★ [PDF / Epub] ☄ The Myth of a Christian Nation By Gregory A. Boyd ✪ – Horse-zine.co.uk

The Myth of a Christian Nation chapter 1 The Myth of a Christian Nation, meaning The Myth of a Christian Nation, genre The Myth of a Christian Nation, book cover The Myth of a Christian Nation, flies The Myth of a Christian Nation, The Myth of a Christian Nation a30f0a507b29e 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

10 thoughts on “The Myth of a Christian Nation

  1. says:

    This really should be required reading for so many Christian evangelicals I have many wonderful Christian friends who have become completely caught up in the idea of a Christian nationGod blessing our nation according to how much power the Christians wield, and how closely we are following his commands Boyd pulls almost exclusively from Scripture to show that Jesus was apoliticalthat Jesus showed in his life that the government in charge was superfluous to what the Christian should be doing We as Christians should be striving for a power under approacha humbling of ourselves to show Christian love to those around us If we really want to reach people with the Gospel message, this is the way to do it Great book

  2. says:

    I think every American Christian should read this book The American church really is becoming obsessed with politics and forgetting our real mandate is not to make a country into a Christian run nation The only part that I disagreed with was his last chapter on non violence I think that Romans 13 clearly demonstrates that government has the right to operate the sword, and for Christians to participate in this mandate does not violate Christ s command to turn the other cheek But overall, I would highly recommend this book.

  3. says:

    Boyd s book was a very interesting read for me I m not sure if I ve ever had such a rollercoaster reading experience as I had reading this book I have read books where I agree with some of it but not all of it Only the intellectually insecure seem to discount everything someone says simply because s he says something you disagree with But with this book, I literally agreed with one sentence 100% and then disagreed with the very next sentence 100% and then agreed with the very next sentence 100% So this book s ability to cause a rollercoaster experience is the reason I give it 4 stars.The book has its draw backs as far as the structure goes Boyd s writing style is smooth and conversational being based on a series of sermons he preached at his church in 04 , that s not my gripe It is one of the most repetitive books I ve ever come across Boyd constantly repeats himself, using the same language and illustrations throughout It doesn t border on overkill, it is overkill I suspect this is on purpose though Boyd is trying to drive home a point.Boyd s central thesis is that a significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of nationalistic and political ideology They are guilty because they attempt to fuse the kingdom of God with the kingdom of the world These two kingdoms are radically different But despite that, many American Christians think the kingdom of God is about a particular form of government, political program, outlawing abortion, keeping gays from getting married, keeping God on our money and under God in the pledge, placing the ten commandments in court houses, and fighting for prayer at Friday night football games Boyd says this is misguided Any such fusing is idolatrous and has a negative effect on the message of Christianity Boyd doesn t argue that Christians should have no involvement in politics He doesn t argue that any particular political issue of the day is right or wrong He just thinks that finding the right political path doesn t really have anything to do with advancing the kingdom of God Boyd follows the basic insights of such historians of American religion as Marsden, Noll, Yoder co Boyd believes that the idea that America was a Christian nation is largely founded on myth, anachronisms, misunderstandings, and shallow exegesis of the Founders writings The claims that are marshaled out as the usual suspects that supposedly prove the Founders deep and pious commitment to Christianity, are largely nebulous claims about religion and morals, along with deistic claims about God At times, they make claims explicitly stating they had no intention to found a uniquely Christian nation But, such myths are typically seen as the grounds that underwrite oft repeated claims about taking America back for God Boyd finds something almost inherently evil and sinful in the kingdom of the sword another name he gives kingdom of the world He claims that Satan rules this kingdom he lumps all governments under the one rubric kingdom of the sword world and that it is always seeking to gain power over Anything Everything , while the kingdom of God is characterized by power under One wins according to human tradition and common sense, the other wins in ways totally foreign to common assumptions of what winning looks like Here, think something like, the victory of the cross By human standards, a dead messiah hardly looks like a winning messiah.We frequently think our ideas on political issues and interactions with the world are righteous because fallen humans tend to identify their own groups as righteous and any group that opposes them as evil Due to our narcissism we think that whatever we think is right, automatically mean that God thinks it s right Hence Bush s claim that we are rid ding the world of this evil Of course the rest of the world sees us in highly different terms A militant or non Muslim might get the idea that we are militants if they saw some of our church services where the American flag waves across a big screen, complete with jets doing a fly by and the congregation singing God bless America, all wrapped up with a sermon on how we need to pray for our president and our boys who are out keeping America safe from evil, all with the providential blessing of God, of course Despite our widespread reputation, of course, we evangelical Christians often insist that we are loving it s just that the world is so sinful they can t see it or so we tell ourselves And so George Bush I m amazed that there s so much misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us like most Americans, I just can t believe it because I know how good we are We know what s best for the world On top this, Boyd also finds that the church has a terrible history whenever they have been in charge The early church wasn t like the Constantinople church When the church gained political power, terrible and scary results were brought about Boyd finds the political Christianity, always just a baptized version of kingdom of the world government, have engaged in racism, massacre, witch hunts, hypocrisy, tribalism, marginalizing, and all sorts of other thing incompatible with the kingdom of God He cites Frederick Douglas s reaction to the expression of Christianity he saw in his contemporaries Thus Douglas Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognized the widest possible difference so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women whipping, cradle plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of frauds, and the grossest of all libels All of this Boyd uses as support of his repeated claim that No one has ever been called a heretic for not being loving enough He wonders why Boyd sees true Christianity as primarily about our actions Christ is primarily a moral exemplar And of course this is just a function of his clear Emergent approach to Christianity Boyd is described on the front cover as an electrifying preacher And he frequently says such cool, relevant things like, We need to have an outrageous love Rather than discuss some of the problems I see in some of what I said above I did not mean the above as an endorsement of Boyd, though I agree with some of it , I d like to springboard off Boyd s last point to discuss what I find is the biggest error in his book.Boyd claims the kingdom of God expands by us our act ing like Jesus Christianity and the kingdom is not primarily about confessing magical truths God s kingdom is manifested and expanded through the faithfulness of his subjects, and so where people choose peace over violence and forgiveness over retaliation, acting in the interest of others rather than out of selfish interest, the kingdom of God is present We are to be Christlike, even incarnating ourselves into the world s problems True statements like, our confidence isn t to hang on power brokers of human history is followed by claims that our confidence hangs on our being committed to walking in the way of Jesus of Nazareth We conquer by making it our sole task , movement by moment, to manifest the unique righteousness of the kingdom of God The kingdom of God always looks like Jesus What if we just did the kingdom Doing the kingdom transforms peoples hearts and therefore transforms society We are to love all people with a Calvary love Since Jesus dies for all people then we are to love all people with the same Calvary love that drove Jesus to the cross We love, we don t judge If you want to judge someone else, you first have to be sinless These are all direct quotes from Myth And it is statements like this that make Boyd s book dangerous The subtitle of the book is, How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church But it is Boyd s teaching that will destroy the church far efficiently than misguided Christians exhibiting a zeal without knowledge As should have been self evident from the above, Boyd is teaching a works based gospel Confusing law and gospel The kingdom expands and people are transformed by what we do, not by what they believe Christ did for them Boyd critiques that historic understanding via an argument from pejorative magical truths Our confidence, again, rests on what we do We need to do the gospel Live the gospel None of this is good news It s quite scary, actually If our good works and righteousness is how the kingdom advances, then, with a healthy doctrine of sin, I dare say there will be no advancement and there is and will never be a kingdom of God here on earth No one will ever be transformed The gospel, which is a proclamation of good news about something that was done for us, has been turned upside down Can there be anything dangerous to Christianity than a denial of the gospel I offer some extended criticism here

