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Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #477808
#1. For the first time I was beginning to discern a God whom I actually wanted to live for. I was beginning to discover the motivation of Paul when he proclaimed, "Christ's love compels us" (2 Cor. 5: 14). All my life I'd tried to be good to avoid hell, or the ugly-stick flogging, or my stepmother's beatings with a two-by-four. But while most people would undoubtedly be better at behaving well with these frightful motivations than I ever was, no one could ever be transformed by these sorts of motivations. Threatening motivations address behavior, but they can never transform our identity. They motivate people to change as a means of protecting themselves, but for this reason they can never move us beyond ourselves to become someone fundamentally different from who we currently are. And threatening motivations can certainly never transform us into people with an other-oriented, self-sacrificial, loving character. Only a motivation that is anchored in love can do this.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #80542
#2. If we further consider this divine panoramic view within which all evil is supposedly a "secret good" is held by a God who, according to Scripture, has a passionate hatred toward all evil, the "solution" becomes more problematic still. For it is certainly not clear how God could hate what he himself wills and sees as a contributing ingredient in the good of the whole. If all things play themselves out according to a divine plan, how can God genuinely hate anything?
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1398557
#3. Many have emphasized that our ability to reason is the distinguishing mark of the soul. Others have argued that our ability to communicate sets us apart. Still others have stressed that our ability to love or to sense God or to make moral judgments manifests our imago Dei. Many theologians have concluded that all of these features manifest the soul. In each case, however, the divine image is located in the soul of humans. St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin are classic representatives of this perspective. A
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #181022
#4. America wasn't founded as a theocracy. America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn't bloody and barbaric. That's why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #159283
#5. One wonders why no one in church history has ever been considered a heretic for being unloving. People were anathematized and often tortured and killed for disagreeing on matters of doctrine or on the authority of the church. But no one on record has ever been so much as rebuked for not loving as Christ loved.

Yet if love is to be placed above all other considerations (Col. 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8), if nothing has any value apart from love (1 Cor. 13:1–3), and if the only thing that matters is faith working in love (Gal. 5:6), how is it that possessing Christlike love has never been considered the central test of orthodoxy? How is it that those who tortured and burned heretics were not themselves considered heretics for doing so? Was this not heresy of the worst sort? How is it that those who perpetrated such things were not only not deemed heretics but often were (and yet are) held up as "heroes of the faith"?

