Tagged: Greg Boyd

Gender - Male and Female Gummy

Diversity in My 10 Most Influential Books

There’s been one of those viral challenges going around Facebook asking for your 10 most influential books. Here’s mine, not counting the books of the Bible:

  1. Repenting of Religion by Greg Boyd
  2. Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland
  3. The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle
  4. A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren
  5. A Nonviolent Atonement by J. Denny Weaver
  6. The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey
  7. God and Empire by John Dominic Crossan (even though there were some sections I really didn’t agree with)
  8. Scripture and the Authority of God by N.T. Wright
  9. Christianity’s Dangerous Idea by Alister E. McGrath
  10. Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw

The last 2 took a while and on any given day could probably be interchanged for some others like Boyd’s God of the Possible and McLaren’s Everything Must Change, but for the most part, this is what I’m looking at for my core book influences.

Anabaptist Megachurches

Greg Boyd for ReKnew has written up a great article on whether a “megachurch” can be Anabaptist. Anabaptists, like me and Greg and my church The Meeting House, tend to emphasize church as smaller community, so how do we justify when our churches grow into the hundreds and thousands of people? Here’s the heart of Greg’s answer:

Ironically, those who argue mega-churches can’t be Anabaptist churches are assuming, in the process of raising this objection, a non-Anabaptist definition of church as a weekend gathering. If the leadership of Woodland Hills thought that our  “mega” weekend gathering was “the church,” the objection would indeed be valid. But we don’t think this, precisely because this would be a very non-Anabaptist position to assume!

We rather view our “mega” weekend gathering to be nothing more than that – a weekend gathering.  It’s a large event that provides us with an opportunity to teach the Gospel and to begin to make disciples by drawing weekend attenders into our much smaller house churches. The event, therefore, isn’t the church, but simply a means of building the church. In this sense, it would be more accurate to see Woodland Hills as a network of house churches that happens to have a “mega” week event than it is to see us as a mega-church.

Atonement - Cross

Penal Substitution vs Christus Victor

This Holy Week, Greg Boyd gave us a few short videos discussing why Jesus died. In the first, he discusses some of the problems with penal substitution theory. In the second and third, he explains Christus Victor (aka “classical” theory) instead. I haven’t dwelt on this discussion too much lately but it is a very important one and I have been finding myself more interested in it again lately.


The Anabaptist Reading of Scripture

If you’re struggling to get your head around what separates Anabaptism from other Christians, I think this is the heart of it: we view Scripture through the lens of Jesus as we believe that this is how Scripture and Jesus speak of their own relationship. Most of the things which stand out as distinct – nonviolence, church-state separation, adult baptism, etc. – derive from this Christocentrism. Greg Boyd explains it really well in this sermon from a couple of weeks ago.

Ethics and Justice - Holding Hands Across the World

Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgement to the Love of God by Greg Boyd

Here’s my summary thought for this book: it is so obvious in Scripture that we never even think about it. Honestly. That’s what kept coming to me as I read it. We typically prefer to over-complicate ethical questions for reasons that will become very clear but it really isn’t as complicated as we might think.

The general flow of Repenting of Religion follows along with the Genesis creation story and Deitrich’s Bonhoeffer’s Ethics which is similarly centred on the Genesis creation story. In that sense, it was also good research for my Lessons in Genesis 1-3 series I’ve been slowly working on. The thing with those texts is that they have been very heavily interpreted in a variety of ways over millenia. We all have a fairly precise idea of what it means and it is usually based on Greek philosophy or at least other theological concepts which aren’t actually in those texts and maybe not in any other. That’s what made this so refreshing. When you read it, you realize that it is saying exactly what the biblical text says absent of a lot of twists that have been introduced to it in later years.

Essay: Christian Non-Violence

This paper was written for my Social Ethics last year as part of my Master of Divinity. I will be slowly posting the best of my work to the blog as well as more of it to my portfolio website.

A Christian Ethic of Violence

As Christians, one of the names we apply to our central figure, Jesus, is “the Prince of Peace.”  Peace has always been a goal of Christianity in some sense or another. There is agreement that peace is a goal, and that violence should be avoided. How this goal is achieved, however, is not nearly as unanimous. On the one side is the peace position which contends that “peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”[1] On the other side, there are those who see peace as a goal to be obtained by any means necessary, as with Malcolm X.[2] This “any means necessary” could include violence, theorizing with a consequentialist argument that it is the best way to create less violence in the long run, and has become known as the Just War position.

God and Genocide

As I mentioned in my introductory post to this Searching Issues series, this question is not one which is actually in the Alpha Searching Issues book. However, in my experience, this is probably the most-asked question, even more than suffering and probably about as often as how we understand the place of other religions. So, after being asked this question in the past week’s small group discussion, as expected, I decided it was time to formulate my thoughts on it a bit more succinctly. The question, of course, is formed something like: how can we worship a God who not only allows evil (the problem of suffering discussed previously) but who actually even commands evil like genocide, assuming you take the biblical texts literally? My theory is that many are starting to be more satisfied with, or at least they’re more tired of arguing with, the Christian answers to evil in general, but this is a similar problem with a far more interesting and challenging twist. 

Theology - Imagem de jesus

Concentric Circles of Theology

This is a simple but very helpful idea I’ve heard a few times now from Greg Boyd. It is important to remember when discussing theological issues just what is important and what isn’t. In place of what he calls a house of cards theology – if one thing falls, the whole thing goes with it – he suggests viewing theology in concentric circles. From the inside (most important) out, the categories go like this:

The Person of Jesus

At the centre is the person of Jesus. Anything “Christian” has to be based on the person of the Christ. That just makes sense pretty intuitively to me as a matter of definition. It also is important to remember that the centre is not a theology or a set of theologies, but a person. Christianity is a religion, if you are comfortable calling it that, which is based on a person, not theology, ethics, actions, or anything else.

3 Generations on Faith and Politics

This is a great video featuring 3 leading evangelicals on issues of the relationship between faith and politics. The idea is to represent 3 generations: Chuck Colson (my grandparents’ generation), Greg Boyd (my parents’), and Shane Claiborne (mine). If you’re a regular reader, you already know that the latter two are near the top of my list for leaders which most influence my own thought, Boyd a bit more than Claiborne.

Three Degrees of Separation from On Being on Vimeo.