues for the separation of church and state as essential to the church.Boyd is all for laws to help the poor, but that doesn’t absolve Christians of a call to radical acts of charity and generosity. Changing laws is fine, but Boyd is more concerned with changing hearts. Laws control behavior, but God demands much more than just right behavior.Rightly showing that Jesus rejected the politics of His age as a solution to the larger problems, Boyd doesn’t distain politics and governance, he just finds them less important that living in the Kingdom. Jesus dealt lovingly with everyone He met, accepting them all, living and eating with them, changing them through His love. He was at home with prostitutes, those with incurable communicable diseases, and those who couldn’t afford health care. These poor were always with Him. He rejected those who were hypocrites, those who set themselves up as judges and, always, those owned by their riches and power.Boyd is also concerned by the damage done to the church’s mission when it becomes nothing more than a nationalistic, civil religion. Thus the subtitle: How the quest for political power is destroying the church. How many Muslims hate Christianity after Bush has made so many religious references in justifying the US invasion and occupation of Iraq? How many atheists have all the ammunition they need to sneer at faith when religious leaders justify torture, call for assassinations of foreign leaders and identify tax cuts as a “Christian” value. Boyd is especially concerned about people who want to “take America back for Jesus” and gives them what for. How can any follower of Jesus be really concerned about whether Caesar’s coins have God’s name on them?Note well that Boyd is not calling for mere personal piety, nor is he calling for withdrawal from the world’s snares. What he wants is a church that looks like Christ. One that would have the poor always with them. One that would not condemn. One that would commit radical acts of kindness and generosity without counting the cost. One that would not grasp for power. One that rejects violence. This is a tough one and Boyd knows it. Jesus resisted the temptation to take up the sword, though He was more innocent than any of us and more powerful too. There is an example to make anyone humble.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I still enjoy a fresh passion for theological texts of many kinds, but I was especially excited to discover Dr. Boyd's wonderful work. Few in this area of discourse seem to combine both the focus upon scripture and academic depth which Boyd possesses. This is a challenging book that will certainly cause a mixture of reactions. Conservatives who dismiss it out of hand do themselves a great disservice, likewise for those on the far left side of the room. By contrasting and comparing the fallen kingdom of the world system versus the mustard seed kingdom of God that we are to cultivate within us as Christians, Boyd demonstrates the stark fundamental differences between these competing paradigms, some of the disastrous consequences of failing to follow Christ's example, and starts to peel back the cloud of Constantinian justifications for the use of violent coercion to reveal the clarity of our scriptural mandate to exemplify self-sacrificial love. Why would Dr. Boyd risk losing so much of his congregation to pursue this particular topic which he argues requires a complete change of outlook from the mindset of so many evangelicals now employ? That's almost as silly as trying to save the world by getting yourself nailed up on a cross. Excellent work indeed.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A book that made me think and re-evaluate.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

In The Myth of a Christian Nation, Gregory Boyd takes a purer and certainly more demanding route. Starting with Christ’s temptation (when He is offered worldly kingdoms) and moving on to Pilate’s question (My kingdom is not of this world), Boyd call for Christians to be members of Christ’s Kingdom first and citizens of any group a decided second.Yes, Christians should participate in the world’s governance and should work to make that government as fair and just as possible, but they should not confuse that with their real calling – to live in God’s Kingdom while still stuck in the world. Christians should be as soldiers stranded in enemy territory or resident aliens. This verges on Manichean duality, but Boyd isn’t going there. Instead he argues for the separation of church and state as essential to the church.Boyd is all for laws to help the poor, but that doesn’t absolve Christians of a call to radical acts of charity and generosity. Changing laws is fine, but Boyd is more concerned with changing hearts. Laws control behavior, but God demands much more than just right behavior.Rightly showing that Jesus rejected the politics of His age as a solution to the larger problems, Boyd doesn’t distain politics and governance, he just finds them less important that living in the Kingdom. Jesus dealt lovingly with everyone He met, accepting them all, living and eating with them, changing them through His love. He was at home with prostitutes, those with incurable communicable diseases, and those who couldn’t afford health care. These poor were always with Him. He rejected those who were hypocrites, those who set themselves up as judges and, always, those owned by their riches and power.Boyd is also concerned by the damage done to the church’s mission when it becomes nothing more than a nationalistic, civil religion. Thus the subtitle: How the quest for political power is destroying the church. How many Muslims hate Christianity after Bush has made so many religious references in justifying the US invasion and occupation of