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God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict [Paperback]

By Gregory A. Boyd (Author)
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Item description for God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict by Gregory A. Boyd...

Overview
In this bold and compelling work, Gregory Boyd undertakes to reframe the central issues of Christian theodicy. By Boyd's estimate, theologians still draw too heavily on Augustine's response to the problem of evil, attributing pain and suffering to the mysterious "good" purposes of God.

Accordingly, modern Christians are inclined not to expect evil and so are baffled but resigned when it occurs. New Testament writers, on the other hand, were inclined to expect evil and fight against it. Modern Christians attempt to intellectually understand evil, whereas New Testament writers grappled with overcoming evil.

Through a close and sophisticated reading of both Old and New Testaments, Boyd argues that Satan has been in an age-long (but not eternal) battle against God, and that this conflict "is a major dimension of the ultimate canvas against which everything within the biblical narrative, from creation to the eschaton, is to be painted and therefore understood."

No less edifying than it is provocative, God at War will reward the careful attention of scholars, pastors, students and educated laypersons alike.

Publishers Description
In this bold and compelling work, Gregory Boyd undertakes to reframe the central issues of Christian theodicy. By Boyd's estimate, theologians still draw too heavily on Augustine's response to the problem of evil, attributing pain and suffering to the mysterious "good" purposes of God. Accordingly, modern Christians are inclined not to expect evil and so are baffled but resigned when it occurs. New Testament writers, on the other hand, were inclined to expect evil and fight against it. Modern Christians attempt to intellectually understand evil, whereas New Testament writers grappled with overcoming evil. Through a close and sophisticated reading of both Old and New Testaments, Boyd argues that Satan has been in an age-long (but not eternal) battle against God, and that this conflict "is a major dimension of the ultimate canvas against which everything within the biblical narrative, from creation to the eschaton, is to be painted and therefore understood." No less edifying than it is provocative, God at War will reward the careful attention of scholars, pastors, students and educated laypersons alike.

Community Description
We have all heard about spiritual warfare, and putting on the armor of God. But who are we fighting? And what form does our conflict take? Dr. Greg Boyd, in God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict, attempts to answer these questions and more.

Some in our culture, because of the call for Christians to be peacemakers, feel that a warfare mentality is un-Christian. Dr. Boyd feels that a warfare mentality is the only mindset that enables us to truly deal with the very real problem of evil (and a call to be a peacemaker assumes that war is going on). He shows that the writers of the Bible, like the cultures around them, saw existence as a cosmic conflict between good and evil, and how the Bible calls us to join that conflict. This call is to more than just exorcisms and the like. It is a call to holiness and a passion for God. All godly actions, including prayer, feeding the poor, charity, etc., can be seen as warfare, as acts which stand against the evil and chaos present in our world.

So join with Dr. Boyd in restoring a warfare mentality to the church. This book will open your eyes to the continuing activity of God in the world. It may also give you a new and greater sense of significance, as humans, through God and choosing God's way, can work with God in restoring the world to the perfection that God intended it to have.

God at War is a challenging and provocative book, challenging some of our traditional philosophical ideas about God and reality and provoking us to join this cosmic battle on God's side, the side of good. Dr. Boyd displays a keen understanding of the scriptural passages about conflict, and he quotes extensively from authors who have studied spiritual warfare. The result is a book both conservative and contemporary at the same time, well worth the effort in reading.
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.


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Item Specifications...


Studio: IVP Academic
Pages   414
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.16" Width: 6.02" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 12, 1997
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830818855  
ISBN13  9780830818853  


Availability  7 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2017 06:50.
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More About Gregory A. Boyd


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gregory A. Boyd, formerly professor of theology at Bethel College, is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church where average attendance has grown to 5,000 since he helped plant the church in 1992. He is the author of many books, including the critically acclaimed Seeing Is Believing and the best-selling Gold Medallion Award-winner Letters from a Skeptic. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Al Larson is a national board certified counselor and the president and founder of Dynamics of Growth Inc., a counseling, consulting, and training organization. He lives in Oakdale, Minnesota.

Gregory A. Boyd currently resides in the state of Minnesota. Gregory A. Boyd was born in 1957.

Gregory A. Boyd has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Spectrum Multiview Book Series Spectrum Multiview Book Serie


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( B ) > Boyd, Gregory A.
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible Study > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Angelology
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Ethics
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Angels


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Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Contemporary Theologies



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Reviews - What do customers think about God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict?

God at War  Jan 9, 2007
I found the book to be very enlightening, but the author talks in such intillectual terms it makes for a very challengeing effort to get the jest of what he's trying to convey. He needs to come down to peoples level and not talk down to them like he's better then them, because he is more educated.
 
An eye opener, though somewhat repetitive  Dec 24, 2006
It took me a while to read this, partly because the many footnotes are in the back of the book. I notice that in his follow-up work, "Satan and the Problem of Evil," Boyd places them at the bottom of each page. Much better. Boyd also tends to repeat himself quite a bit, which can make it hard to find one's place after returning from the footnotes.

As for the subject matter: Drop all your preconceptions, read what the Bible says in and of itself, factor in your own experience, and you will see that what Boyd writes makes sense. I also advise reading Sanders, especially "The God Who Risks."

The section on the cosmic significance of the cross was refreshing, and I recognized that I have held an anthropocentric view. Excellent section!

Having called us to battle, the book doesn't leave me with a practical sense of what to do, except to pray more. That much is good, but how about a little more practical advice? We need to turn to Ken Blue with "Authority to Heal," or other books to find out how to engage in the battle.
 
