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Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Renowned pastor-theologian Gregory A. Boyd tackles the Bible's biggest dilemma. The Old Testament God of wrath and violence versus the New Testament God of love and peace--it's a difference that has troubled Christians since the first century. Now, with the sensitivity of a pastor and the intellect of a theologian, Gregory A. Boyd proposes the "cruciform hermeneutic," a wa ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Fortress Press
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  179 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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John Martindale
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I waited many long years for “Crucifixion of the warrior God” to be printed, once it was released I quickly went through volume one, but then got too busy preparing for another school year to finish the remaining volume. So I was glad to see his popular version—Cross vision was on audible, for no matter how packed my days are, I can always find time for audiobooks.

Because of Boyd's confidence in the trustworthiness of Jesus, and Christ conviction that all scripture speaks of Him, Boyd feels obl
...more
Robert D. Cornwall
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology, bible
I recognize that the violence attributed to God in the Bible is a problem for many of us. Finding a solution to that problem is itself a challenge. Marcion solved it by attributing the violence of the Hebrew Bible and in the Gospels to the demiurge -- a lower, creator god -- but not the God revealed in Jesus.

Gregory Boyd attempts to resolve this problem by appealing to the cross of Jesus. In the process, as I read the book (and I finally gave up after chapter 9 and skipped to the end) Boyd unde
...more
Genni
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Cross Vision is one of those books that is game-changer for me. As many people have, I have struggled with the acts God apparently asks the Israelites to do (or that He, Himself, does) in the Old Testament. Boyd goes a long way towards showing that those “commands” are just that, apparent.

Boyd rests his case largely on the verse in Hebrews that says that Jesus is the exact representation of God. If we look at all of the Old Testament through the eyes of the cross, then we must conclude that “so
...more
B.J. Richardson
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a popularized version of a more scholarly work: The Crucifixion of the Warrior God.

That work has been on my radar to read for a while now but when I saw this, I figured I would read it quickly first to see if the other is worth my time. It is.

Two phrases keep popping out that, when explained help explain the main thrust of this book. Boyd keeps talking about the missionary activity of a loving God. By this Boyd is basically saying that God is willing to meet people where they are at, to
...more
J.R. Coltaine
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to give this book four stars. And I wanted to give it two or one. I disagree with much in this book. Some things I vehemently disagree with. But it's hard for me to imagine and better book of this nature.

For Boyd, God must be completely nonviolent. Completely. He set out to find a consistent hermeneutic that would justify this and crafted a theory on about how to read the Cross and Jesus taking on sin into every violent part of the Bible. He succeeds in some places more than others. In
...more
Lisa
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m inclined to agree with Boyd as someone who is committed to nonviolence and whose religious upbringing was based on the notion that evil in the world didn’t/doesn’t reflect God. It’s a popularized version of his much bigger tome and pretty easy to follow.
Tyler Jarvis
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of really great things in this book. Boyd’s take that the picture of the violent God we see in the Old Testament may not be a complete or accurate picture of that God is (mostly) well-argued. I give this book 4 stars because I think it’s extremely thoughtful and articulate in explaining something that has been difficult for Christians (and former Christians) to understand.

But this book also has some pretty significant weaknesses. The biggest one being the particularly weak secti
...more
Brian
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I think I need a bit more time to fully digest this book. Initial impressions: I love where Greg Boyd is going with this. His answer to this question that has long been a thorn in my faith is very appealing to me. However the very fact that it is so appealing to me also makes me wary. I found myself several times responding to the authors arguments by saying "I would so like to believe that...but I don't quite buy it". But I also need time to reflect on it. I both appreciate and am cautious of h ...more
Rick Shafer
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book and its longer version, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God, is a systematic theology. Systematic theologies start with a premise, then interpret all of Scripture by that premise. For instance, Reformed theology emphasizes a conception of God's Sovereignty that makes little or no allowance for free will and second causes. Dr. Boyd's starting premise is that God looks like Jesus, and most specifically Jesus on the cross. From this premise, Boyd works to explain the 'ugly portraits of God ...more
Liz
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
got to listen to this while traveling ....
very encouraging, thought-provoking ... a great primer on ANE culture and religious beliefs / practices.

MUCH to ponder ... some descriptions of what the prophets WROTE and what God apparently MEANT, sound like a bad game of "telephone", but not knowing how, exactly, God breathed the scripture through His prophets, I am open to that interpretation.

