Book Review: The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church, by Gregory A. Boyd

The Myth of a Christian NationGregory A. Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church is a must-read for those who still believe the United States of America was and/or is a “Christian nation,” and still a great read for anyone who wants to look deeper into “American Christianity.” Here are a few major considerations on which Boyd writes:

 

  • Kingdom of the Sword vs. Kingdom of the Cross
  • Whose nation is holy?
  • Warlord Conquerors vs. Sacrificial Witnesses
  • Fallacious presuppositions in “taking America back for God,” “a Christian nation,” and “one nation under God.”
  • Violence vs. Pacifism

 

Before this summer (2015) I had spent about ten months with my former church working through political theology, emphasizing the need to be and working first from the perspective and position of citizens of the kingdom of God. It was a great time, full of diverse backgrounds and opinions as we wrestled with history, scripture, and a plethora of contexts. Boyd’s book was on my shelf the entire time, but it was just one of many in my library waiting to be cracked open. Had I read it beforehand, I certainly would have used it as a group study. There are great discussion questions for each chapter at the end of the book to aid readers in wrestling with Boyd’s postulations, with which I will go ahead and say I agree. One may really appreciate his final chapter, wherein he addresses tough questions some readers would likely pose. It’s always nice to see an author continuing to honestly wrestle with his own tough convictions.

I do wish there had been a section on the importance of better understanding the way laws work, how they are or are not enforced (sometimes rendering them ineffective and pointless), legal rights, what “freedom” really is, and from whom we really receive these things. Boyd does briefly touch on a few of these, but not near enough given his main thesis. Perhaps just one more chapter would have rounded it out a bit better. However, I still highly recommend this one and hope to be able to use it in another group setting!

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