Greg Boyd, in his newest book, The Myth of a Christian Religion: Losing Your Religion for the Beauty of a Revolution
, begins with this: “Once upon a time I embraced the Christian religion… [which he lost and that was] “a tremendous blessing. Because when I lost my religion, I discovered a beautiful revolution.”
The reason there are Greg Boyds in this world is because American evangelicalism has been a thin remix of Romans, a religion shaped too much by a simplistic gospel and too rarely shaped by the robust kingdom vision of Jesus that itself gave rise to a much more robust gospel in Paul.
How much kingdom did you hear when you grew into the faith? (Provide decade please.) I heard nothing. In fact, I heard the Sermon on the Mount was for Jews and not for Christians. What are the central elements in mind when Boyd speaks of “religion”?
What have you read of Boyd? What are his best ideas for you?
“Jesus is not the founder of the Christian religion… [but that religion, which did develop centuries later] “was antithetical to what Jesus was about.” And he thinks that Christian religion is itself a myth.
Instead, “What Jesus was about was starting a revolution. He called this revolution ‘the Kingdom of God'” (9). What is this kingdom?
It is centered on only one thing: “manifesting the beauty of God’s character and thus revolting against everything that is inconsistent with this beauty” (9-10). So Boyd calls this a beautiful revolution.
The ultimate revelation of this revolution is the Cross where instead of violence God did kingdom work through suffering — for his enemies. This Cross becomes the paradigm for the revolution of sacrificial living for others. That kind of life involves revolting against everything that keeps us self-centered, greedy and apathetic. Which means revolting against society.
“So you see, the Kingdom has nothing to do with religion — ‘Christian’ or otherwise. It’s rather about following the example of Jesus, manifesting the beauty of God’s reign while revolting against all that is ugly” (10).