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God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

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 ...

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830818853
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 9/12/1997
  • Pages: 414
  • Sales rank: 595,031
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory A. Boyd (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously, he was a professor of theology at Bethel University, also in St. Paul.

His books include Recovering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies, Letters from a Skeptic, God of the Possible, Repenting of Religion, Seeing is Believing, Escaping the Matrix, The Jesus Legend, Myth of a Christian Nation, Is God to Blame, God at War and Satan and the Problem of Evil.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Normativity of Evil Within a Warfare WorldviewPart I: The Warfare Worldview of the Old Testament
1. Hearing Zosia: The Problem with the Problem of Evil
2. Locking Up the Raging Sea: The Hostile Environment of the Earth
3. Slaying Leviathan: Cosmic Warfare and the Preservation and Restoration of Creation
4. Judging "the Gods": Yahweh's Conflict with Angelic Beings in the Old Testament
5 Rebuking the Adversary: The Activity and Origin of Satan in the Old TestamentPart II: The Warfare Worldview of the New Testament
6. Tying up the Strong Man: The Kingdom of God as a Warfare Concept
7. War of the Worlds: The Warfare Theme of Jesus' Exorcisms and Miracles
8. Storming the Gates of Hell: Kingdom Conflict in the Teachings of Jesus
9. Christus Victor: The Warfare Significance of Christ's Death and Resurrection
10. Engaging the Powers: The Christian Life as Spiritual Warfare
Notes
Index
Bibliography
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2003

    Really God

    I am an engineer, not a theologian. I have questioned from my youth the concept that God knows everything in advance, but still grants free will to human beings. This book provides an explanation that appeals to my science and engineering approach to theology. Thank you Gregory Boyd.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2000

    Best book I've read this decade!

    If you want to see the world the way Jesus and the early church did, read God at War. This starts out as a book about the problem of evil (i.e. ¿Why do bad things happen to good people?¿), which is conspicuously absent in Scripture. Boyd argues that biblical people would never ask that question, because they viewed the world as being torn by conflict between spirits and people serving God and spirits and people in rebellion. In a war, innocent people suffer. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Throughout the book, Boyd explicates the biblical ¿warfare worldview¿ as it is represented in the Old and New Testaments, with comments on how it was understood by the early (pre-Augustine) church. He convincingly demonstrates that cosmic conflict is the unifying theme of Jesus' ministry and the high calling of the church. In order to propose an alternative to popular Augustinian theodicy, the book ends up speaking a lot to issues of free will and spiritual warfare. This is the kind of book that blows up your paradigm and gives you a new way of viewing the world (much more in line with the early church and most pre-industrial cultures). The spiritual warfare movement has frequently been criticized because its loudest proponents were arguing from phenomena rather than Scripture. Boyd provides a solid scriptural foundation for understanding spiritual warfare, and how everything we do is to be viewed in light of the conflict between God and Satan. This book is a must read for everyone in ministry, and especially for those going to minister overseas. In terms of style, suffice it to say that reading this book made me remember why I enjoyed college so much. (Hint: If you didn¿t enjoy college, this may not be your style of writing.) In addition to ministers, I would recommend this book to anyone studying theodicy, sovereignty, or free will, and to non-believers that want to understand Christianity as Jesus saw it. Here is theology that inspires action!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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