If there is an answer to this question, I believe it lies in the deceptive power of the sword. While God uses the sword of governments to preserve law, order, and justice, as we have seen, there is a corrupting principality and power always at work. Much like the magical ring in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the sword has a demonic power to deceive us. When we pick it up, we come under its power. It convinces us that our use of violence is a justified means to a noble end. It intoxicates us with the unquenchable dream of redemptive violence and blinds us
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1202000
#6. The question that wins the world is not, how can we get our "morally superior" way enforced in the world? The question that wins the world, and the question that must define the individual and collective life of kingdom-of-God citizens is, how do we take up the cross for the world? How do we best communicate to others their unsurpassable worth before God? How do we serve and wash the feet of the oppressed and despised?
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1190182
#7. 2. The problem of evil. One has to wonder why God would create beings like Satan and Hitler if he was certain they'd turn out as evil as they did and certain they would end up in hell. We can easily understand why God must allow free agents to do evil and eventually go to hell once he gives them free will, for to revoke this gift once it is given is disingenuous. But why would God give this gift in the first place if he were certain ahead of time that the agent would misuse it to destroy themselves and others? 3
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1533666
#8. the greatest miracle of omnipotence was in creating beings who had the potential to resist it.2 2.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #77759
#9. Our choices matter. Much hangs in the balance. Our freedom is God's risk and our dignity.
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#10. The doctrine of the Trinity simply states that God fully exists in three personally distinct ways.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1364076
#11. I'm sensitive about the criticism [for not producing new playwrights], yes. But I'm hip to it as well. I read 500 new plays a year, and 99.99 percent of them are not good. I see no reason to do a new play just because it's new. It's like kissing your sister, a virtue, but so what? It seems to me more worthwhile to take a proven playwright and say, Write something for us.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1062077
#12. The holiness of the kingdom of God must be preserved. If Jesus refused to acknowledge and fight for Israel as God's favored nation- even though it was the one nation in history that actually held this status at one time- how much more must his followers refuse to acknowledge and fight for America as God's favored nation To say it another way, if Jesus was committed solely to establishing a kingdom that had no intrinsic nationalistic or ethnic allegiances- not even with Israel- how much more should his followers be committed to expanding this unique, non-nationalistic kingdom?
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1229100
#13. Our central job is not to solve the world's problems. Our job is to draw our entire life from Christ and manifest that life to others. Nothing could be simpler - and nothing could be more challenging.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1043162
#14. A different understanding of the imago Dei gained popularity in the twentieth century, though it had predecessors in earlier church history. This view locates the imago Dei in the commission of God for humans to "have dominion" over the earth. This view is sometimes referred to as the functional view of the imago Dei, for it locates the essence of our divine image in what we as humans are called to do. As God is the loving Lord of the entire cosmos, humans are called to be the loving lords of the entire earth. A
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #395659
#15. Our call is to trust that the foolishness of self-sacrificial love will overcome evil in the end. Our call is to manifest the beauty of a Savior who loves indiscriminately while revolting against all hatred and violence. This is the humble mustard seed revolution that will in the end transform the world.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #73712
#16. Jesus' mission wasn't to improve the old; his mission, and the mission he gave his disciples, was to embody the new - an entirely new way of doing life. It is life lived within the reign of God; life centered on God as the sole source of one's security, worth, and significance; life lived free from self-protective fear; and life manifested in Calvary-like service to others. His promise is that as his disciples manifest the unique beauty and power of this life, it will slowly and inconspicuously - like a mustard seed - grow and take over the garden.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #795962
#17. Any suggestion that God has returned to his Old Testament theocratic mode of operation - as in raising up America as a uniquely favored nation - is not only unwarranted, it is a direct assault on the distinct holiness of Jesus Christ and the kingdom he died to establish.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #181029
#18. Jesus never allowed himself to be defined by the political conflicts of his day, and neither should we.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #228998
#19. The fact that the prohibited tree was placed in the center of the garden, right next to the Tree of Life (Gen. 2:9), symbolizes that the life that God intends for us revolves around our honoring God's prohibition as much as trusting God for his provision.The
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1507388
#20. Participants in the kingdom of the world trust the power of the sword to control behavior; participants of the kingdom of God trust the power of self-sacrificial love to transform hearts. The kingdom of the world is concerned with preserving law and order by force; the kingdom of God is concerned with establishing the rule of God through love. The kingdom of the world is centrally concerned with what people do; the kingdom of God is centrally concerned with how people are and what they can become.The kingdom of the world is characterized by judgment; the kingdom of God is characterized by outrageous, even scandalous, grace.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #838350
#21. Let us say once again that the doctrine of the Trinity does not divide God up into "thirds." Because God is Spirit, God is unquantifiable and indivisible. Any other view of God is really pagan, anthropomorphic, and materialistic. Hence,
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #721239
#22. The following chart summarizes the findings. Problem Solution: Stage 1 Solution: Stage 2 Formless void Forming place (days 1-3) Filling void (days 4-6) Darkness Day 1: light/separate darkness Day 4: lights The deep Day 2: heavens/separate waters Day 5: birds/fish Formless earth Day 3: earth/vegetation Day 6: animals/humans Genesis
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1339310
#23. We must also recognize that people who have diametrically opposing views may believe *they too* are advancing the kingdom, which is all well and good so long as we don't christen our views as *the* Christian view. As people whose citizenship is in heaven before it is in any nation (Phil 3:20), and whose kingdom identity is rooted in Jesus rather than in a political agenda, we must never forget that the only way we individually and collectively represent the kingdom of God is through loving, Christlike, sacrificial acts of service to others. Anything and everything else, however good and noble, lies outside the kingdom of God.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #323172
#24. The sinner . . . while retaining the ability to imagine, has forfeited the basis on which to imagine God."[
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1128380
#25. If we remain surrendered to God, we've already died to everything decay and death could ever threaten to take away. Our treasure is no longer in things that moths can eat and thieves can steal (Matthew 6:19-20). Our heart is no longer set on things that aging and misfortune can affect. Our life is securely hidden in Christ, whose love never changes (Colossians 3:1-3). In fact, to the extent that we're surrendered to God every moment, we've "been crucified with Christ and [we] no longer live, but Christ lives in [us]" (Galatians 2:20).
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #743171
#26. In the words of Barbara Rossing and John Yoder, borrowing an image from the book of Revelation, the contrast between the "power over" kingdom of the world and the "power under" kingdom of God is "Lion power" versus "Lamb power." The kingdom of God advances by people lovingly placing themselves under others, in service to others, at cost to themselves. This "coming under" doesn't mean that followers of Jesus conform to other people's wishes, but it does mean that we always interact with others with their best interests in mind.

