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The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church Hardcover – April 18, 2006
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Boyd's premise is that the New Testament describes a "power-under" dynamic, where we are called to live radically loving lives that look like Christ. Kingdom people serve others, as Jesus took upon himself the role of a servant and washed the feed of the disciples. As Jesus' loved us enough to give his life for us, we are to love others - even our enemies - to the point of death. The power-under dynamic of the KoG looks like the cross of Christ. Boyd calls the Christian reader to seek to have a KoG mindset, as defined in scripture, and to live in a way that looks like Christ.
Contrasted to this is the Kingdom of the World (KoW) which uses a "power-over" dynamic to achieve individual and tribal influence in the world. In every way it is opposite of the Kingdom of God. Boyd notes that Satan is called the "God of this World", and as such, he exercises significant influence on the world systems. The power-over dynamic looks like the sword.
As Boyd tells us this book was inspired by a sermon series he preached in 2004 called the "Cross and the Sword," which resulted in about 20 percent of the congregation leaving his church.
A common objection to Boyd's message is that "you cannot separate our faith" from our actions in this world. What I think Boyd is trying to say is that we should not IDENTIFY our society or country as "Christian." Doing so suggests to those outside the church that the actions of our society and our country reflect the Christian faith.Read more ›
Non-Christians would likely also find the tone of the book a bit too devout. The entire book is structured around discussions of Biblical passages, teasing out their meanings, striving to understand the implications of the teachings of Christ and Paul. I personally think the title of the book is a bit misleading, and I wonder if it was his original title. For the book really focuses more on what it means for any Christian anywhere to identify the eternal kingdom of God with the temporal kingdom under which he or she lives. Although Boyd has a very different understanding of the Christian's relationship with the political, he almost could have borrowed St. Augustine's title THE CITY OF GOD (AND THE CITY OF MAN), the latter half the implied title of Augustine's classic. Or the great French lay theologian Jacques Ellul work THE POLITICS OF GOD AND THE POLITICS OF MAN.Read more ›
In essence, he argues and defends the point that the United States has never been and never will be a Christian Nation. Perhaps by culture, we are--but not in a truly transforming way. Still, for the most part, many Evangelicals equate America (more specifically Republicans) with Christianity.
He argues that the Church often operates from a "power over" mentality in which the U.S. Government rules over us like Church officials to regulate our morality. Boyd, on the other hand, suggests we operate from a "power under" mentality of washing feet, being a servant, and offering love.
In this aspect, I totally agreed with him. Often, when the Church gets power, it leads to monstrosities like the Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials.
Also, I agreed that American Christianity is often ten miles wide and a half inch deep. We would rather pray against abortion, join a picket line, or write our legislator about the issue than actually really do something about it. We often marginalize "tax collectors" and "sinners," then categorize our sins as not so bad compared to others like homosexuals.
According to Boyd, what is really important is serving others and bleeding with them. On this I found a whole-hearted agreement. This comes to ethics. This is relational which is what Christ calls us to. In my personal experience, I find myself closest to God when I'm serving others.
I also agreed on his poignancy in pointing out how truly shallow we are. It is truly amazing that many Christians were so upset over the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" as opposed to injustices that are far more egregious.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow, what a message. Definitely worth a read. Not just for those in the church, but anybody.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Absolutely fantastic book written by one of my all time favorite authors. Boyd has compiled a couple of sermon series that he preached during pressured election times about the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by nathantlz
This books nails the conflict between the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom of God. Many are caught up in the nationalistic, militaristic idea that America is the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cobber
Gregory A. Boyd’s //The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church// is a must-read for those who still believe the United States of... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Durough
It shed light and shows how people are being misled. It is a must read.Published 5 months ago by Dwain H.
This is a difficult book for me to review. I would consider myself a patriot. I often tear up at the playing of the national anthem. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Aaron
The church really needs to hear this message. In a world where being a Republican is somehow equated with morality and our nation is being called out for falling away from God, we... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Angel Leya
This is the second book I've read by this author. The first one was good, but just didn't speak to me as clearly as this one did. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Cajunsmama
I started this book twice over the past few years. Both times I lacked the motivation to finish it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Byron Fike