  4. says:

    This book is certainly over due This is a book all Christians in America must read As Boyd writes Christians in American have become to closely tied to the American government and as a result the church in America has also been tied with the government, which it never should be America is a nation with Christians, not a Christian nation Boyd writes about the dangers of the myth Christians live by in believing America is a Christian nation His argument is sound and his points are well defended He isn t saying America is a bad nation, but that this nation has and never will be a nation under God He describes the differences of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world, and they are extremely different How the governments of this world rule with the power over people, but the kingdom of God rules with the power under people Jesus did not come into this world to be served, but to serve it Jesus is the example we should be following in everything that we do and think Boyd also speaks to Christians judging sinners, being moral guardians, and military service A must read for anyone who believes they are a member of God s kingdom and a citizen of Heaven.

  5. says:

    How I wish I could give a copy of this book to every politician, every religious leader, and everyone who believes that, due to their Christianity, it s their job to judge anyone different from them and treat these others with disdain, violence, hatred Few books have moved me as this one has The author advocates for a realistic view of our nation and its founding, including the dark places glossed over by many who profess Christianity He advocates further for individuals and congregations to actually live what Jesus taught radical love, not just for those we like or who are like us, but for all of our fellow travelers on this planet Jesus weapon was not a sword, but a towel That s my favorite quote from the book Jesus came as a servant Jesus didn t hang with the right people he accepted those whom the society of that day considered outcasts He welcomed them with love, he ate with them, he laughed with them, he walked among them In our comfortable little lives and I m part of the our we don t want to go out and get our hands dirty We plunk a check into a plate for the poor , and pretend that it is enough, that we have fulfilled our duty I believe, with the author, that following Jesus requires sacrifice, willingness, and certainly, LOVE When people look at the shambles of what they see as The Christian Church in our country, they see something very ugly, self righteous, violent I want no part of that, either, as a Christian I want to have that radical love and humility, that faith that overcomes fear It looks like a hard undertaking but I can think of no better.

  6. says:

    An important book for every Christian to read, especially in this day and age I felt the book was well researched and Biblically based It gave me hope because so much of what it says confirms how I feel about the separation that Christians should have between their faith and their politics It also challenged me on other aspects, like serving in the military and the death penalty I strongly recommend this book to Christians and non Christians alike.