Following the example of Christ, and in stark contrast to the modus operandi of the world, we are to do "nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than [our]selves." We are to "look not to [our] own interests, but to the interests of others" (Phil. 2:3–4). We are to "not seek [our] own advantage, but that of the other" (1 Cor. 10:24, cf. 10:33). Following Jesus' example, we are to find honor in washing people's feet (John 13:14–15) - that is, in serving them in any way we can.

So too, in following our Master we are to seek to do good and free all who are "oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38) while we voluntarily bear others' burdens (Gal. 6:2). We are to "outdo one another in showing honor" (Rom. 12:10) and never be competitive with others (unless, of course, it's for fun) (Gal. 5:26). We are to "put up with the failings of the weak, and not please ourselves," always asking how we might "ple
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1229297
#27. The first question we needed to address in response to the popular "Take America Back for God" slogan concerned the precedent of Jesus, and in this light we must judge that the slogan can lead us into temptation. The second concerns the meaning of the slogan itself. I, for one, confess to being utterly mystified by the phrase. If we are to take America back for God, it must have once belonged to God, but it's not at all clear when this golden Christian age was.

Were these God-glorifying years before, during, or after Europeans "discovered" America and carried out the doctrine of "manifest destiny" - the belief that God (or, for some, nature) had destined white Christians to conquer the native inhabitants and steal their land? Were the God-glorifying years the ones in which whites massacred these natives by the millions, broke just about every covenant they ever made with them, and then forced survivors onto isolated reservations? Was the golden age before, during, or after white Christians loaded five to six million Africans on cargo ships to bring them to their newfound country, enslaving the three million or so who actually survived the brutal trip? Was it during the two centuries when Americans acquired remarkable wealth by the sweat and blood of their slaves? Was this the time when we were truly "one nation under God," the blessed time that so many evangelicals seem to want to take our nation back to?

