Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is the Christian Religion a Myth. Review of Greg Boyd's book

Greg Boyd isn't the kind of pastor who says the things you'd expect pastors to say. No, he calls them as he sees them and The Myth of a Christian Religion: Loosing Your Religion maintains his MO. Of course, if you pick this book up knowing the title and didn't figure that this would be a different look at our faith, you didn't read the title.

Boyd's thesis is that Jesus didn't come to start a religion, but he came to start a revolutions. (Again, plain in the title.) A religion is too institutional, too people centered for what Jesus came to do. He didn't come to create more ritual. He came to be counter-cultural.

The revolution is against so many bad habits that people fall into. Interestingly, they are the same bad habits that many/most American Christians have: Idolatry of stuff; Judgmentalism; Individualism; Gaining power through military action. He adds issues like sex and secularism. By secularism, in contrast to so many Christians, he isn't attacking the secular world for being secular. Rather he is frustrated with Christians who live dualistic lives of sacred and secular.

Boyd's voice is important for the American Church to hear. We need more people pointing the misconceived values that have become standard in our churches and personal practices. He makes some bold statements. Bold statements will make some people uncomfortable, and he's certainly not perfect in his analysis, but this discomfort may be the Spirit prompting the reader to reconsider things that we often take as true without recent contemplation.