Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Agreeing with Dr. Boyd - Well, Sort of...

“If you get that God is love then you will realize why it is impossible – impossible, metaphysically impossible – for God to stop loving you on the basis of something you did or on the basis of something you’re doing or on the basis of that deep dark vile secret that you’ve got that no one knows about.” Greg Boyd, "God is Love" preached 4/18/2010

I whole-heartedly agree with this statement by Dr. Greg Boyd! This is a very important statement for me, because in the past I have been very critical of Dr. Boyd and his views. So to make absolutely clear what I mean, let me say a few more words. I completely agree that the Christian, the one who has been regenerated and saved by grace through faith in Christ, is totally secure in the love of God and there is no possibility of God stopping His love for this person on the basis of anything that is done or said.

But, Greg Boyd was not saying this. He was saying that God is disposed to all people (Christians and non-Christians, friends and enemies of God) of all time in this way. The paradigms of eternal reward for those counted righteous in Christ and eternal conscious torment for those who maintain their own righteousness are thrown out as unbiblical and atrocious. There is no eternal punishment for the wicked. You see, as far as Dr. Boyd is concerned, there is no more twisted view of a God of love than the one who eternally sets people on fire.

(Oops, I guess I don’t agree with Dr. Boyd after all. Or perhaps, I agree with Dr. Boyd’s statement the way that Dr. Boyd agrees with any statement in the Bible – ripped out of its context….)

But doesn’t God hate the sin in your life? Dr. Boyd would say that He does, “but if He hates all of that, and He does, it’s because He loves you.” Remember, Dr. Boyd is saying that this is true both for the rebel and for the friend of God. Becoming a friend of God will not change how much He loves you, but you will start to “have some benefit in your life.” In his elaboration on this topic, Dr. Boyd refers to the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary and says that He died for us while we were “lost” but doesn’t define (in this sermon or any I’ve heard, anyway) who the lost are or what it means to be “lost”.

In the historical sense, and I would argue that it is the Biblical sense as well, this word has referred to those people who were dead in their sins and under the impending condemnation of God (think “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God” by Edwards). But this cannot be the meaning for Dr. Boyd since there is no impending condemnation for anyone. I didn’t know that Dr. Boyd had slipped further off of orthodoxy than his view of God’s openness. But leaving the issue of Open Theism aside for the moment, Dr. Boyd seems to be referring to a modern form of the heresy of universalism. This view is called the “wider mercy” view of God and His salvation.

I hope I’m wrong about this – but this heretical view would fit right in with other modern “evangelicals” like Tony Campolo and Rob Bell.

To My Friends:

Please – if you attend Dr. Boyd’s church please hear me; you must leave. I beg you.

Whatever good Dr. Boyd does, says, or encourages know that his theology is toxic and it is not Biblical. This is no small division as one over speaking in tongues today or on issues that good Christian theologians can disagree. This stance (again – I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am) takes Dr. Boyd out of the true Christianity and puts his “gospel” on the level of any other false and non-saving religious message.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another ; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Gal 1:6-9)


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that Boyd is an annihilationist, not a universalist, so your accusation of heresy is a bit overblown.

EJ said...

I haven't listened to Boyd in a while, but when I followed him he was very much in line with rob bell. This statement is in line with bell who is a universalist.

My description of Boyd as a heretic is not overblown.

Anonymous said...

Greg Boyd is definitely NOT a universalist:

-From his blog-

"Scripture teaches that the wicked suffer “eternal punishment”(Mt 25:46), “eternal judgment” (Heb 6:2) and “eternal destruction” (2 Thess 1:9)... Hell is eternal in consequence... The wicked are “destroyed forever” (Ps 92:7)."

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