Maybe someone would suggest that the golden age o
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1146161
#28. So these liberals say historical research can't possibly discover the Jesus of faith, because the Jesus of faith is not rooted in history. He's merely a symbol. But listen: Jesus is not a symbol of anything unless he's rooted in history. The Nicene Creed doesn't say, "We wish these things were true." It says, "Jesus Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and the third day he rose again from the dead,' and it goes on from there.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1394881
#29. Because the myth that America is a Christian nation has led many to associate America with Christ, many now hear the good news of Jesus only as American news, capitalistic news, imperialistic news, exploitive news, antigay news, or Republican news. And whether justified or not, many people want nothing to do with any of it.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #303945
#30. Love is the central command in Scripture and judgment the central prohibition. Indeed, judgment is the "original sin" in Scripture. This is why the forbidden tree in the center of the garden - the prohibition around which life in the garden revolved - was called the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #769854
#31. In a creation populated with free agents, God doesn't always get what he wants. Augustine and the church tradition that followed him were simply mistaken when they insisted that "the will of the omnipotent is always undefeated." Because God desires a creation in which love is a reality, he allows his will to be defeated to some extent.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1101906
#32. Coming under others has a power to do what laws and bullets and bombs can never do - namely, bring about transformation in an enemy's heart. This is the unique "Lamb power" of the kingdom of God, and indeed, this is the power of God Almighty. When God flexes his omnipotent muscle, it doesn't look like Rambo or the Terminator - it looks like Calvary! And living in this Calvary-like love moment by moment, in all circumstances and in relation to all people, is the sole calling of those who are aligned with the kingdom that Jesus came to bring.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #582361
#33. Another form of prayer, called cataphatic, honors and reverences images and feelings and goes through them to God. This form of prayer also has an ancient and well-attested history in the world of religions. Any sort of prayer that highlights the mediation of creation can be called cataphatic. So, praying before icons or images of saints; the mediation of sacraments and sacramentals; prayer out in creation - all these are cataphatic forms of prayer
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1536895
#34. We can acknowledge that while all good things in creation come from God (James 1:17), all evil in creation comes from wills other than that of God. God allows evil to take place because he desires humans to have the potential to love, and for this they must be free. But in no sense does he will their evil. 3.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1426754
#35. Love must always start free - but its goal is to become unfree. To be unable not to love is the highest form of freedom in love.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #678888
#36. All indications are that most Americans have become entrapped in wealth. Studies have shown that the wealthier people become, the lower percentage of their income they tend to give away. For example, in 2000 the gap between the average wealth of Americans and that of the poorest 25 percent of people on the planet was four times greater than what it had been in 1960. During this same period of time, the percentage of our country's GNP (Gross National Product) that went to providing assistance to the poorest 25 percent of people on the planet decreased to about one tenth of what it had been in 1960. While there are many incredibly generous Americans, as a nation we've clearly become entrapped by our wealth.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #177216
#37. So too, since Christ has in principle defeated the fallen "gods" (principalities and powers) who have for ages inspired injustice, cruelty and apathy toward the weak, the poor the oppressed and the needy (Ps. 82), the church can hardly carry out its role in manifesting, on earth and in heaven, Christ's victory over these gods without taking up as a central part of its missions just these causes. We can, in truth, no more bifurcate social concerns and individual salvation than we can bifurcate the cosmic and anthropocentric dimensions of Christ's work on the cross.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #699441
#38. To a large degree we have preached our own version of the knowledge of good and evil as though it were the message of salvation. We need to confess that we have sinned in the gravest fashion by frequently loving our version of truth and ethics more than people, and even God himself. For one cannot genuinely love God while refusing to love one's neighbor (1 John 4:20).
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #574238
#39. To live thoughtfully with Christlike love we must allow ourselves to be disturbed by the grotesque realities surrounding us and sympathetically enter into the nightmarish suffering of others.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1023160
#40. Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God as a radical alternative to all versions of the kingdom of the world, whether they declare themselves to be "under God" or not.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #823541
#41. They are descriptions of what real life looks like, not prescriptions for how to get life.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #820079
#42. Consider these questions: Did Jesus ever suggest by word of example that we should aspire to acquire, let alone take over, the power of Caesar? Did Jesus spend any time and energy trying to improve, let alone dominate, the reigning government of his day? Did he ever word to pass laws against the sinners he hunt out with and ministered to? Did he worry at all about ensuring that his rights and the religious rights of his followers were protected? Does any author in the New Testament remotely hint that engaging in this sort of activity has anything to do with the kingdom of God? The answer to all these questions is, of course, no.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #244491
#43. I wondered if there was a way to teach people how to use their imaginations in prayer and worship. So I began reading books on cognitive therapy and neuroscience and started studying the devotional traditions of the church.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #410069
#44. Jesus expressed intense anger toward those who where immoral, such as the self-righteous Pharisees, but he never suggested that they were demonized. Toward the demonized, however, he never expressed anger; rather he exhibited only compassion. As Langton notes, "Pity rather than anger characterizes the attitude of Jesus toward the possessed ... He treats them as if they were the victims of an involuntary possession." Indeed, he treats them as though they are casualties of war. For, in his view, this is precisely what they are.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #330695
#45. Why did God even bother to create minds that naturally gauge their level of confidence in a belief on the evidence and arguments for and against it if he's only pleased with minds that can make themselves more certain than the evidence and arguments for it warrant? I just don't get it!
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1563432
#46. What kind of holiness does the Western Church manifest today? To answer this, we need only ask: Are the prostitutes and tax collectors of our day attracted to us or repelled by us?
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1056753
#47. third understanding of the imago Dei also gained popularity in the twentieth century, though it too had historical predecessors. In the early part of the twentieth century, Karl Barth argued that the central defining feature of the imago Dei is human relationality. Hence, this view is called the relational view of the imago Dei. Humans are created in the image of the Triune God and thus are meant to find their essence and destiny in community with one another and with God The following three essays offer arguments in favor of each of these views.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1404802
#48. He self-serving, doubt-quenching, certainty-seeking faith that these folks are choosing to pursue is not faith as it's taught in Scripture ... the faith that God's people are called to embrace is one that encourages people to wrestle with God, to not be afraid of questions, and to act faithfully in the face of uncertainty.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #863008
#49. If we have the potential to oppress or slay millions, it's because we also have the potential to liberate and love millions.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1610398
#50. What if we individually and collectively committed ourselves to the one thing that is needful - to replicating the loving sacrifice of Calvary to all people, at all times, in all places, regardless of their circumstances or merit? What if we just did the kingdom?
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #88869
#51. It takes a greater God to steer a world populated with free agents than it does to steer a world of preprogrammed automatons.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1452719
#52. I believe a significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry. To a frightful degree, I think, evangelicals fuse the kingdom of God with a preferred version of the kingdom of the world (whether it's our national interests, a particular form of government, a particular political program, or so on). Rather than focusing our understanding of God's kingdom on the person of Jesus - who, incidentally, never allowed himself to get pulled into the political disputes of his day - I believe many of us American evangelicals have allowed our understanding of the kingdom of God to be polluted with political ideals, agendas, and issues.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #108958
#53. What the fear of hell could not do, my discovery of the love of God could do: it began to permanently break the stronghold
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #607200
#54. Shortly after the Gulf War in 1992 I happened to visit a July Fourth worship service at a certain megachurch. At center stage in this auditorium stood a large cross next to an equally large American flag. The congregation sang some praise choruses mixed with such patriotic hymns as "God Bless America." The climax of the service centered on a video of a well-known Christian military general giving a patriotic speech about how God has blessed America and blessed its military troops, as evidenced by the speedy and almost "casualty-free" victory "he gave us" in the Gulf War (Iraqi deaths apparently weren't counted as "casualties" worthy of notice). Triumphant military music played in the background as he spoke.

