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Review of Crucifixion of the Warrior God by Greg Boyd

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in church | 0 comments

 

So when I’m not doing henna, I’m either taking care of my kids or trying to enrich myself  with hobbies or reading. This month I have taken on a large endeavor that has required a dictionary by my side, a notebook, and a pen at all times: reading the 1400+ page, 2 volume work Crucifixion of the Warrior God by Greg Boyd – published by Fortress Press .

crucificixion of the warrior god by greg boyd, fortress press

I will be honest - this is the most complex book I’ve ever read.  Specifically because I am no properly trained theologian (huge surprise, I’m sure) .  So I am calling this review the Super Layman’s Review of CotWG . This book has more information crammed into every paragraph than a textbook. Not only because of the complex concepts or terminology but there are footnotes that span half the page sometimes – this really is a brain workout! Ten years ago I got a severe concussion that caused amnesia for a few days and ongoing memory loss. Since then, retaining listed information or recalling what I read has been a real challenge, which makes reading this book that much more of an endeavor. What is helping is taking copious notes and rereading sentences 2-3 times over to make sure I grasp the concept (so really its a 4200 page book if you have to read each paragraph 3 times). And since I don’t have anyone I know that nerds-out over this kind of stuff to discuss it with (another way to help me remember what I read), I thought I would write an overview online in segments as I work through it.

my notes

my notes

  • Okay, why go through all this when I’m not getting paid or getting some kind of certificate at the end? BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.
  • Why couldn’t I wait until the simpler version of this book comes out later in the year? BECAUSE I COULDN’T WAIT.

 

What is it about?

The book compiles the research and concepts from theologians and Bible scholars of the Christocentric Hermeneutic (super layman’s definition: the fact the whole Bible (Old & New testament) is focused around Jesus and reading it as such) PLUS it expounds on these concepts in new way. The newness comes from Greg’s push to show HOW all of scripture, especially the violent portraits of God in the Old Testament, not only point to Jesus but is as beautiful as Jesus is … woah.

“…just as we are called to renounce the sin of the world mirrored in the ugliness of the cross even as we by faith discern a beautiful God revealing himself through this ugliness, so too are we called to renounce the sin mirrored in the ugliness of violent portraits of God even as we by faith discern a beautiful God revealing himself through this ugliness” – pg 31-32 CotWG

Like I said, only 100 pages deep but I’m already learning a lot. (I won’t spoil it for you) I understand the gist of how we are going to arrive there, but it is such an undertaking to somehow lead readers from a God demanding His people to cannibalize their children to the same God dying for His enemies that it is obvious why this book has to be so lengthy. (In a few segments already Boyd mentions he COULD expound further, but due to space constraints he can’t… Yeah, because I don’t have the space for an encyclopedia sized work on my Ikea shelf either)

If you want an overview of the book, check out the ReKnew podcast or a more in-depth  discussion at MennoNerds

What is this book hoping to accomplish? 

I think the goal is to take a concept that has been touched on but fragmented throughout other theological books and writings that God looks like Jesus, through and through – even the ugly portraits of Him in the Old Testament- and brings it ALL together to make the case concisely, clearly, and palatable to a vast group of readers. As Greg mentions in the book, this isn’t necessarily a “new” concept. But what IS new is the way we see the violence of the OT through the lens of Jesus and the cross. This book this is put together in a logical, compact manner with thorough explanations for each point (and about 1000 books referenced in the footnotes to go look it up yourself… if you need to do that, hope your eyeballs don’t fall out while reading them all)

Just for theology nerds? Nope!

What’s exciting is that this is a contemporary author who is super personable, down to earth, crazy intelligent, and fun which are important factors.  When you are trying to learn something about a topic as paramount and personal as God and His relationship with us, it is helpful (if not completely necessary) for it to come from a teacher you respect. Greg is working on breaking a HUGE barrier that people have when they consider trusting in Jesus and walking into a loving relationship with Him. The barrier that looks like a blood thirsty, law obsessed deity that will scorch you if you get out of line. The barrier that looks like a schizophrenic god that lures you in with kindness and love but will turn on you with a vengeance and punish your sinful nature. The barrier that looks like he ordains and orders every terrible event. Those are some big hurdles to overcome to trust in the all loving, forgiving, merciful heart of Jesus. If you struggle with those kinds of concerns and questions, I strongly recommend picking up Crucifixion of the Warrior God and let it help guide your intellect to a place where it can be satisfied so your heart can take over from there.

crucifixion of the warrior god by greg boyd, fortress press publishers

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The Meeting House – West Chester, PA

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in church | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 8.40.19 PM

This weekend’s conference at The Meeting House in West Chester, PA was absolutely transformative. Let me tell you, whatever God is rising up, this meeting of minds will be one of the catalysts for the change. The funniest part was that every person I heard talking had no concrete reasoning to travel in for this. However, the unnameable, intangible, indescribable reason manifested itself out of what each person brought to the table. There was an agenda, with well thought out messages, verses, and articles for reference but it became 15+ papers stapled together that was more provided for a security blanket for Type A personalities than anything adhered to. That was part of the beauty of the whole weekend; instead of being stiff and rigid, it was able to meet the needs of people in the moment. That is a credit to the humble hearts and minds of Fred & Robb. Not concerned with personal attention or boasting, they have cultivated an open forum for people to come and express themselves, ask questions and be heard. The two speakers invited to the conference were Greg Boyd and Kevin Callaghan from Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN. We were able to learn about their way of taking a 3,000+ member church body that meets on Sunday and naturally provide them with small, intimate groups that they can make connections with and serve each other. But more than teaching, they too were listeners and participants along with everyone else.

(You can learn more about Greg Boyd and his work here and here and here)
Each and every person I met during the 3 day event had a story to tell that was genuine, inspiring, or uplifting. These were strangers who became councilors and cheerleaders for each person around them. I have never been in a room of 40 people I had never met before and after 3 days, felt so comfortable around each one like they were family. By Saturday night, I was aware that our time together would be ending shortly and my heart felt sad. When would this group, consisting of people from 10 different states around the country, ever be together again in one place? Maybe not again until the big party we will all be at in Heaven. Until then, we will take with us what we have gained and the strands of our connection will stretch to our various corners of the Earth, in the hopes of intersecting once again.

As an extra, here are my in laws performing for PTL in 1977 a song my father-in-law wrote with a special cameo of my husband as a baby! It gives me so much inspiration, I hope you enjoy!


Here are a few photos of the group in front of The Meeting House as well as the host home I stayed at with a few other great people I met.

meeting house, the meeting house, west chester, pa, Pennsylvania

Morning breakfast at our host home

meeting house, the meeting house, west chester, pa, Pennsylvania, greg boyd, woodland hills, reknew, robb holman, fred balliet

The Meeting House group picture

meeting house, the meeting house, west chester, pa, Pennsylvania, greg boyd, woodland hills, reknew, robb holman, fred balliet

The Meeting House group pic 2

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And if you want to know more about The Meeting House, check out their site

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