Tuesday, August 1

Greg Boyd, Conservatives and the NYT

MOB sent me and iTones a New York Times article on Greg Boyd and a new 'controversy' that Boyd is presently engaged in.

Here is my response (please let me know if the link doesn't work to the NYT. I'll post the entire article if that is the case).


Dear C and T,

Dr. Boyd is right in many areas,

"When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross"
"Greg is an anomaly in the megachurch ....His biggest fear is that people will think that all church is is a weekend carnival, with people liking the worship, the music, his speaking, and that’s it."
"He said there were Christians on both the left and the right who had turned politics and patriotism into “idolatry.”

I think those are good points. It's very important not to confuse being conservative politically with being a Christian.

However, he seems to want to go one step further and divide Christian living from speaking out and acting on current issues. Dr. Boyd almost comes off as a pacifist or as one that thinks all ways to live are equal. Being disappointed that Christians have responded badly in areas of politics is legitimate. Swinging the pendulum to the area of "Separate beliefs from application to life/culture/politics" is not.

And this comment is completely without biblical support: "I don’t think there’s a particular angle we have on society that others lack."

Wrong, Dr. Boyd. We have the one truth. Saying that others have a relevant truth that is as legit as God's truth does not agree with the Bible - at all. It's certainly striving to "be nice", but there's not one place in the Bible that says, "yeah, other beliefs/opinions have a good way, too. You might try them out." Scripture's unrelenting stance on its being the only way is what makes the Bible offensive to secular Americans, generally.

That said, Grace and charitable judgments toward others are supremely important virtues in this debate and weren't mentioned - not even once. But, of course, Grace is always missing from the New York Times. I'd expect nothing less.

I think that the ultimate message of "Keep the Gospel the Central, the Most Important Thing in All of Life and Application" was lost as well. I'm going to guess that he meant to say that, but the article comes off as saying "Conservatives, keep you head down and don't piss off anyone that might lean toward blue collar liberalism, because what do you know anyway?"

A book that is far better on our Christian life and Christ is a book by CJ Mahaney - "The Cross Centered Life." Its about 100 pages long. A good read.

I will try to listen to Boyd's sermons to see if his message was a little more nuanced than the NY Times has reflected.

lv, Ains

**Edited to take out "Conservativism/Conservatism" (or whatever that word is) from the title. Frankly, if you can't spell it, Ains, don't use it. :D

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