  7. says:

    4.5 5 If you are a pastor in America today, you should read this book If you are a Christian who is at all interested in how your faith and your citizenship should interact, you should read this book I happen to fit both categories, and I have nine pages of powerful quotes that I took down to reflect on from its pages The Myth of a Christian Nation is even relevant and essential today than it was when Boyd wrote it in 2005.In short, Boyd argues that attempting to meld Church and State is harmful for both institutions He suggests that the Kingdom of God is meant to operate totally differently from the Kingdom of the World specifically, without the coercive element It will be very easy for those who are uncomfortable with Gregory Boyd s arguments to dismiss this book based on a disagreement with Boyd on a particular point After all, didn t he write in support of Open Theology Doesn t he quote from some liberal Catholic theologian What He dismisses Augustine s just war doctrine with a couple sentences Not so fast Take a look at the main points he is presenting in this book, and ask yourself whether there is BIBLICAL support for what he is saying I believe that most of the time, the answer is yes It is always uncomfortable to be confronted with the ways we have culturally accommodated at the expense of our faith However, it is these uncomfortable messages that most need to be heard.There were things that I myself didn t like about this book In the mechanics department, I admit that about the 12th time he used the phrase to the contrary when he meant on the contrary I was ready to take out my red pen But I was reading an interlibrary loan book so I refrained On substantive issues, there were things I disagreed with I find his affirmation of the expansion of state hate speech laws unsettling, as well as inconsistent with the overall theme of the book that coercion doesn t change hearts, only behavior A few times I thought he was employing hyperbole to disadvantage, such as when he suggested that the presence of Christian slogans and mottoes on coins and in the pledge couldn t possible bring anyone to a meaningful faith Why spoil a good point with overstatement That being said, there s just too much good content here to dismiss it I m a big fan of C.S Lewis, but a few things he said I disagree with I love Martin Luther, but there are a number of things he said that I disagree with And this book is not inerrant scripture, but it is just the thing that the American church needs today to return from its focus on nationalism, militarism, and coercion to the calling and culture that Jesus outlined for his Church in the New Testament Thank you Gregory Boyd for having the courage to say it.

  8. says:

    A controversial book that argues for a severe distinction between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world, to the point that the author disputes Christians serving in the military Whatever side of the American as Christian nation question you may fall, Boyd helpfully unpacks five significant harms done by the close association of these kingdoms and passionately and scripturally argues that Christians must trust only in the power under demonstrated by Christ and his cross, rejecting the power over means of the kingdoms of this world.This is an energetic read and one that will give you pause about your various allegiances and how they interrelate In the end, I don t find his strict Anabaptist Pacifist stance to be tenable, for both theological and practical reasons However, I respect his commitment to living in the Way of Jesus and his admission that, were his family s life in danger, he could not say that he would never resort to violence for their defense One thing I most appreciated was his lament that when we readily accept the use of violence in just causes, we fail to experience the love of enemies Jesus commanded and we too quickly make enemies out of people and we also greatly diminish our capacity to find creative, non violent, non coercive solutions that forge peace, establish justice, or promote Christian values.

  9. says:

    Boyd attacks the idea that to be a Christian is to be affiliated with a specific political party He shows that a Christian s commitment is to the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of the world So much wrong happens when people assume that a specific kingdom of the world America for example , is favored by God He spends a lot of time going through the damage that has been done by equating a earthly nation with God s kingdom, specifically the damage done by assuming America is a Christian nation There is no such thing as a Christian nation This book gets right to the point, is very easy to read, and is challenging I recommend it to any Christian, but especially to those fed up with the constant political rhetoric coming from many churches.

  10. says:

    Far and away the most concise, level headed, and logical argument for the separation of church and state I have ever read Gregory Boyd takes aim at the idolatry of nationalism and how it has crippled the Church s ability to an effective witness to the culture and the world The quest for politic power and justification for violence against America s enemies has long been a blind spot in the ethics of Christianity since it became Rome s official religion in 312 A.D The Myth of a Christian Nation excels at its systematic takedown of the nationalistic jargon associated with mainstream evangelical Christianity like We need to take the country back for God Walking through the history of the United States, Boyd shows that at no point was the U.S ever a Christian Nation and that much of our romantic views of an idealized past are nothing short of white washed mythology He also shows how using faith to justify being the morality police only results in a alienated and disillusioned culture that harms both the church and the culture However, this is not a book bashing Christianity Boyd is merely pointing out the gaps of logic and inconsistencies many Christians fall into when they confuse being a good Christ follower with being a good American citizen He answers so many questions like Should Christian be a part of the military and What about self defense that this book should be an inexhaustible resource for those late night conversations fueled by practical theological application and a couple of beers.Nearly every page of my copy has multiple passages highlighted Packed full of Biblical references and verse annotations, I cannot recommend this book enough for Christians and nonChristians, alike This book may leave you angry, conflicted, convicted, or encouraged, but it definitely won t leave you unchallenged This book seriously has the potential to change the way you see the world and your faith.

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