A view of spiritual warfare when God does not know the future  Oct 21, 2006
Claiming to have recovered what the church has lost since the days of Augustine, Gregory Boyd proposes an alternate view to spiritual warfare that looks at our struggles through lenses that deny the sovereignty of God. Readers should be alarmed when a modern theologian writes off nearly 1500 years of orthodox thinking to formulate his new ideas.

Rejecting the traditional view that God is unchanging through time and that God knows the future (see page 49), Boyd's book offers little hope when we find ourselves in the battles. For example, in speaking of Job he talks about how God was "surprised" at what occurred (page 147). Despite claims of having a high view of Scripture, Boyd's treatment of the text shows otherwise. He speaks of Isaiah "reworking the cultural stories" to create his biblical accounts (159). Boyd goes on to claim that much of the Old Testament conceptions of Satan are merely the reworking of pagan myths. If all Scripture is really God breathed (see 2 Timothy 3:16), I personally struggle to see how such words are adaptations of pagan myths.

In light of the dismissal of orthodox understandings on spiritual warfare, God, and the Bible, what does a reader take away from God at War? The reader can only come away with a sense that there is a theological dualism where the opposing forces of God and Satan are battling for an undecided outcome (a view that is in clear contrast to the decisive victory of God seen in Revelation). As a result, the book presents little more than the idea behind the Star Wars movies - You have the force and dark side competing without a clear sense of who will ultimately win and without a god being in control of all things. Such a conclusion is a natural outcome of Boyd's belief. If you are not familiar with Boyd, he is a prominent open-theist, an individual who believes that God does not know the future.

Not all is bad in this book. Boyd does make a strong case for the necessity of prayer. He also recognizes the reality of spiritual warfare and the demonic, something many evangelical Christians ignore. However, such truths are overshadowed by the misconstrued notions as God as not knowing the future, parts of Scripture resulting from pagan myths, and a theology of warfare that more resembles a Hollywood movie than the God of the Bible. In light of these problems it is hard to recommend God at War to you. As an alternative, let me suggest Chuck Lawless' books Spiritual Warfare (from Lifeway Publishers) and Discipled Warriors (from Kregal Publications). Both recognize the reality of warfare but do so with biblical support and in a way that glorifies God and helps us live for His glory.
 
Commentary on Hypocrisy of Boyd and his Church  Oct 6, 2006
I have been told positive things about Boyd and had intended to read this book on spiritual warfare. I have also attended a few of his services with my brother in the Twin Cities; however, after my most recent contact with his church, requesting assistance against the VERY SPIRITUAL WARFARE he writes about in his books, I no longer have faith in or desire to read anything he writes.

I was met with a very un-Christian, un-Christ-like response by Boyd's church, Woodland Hills, when I recently approached them about an issue of very real spiritual warfare. The reponses I met were as follows:

1) "I don't think we can help you, as you're not a member of our church"
2) No response to my voicemail
3) A limp response by phone and email only after a friend of mine, who had been a member of the church for some time, wrote them an email telling them about my disappointment in their reaction to my request.

Boyd may be a brilliant scholar and theologian, but that does not necessarily make him a true Christian.

I'm disgusted, angry, disappointed, and saddened by Boyd and his church's reaction to the real thing - actual, visceral, spiritual warfare. It leaves me with a few very clear ideas about Boyd:

1) He is clueless when it comes to confronting actual Evil
2) He is too conceited to admit that he is actually helpless in the very matters he writes about
3) His writing and thoughts have no real credibility because they have no application to reality

I will add, too, that his book, "Letters from a Skeptic", which was recommended to me, reads much like Spirituality for Dummies and perhaps conveys the condescending attitude underlying his faithful facade.

In the end, it is up to you to decide whether or not you care to read and trust the words of a hypocrite.
 
An Inspiring, Scriptural Approach To Warfare Theology  Aug 9, 2006
There is no theologian that has influenced me more that Greg Boyd has. This book is great.

In this book Greg argues against the classical/Augustinian worldview that some refer to as a "blueprint." This worldview says that God causes all of the evil that happens in the universe for some "greater good." So, Greg begins in the Old Testament and examines the warfare motif that is taught. He points out that in the Old Testament, God is fighting a real war against cosmic creatures that are later personified as demons (Satan and his angels). Next Greg examines the life and ministry of Christ and shows (in depth) that Christ's entire ministry was about "tying up the strong man" (defeating Satan and his works; 1 John 3:8). He then taps into the Christus Victor motif that the church has neglected for so long, showing that Christ is a loving warrior who fights for humans out of infinite love for humans. And lastly, Greg examines post-gospel writings in the NT showing how the Christian life is a war: advancing the Kingdom of God against the already defeated, pathetic kingdom of Satan. The bottom line is that Greg shows us (scripturally) that the Bible teaches a warfare worldview rather than a blueprint worldview.

This book is a very motivational book. It causes one to see evil for what it is: opposition to the ALL-GOOD Creator's will. It causes one to reject "serene, pious resignations" (quote from Greg's book) when they experience evil and to do what Jesus did, revolt and oppose it! This book argues against the pervasive classical-philisophical presupposition that says God causes everything (rapists, child molesters, Satan's activity!), and shows how grotesque and ridiculous this idea is when we simply look at Jesus. It frees us from the twisted, hellish god of blueprint theology and opens us up to the teachings of Christ and His followers, which lead us to revolt against pain and suffering and wage war against the evil powers in the spriritual realm for the sake of God's ALL-LOVING Kingdom.
 

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