I wholeheartedly believe that if you want to know what God looks like, then look at Jesus, and Greg's Cross
...more
Brenton
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I approached Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence quite hopefully, for a number of reasons. Greg Boyd's Letters to a Skeptic was really important to me when I was younger. I found his soft theodicy really compelling, and I was his honest look at difficult passages while offering hopeful readings. I ultimately rejected Boyd's theory of Open Theism in God of the Possible, but I was attracted to the concept--again, because I felt like he was unwilling to ...more
Laura
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
"If we trust the Bible to do what God inspired it to do, and if we are interpreting it correctly, it will not fail us. But the all-important question is, what did God inspire the Bible to infallibly accomplish?...God inspired all Scripture to point us to Jesus, and more specifically to the cross that culminates everything Jesus was about." pg 56

This took me nearly a year to read but I'm glad I stuck with it. Boyd breaks down all the ugliest moments of the Old Testament in reframes them historica
...more
Andrew
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars) I set out to read this book partly as a way to deepen my thinking around the crucifixion for Easter. Thematically, it also promised to discuss the curly problem of Old Testament violence, and I was interested to hear Boyd's take on this.

In the event, Boyd actually doesn't spend much time talking about the crucifixion itself. Though he does establish a crucial starting position for his thesis: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (as the central focus of the life and teaching of Jesus) is
...more
Nathan Swann
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Intersting read. Boyd's emphasis on the cruciform lens to reading Scripture is great, as well as his insistence on the infallibility of the OT. Where this book shines, in my opinion, is Boyd's unique idea that the many violent bortrayals of YHWH in the OT represent YHWH bearing the sins of His people in a Christlike way. This idea is very compelling and I think could be used in very helpful ways. However, much of the book is, of course, riddled with Boyd's open theism and his sometimes strange v ...more
Brad
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! What a thesis, what a book! Very compelling and appealing concept. I have a strong sense of my spirit being drawn to alignment with this view...I will need to do some more reflection on it though.

There are a few points I wish he would have addressed a few questions that seemed to loom over his premise, but there are no more gaps or mysteries in his premise than in the alternative viewpoint of seing the whole Old Testament as depicting God exactly as he is.
Matthew Wimer
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book some time ago, and have to admit that I've been wrestling with it ever since. Like many Christians, I approached the troubling passages in Deuteronomy (the ones commanding the genocide of the Canaanites et al.) in two ways: 1) I ignored it, and 2) I assumed it was God's justice against those groups. Even if this was about justice, the problem isn't so much God's right to do so, but rather God's use of violence to meet his end. Does the means justify the end? Many today do no ...more
Bryan Stevenson
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
About 20 years ago I confronted the problem of violence and genocide in the Old Testament by ignoring it. I decided that the OT authors didn't really know God. I still viewed the Bible as inspired and useful, but the OT in particular was no longer inerrant. Greg Boyd tackles some of these same issues with the way God is portrayed in the Bible. I learned a lot about Ancient Near Eastern cultures, and how they generally viewed gods and divine beings. It is evident that much of that culture seeped ...more
Amy
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow. I’ve never heard these arguments before, and his framework makes a lot of sense. I especially like how he analyzed specific passages showing evidence within the passage (or other passages in the Bible) that God di not approve of the violence, or that it was not what God intended. Initially I wasn’t buying it, but some of his arguments are quite compelling. I still need to work through some of the concepts. There are some parts that I don’t agree with at all. For instance, I disagree with hi ...more
Ronald Schoedel
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Other reviewers have offered excellent summaries of this work, so I won’t reinvent the wheel.

To tell the truth, I didn’t need much persuading. I just needed to figure out “what else is going on?” when it comes to the OT’s violent representations of God. I’ve always thought there had to be a “rest of the story”, and I think Pastor Boyd has found it.

So many people I’ve known have experienced great crises of faith because of the apparent contradictions between YHWH as revealed in the OT and Jesus
...more
Jared Greiner
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very much worth reading. I find Boyd's perspective compelling, but I'm not sure I think it still falls in the bounds of "infallible" interpretations of the Bible as he argues. I learned about this book from Mike Erre's Vox Podcast interview of Greg Boyd.

The analogies were super helpful. I appreciated all the references.