Iraq? How many atheists have all the ammunition they need to sneer at faith when religious leaders justify torture, call for assassinations of foreign leaders and identify tax cuts as a “Christian” value. Boyd is especially concerned about people who want to “take America back for Jesus” and gives them what for. How can any follower of Jesus be really concerned about whether Caesar’s coins have God’s name on them?Note well that Boyd is not calling for mere personal piety, nor is he calling for withdrawal from the world’s snares. What he wants is a church that looks like Christ. One that would have the poor always with them. One that would not condemn. One that would commit radical acts of kindness and generosity without counting the cost. One that would not grasp for power. One that rejects violence. This is a tough one and Boyd knows it. Jesus resisted the temptation to take up the sword, though He was more innocent than any of us and more powerful too. There is an example to make anyone humble.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I still enjoy a fresh passion for theological texts of many kinds, but I was especially excited to discover Dr. Boyd's wonderful work. Few in this area of discourse seem to combine both the focus upon scripture and academic depth which Boyd possesses. This is a challenging book that will certainly cause a mixture of reactions. Conservatives who dismiss it out of hand do themselves a great disservice, likewise for those on the far left side of the room. By contrasting and comparing the fallen kingdom of the world system versus the mustard seed kingdom of God that we are to cultivate within us as Christians, Boyd demonstrates the stark fundamental differences between these competing paradigms, some of the disastrous consequences of failing to follow Christ's example, and starts to peel back the cloud of Constantinian justifications for the use of violent coercion to reveal the clarity of our scriptural mandate to exemplify self-sacrificial love. Why would Dr. Boyd risk losing so much of his congregation to pursue this particular topic which he argues requires a complete change of outlook from the mindset of so many evangelicals now employ? That's almost as silly as trying to save the world by getting yourself nailed up on a cross. Excellent work indeed.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A book that made me think and re-evaluate.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
One of the most fascinating books I've read dealing with the issues of how the Church relates in a political way to government. His description of 'power over' vs. 'power under' in terms of which identifies with the church and state are very helpful. This is a must read for those who are struggling with how to view their faith in light of governmental contexts. It is also a must read for those who identify their faith closely with their political party alignment.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow! This is one of the most incredible books I have ever read. Aside from the Bible itself, there has been no other book that has caused more arguments and division within my circle of Christian friends than this one. When I informed a few of my friends that I was beginning to read this book, the author, the book, and even I was criticized to some extent.The American version of the Christian faith is so intertwined with politics, patriotism, and military pride that any mention of separating them illicits anger from those who see them as one. Boyd does a great job of deconstructing Americanized Christianity and pointing us back to kingdom "power under" Christian living rather than worldy "power over" civic religion that is so prevalant in American Christianity. Patriotism and national fervor is an idol in America and unfortunately many evangelical Christians in America have bowed down at it's altar, owing their allegiance to a flag rather than Christ, and justifying violence and war for the sake of preserving a worldy kingdom.The bottom line is this: Jesus did not come to revolutionize some form of government or impose a theocratic policy upon a society. He came to save people from eternal damnation and reconcile us back to a holy God. And, the only way this message can be conveyed to a hurting society is to love them and serve them, including those who we may deem our political and national enemies. We are not to legislate morality, or force our ways upon society through politics and power. Instead, we are to extend grace and show through our lives the beauty and love of Christ, both outwardly and verbally.This is a book I highly recommend if you are able to look at it objectively outside of the context of Americanized Christianity, void of politics and power. It will shake your world and squash any previously conceived notions of what you have been fed from the pulpits of Americanized Christianity. Similar to the book, "Radical" by David Platt, I dare any American Christian to read this. It will truly change your thinking... at the cost of perhaps losing a few friends in the process.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A challenging & thought-provoking look at the Kingdom of God & Kingdom of the world & how they differ. Granted, since I come from a Mennonite/Anabaptist background I tended to agree with most of Boyd's stances from the get-go, but he still uncovered several well thought out lines of reasoning that I had never considered. There are a few chapters where by the end were getting a bit repetitive, but each new section brought enough newness & insight to keep me hooked. If you have a desire to live out your faith, or are just curious about what it means to be a Christian, I think this book is a must-read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd