The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church

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The church was established to serve the world with Christ-like love, not to rule the world. It is called to look like a corporate Jesus, dying on the cross for those who crucified him, not a religious version of Caesar. It is called to manifest the kingdom of the cross in contrast to the kingdom of the sword. Whenever the church has succeeded in gaining what most American evangelicals are now trying to get – political power – it has been disastrous both for the church and the culture. Whenever the church picks up the sword, it lays down the cross. The present activity of the religious right is destroying the heart and soul of the evangelical church and destroying its unique witness to the world. The church is to have a political voice, but we are to have it the way Jesus had it: by manifesting an alternative to the political, “power over,” way of doing life. We are to transform the world by being willing to suffer for others – exercising “power under,” not by getting our way in society – exercising “power over.”
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About the author

Gregory A. Boyd (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously a professor of theology at Bethel University, several of his many books include Letters from a Skeptic, Repenting of Religion, Myth of a Christian Nation, God at War, and Satan and the Problem of Evil.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Zondervan
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Published on
May 18, 2009
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780310565918
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Religion, Politics & State
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A variety of perspectives exist within the Christian community when it comes to political issues and political involvement. This comprehensive and readable book presents a political philosophy from the perspective that the Gospel pertains to all of life so Christians should be involved in political issues. In brief, this is an analysis of conservative and liberal plans to do good for the nation, evaluated in light of the Bible and common sense. In this ground-breaking book, recognized evangelical Bible professor Wayne Grudem rejects five mistaken views about Christian influence on politics: (1) “compel religion,” (2) “exclude religion,” (3) “all government is demonic,” (4) “do evangel-ism, not politics,” and (5) “do politics, not evangelism.” He proposes a better alternative: (6) “significant Christian influence on government.” Then he explains the Bible’s teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government. Does the Bible support some form of democracy? Should judges and the courts hold the ultimate power in a nation? With respect to specific political issues, Grudem argues that most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assump-tions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral stan-dards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind. After addressing these foundational questions, Grudem provides a thoughtful, carefully-reasoned analysis of over fifty specific issues dealing with the protection of life, marriage, the family and children, economic issues and taxation, the environment, national defense, relationships to other nations, freedom of speech and religion, quotas, and special interests. He makes frequent application to the current policies of the Democratic and Republi-can parties in the United States, but the principles discussed here are relevant for any nation.
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