I wish Boyd has a chapter dedicated to these two obvious objections:
1. If you believe the Old Testament has passages that misrepresent God's character, then you cannot claim that
...more
Paul Jones
Mar 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Boyd cuts almost every corner in his approach to the Bible. It's hard to know where to begin in reviewing him, except to say that his view of Scripture is historically un-Christian. Even those he cites (e.g. Copan; see his review at gospelcoalition) and whose arguments he seeks to use disagree vehemently with his bizarre take on the Old Testament, where Moses is misguided and hard-hearted. The only way forward using Boyd's hermeneutical lens is to create a divide between the 'textual God' and 'a ...more
Moaning
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will challenge everything you every learned in church about the Old Testament and invite you to reinterpret it through a whole new lens - the lens of the humble servant who takes our ugliness upon himself. Boyd's thesis is that God holds the chaos at bay... until he no longer does. Punishment and devastation result from Him withdrawing His protection not from a wrathful vengeance. Fascinating look at the Old Testament not a testament of a perfect God but of a testament of a God who tak ...more
John Jacobson
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this book, not so much because I was interested in the violence in the Old Testament, but because I was really interested in the hermeneutic that Boyd used to address this difficult issue. I wasn't disappointed. The centrality of Jesus on the cross, and the grace of God were great. His view that it was the literature of the Bible that was inspired rather than it's connection to history was new and refreshing and the challenge that when a text didn't reflect the God we know throu ...more
Brett
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read; I really enjoyed this, despite some minor disagreements with Boy'd understanding of sovereignty/man's freedom...but that is but a very small quip....this book helps powerfully replace the violent God of modern western evangelical Christianity, with the actual God of the Bible, (KEY: PROPERLY INTERPRETED); that is; the Father is no different than what was revealed by the SON....GOD is fully revealed BY JESUS CHRIST. There is no further revelation; there is not contrary character a ...more
Tom Greener
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had so much promise but it failed to live up to it. When I got to this, I checked out:

“Here is another seemingly insignificant fact that became significant to me when I began to reflect on it in light of the crucified Christ: Did you ever notice that the only person who claims to have heard Yahweh give the command to slaughter the Canaanites was Moses? Whenever Joshua later repeated this command, it was on the basis of what 'God had commanded his servant Moses.' Now, given their ANE co
...more
Aaron
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A noble effort at trying to marry the ogre-like Bronze-Age destroyer god (whose behaviour and attitudes have more in common with Satan than Christ) to the eternal compassion of the humanified redeemer.

Boyd's argument is ultimately unconvincing, and comes across as wishful thinking requiring a *lot* of ifs and maybes and mental gymnastics; to the point that if you're willing to infer and read between the lines as much as Boyd suggests you should then you might as well just discard the Old Testam
...more
Peter
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
So this is the readers digest version of Greg Boyd’s two volume 1500 treatise on how to understand God and the violent passages attributed to God in the Old Testament. His answer is only by reading these texts through the view of Jesus crucified. He explains why this is his view then looks at passages in the OT where God accommodates to the human condition and ancient worldview. He also works through passages where violence attributed to God are actually done by other agents, these could be huma ...more
Lars
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Greg Boyd's approach to Scripture has a lot going for it. He does not dismiss unwanted Scripture passages as some might have accused him of. He works and wrestles with them in order to see how they point to Jesus, and how the God who revealed himself on the Cross might have served as the inspiration of them. Whether his solutions work all the way or not, the book nevertheless succeeds at drawing out a beautiful picture of God while holding all of Scripture in high regard.

I listened to the Audio
...more
Wade Stotts
Apr 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Trash.

Boyd argues that God, before Christ, said things about himself and the world that are untrue so that the Israelites could learn to trust him. This he calls “accommodation.” God accommodated to their cultural assumptions about deity so that eventually they could learn what he’s really like. He calls God a “heavenly missionary,” being sensitive to our existing cultural assumptions. But how are we to know which “portraits of God” are true and which are accommodations to cultural assumptions?
...more
Ian Carmichael
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm just part-way through, but far enough to say that this is a superbly thought out and deeply reflective work which will help us think our way through the (many) dissonant passages of Scripture.
And it will help us by framing sound Christological lens through which we may read all of scripture with integrity and confidence.
I've rarely been so excited in beginning a new theological work. Thank you Greg Boyd - both for this summary work, and the magnum opus upon which it stands. I thoroughly reco
...more
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Gregory A. Boyd is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of ReKnew. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD). Gre
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