The video closed with a scene of a silhouette of three crosses on a hill with an American flag waving in the background. Majestic, patriotic music now thundered. Suddenly, four fighter jets appeared on the horizon, flew over the crosses, and then split apart. As they roared over the camera, the words "God Bless America" appeared on the screen in front of the crosses.

The congregation responded with roaring applause, catcalls, and a standing ovation. I saw several people wiping tears from their eyes. Indeed, as I remained frozen in my seat, I grew teary-eyed as well - but for entirely different reasons. I was struck with horrified grief.

Thoughts raced through my mind: How could the cross and the sword have been so thoroughly fused without a
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1256220
#55. Jesus came into this world and died on the cross to blow apart all the deceptive mental pictures of God that we've been enslaved to since the original fall and that lie at the root of all idolatry and sin,
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #739029
#56. The evangelical church in America has, to a large extent, been co-opted by an American, religious version of the kingdom of the world. We have come to trust the power of the sword more than the power of the cross. We have become intoxicated with the Constantinian, nationalistic, violent mindset of imperialistic Christendom.5
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #115887
#57. The central mark of a maturing Christian, and of a maturing congregation, is that they increasingly love others as Christ loves them.
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #538860
#58. Wondering whether Christianity is real is not the same as wondering whether Christianity is true. If you question the truth of Christianity, you can do something tangible about it. You can read books, take a class, or talk to someone about it. But what can you do when you're already convinced it's true but don't experience it as real?
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #54750
#59. The words and acts of the founding fathers, especially the first few presidents, shaped the form and tone of the civil religion as it has been maintained ever since. Though much is selectively derived from Christianity, this religion is clearly not itself Christianity. ROBERT BELLAH1
Gregory A. Boyd Quotes #1332945
#60. Most Christians throughout history have believed that God knows everything that is to come. This is often referred to as the "classical" view of divine foreknowledge, and it is still what the majority of evangelicals believe. There are, however, a number of variations within the classical view. Some, called Calvinists, believe that God foreknows all that shall come to pass because he has predestined it. Others, called Arminians, believe God foreknows all things simply because they shall come to pass, though humans to some extent determine it by their free will.

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