John Martindale's Reviews > God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

God at War by Gregory A. Boyd
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it was amazing
bookshelves: theology, philosophy

I must say, I feel the sense of accomplishment having tackled a 400 page book. But less I get stuck with lightening for being prideful, I'll won't saying anything more concerning that. So yeah, this book is really interesting, Boyd goes through the Old Testament and then the New, showing how the writers of the bible had a cosmic warfare world-view. This theme throughout scripture has been played down, due to reform theology that thinks God controls everything, that all that happens is part of his sovereign plan, that even the evil, he ordains for some higher purpose; his own good pleasure and glory and Satan is just God's bull dog that does God's dirty work for him. But Boyd shows that the writers of the bible saw there was an actual cosmic war going on, with powerful free spiritual beings doing horrible things. Boyd shows scriptures that point to how God gave these angelic beings rule and authority and some fell into sin and now actively fight against and oppose the will of God. Boyd is not trying to show a dualistic view, where the devil is just as strong and powerful as God, for the bible makes it clear that God in the end will utterly defeat Satan and his demons (who are just created beings). But rather he shows that somehow or other there is an actual struggle that is happening for a time, though God will win in the end. Its kind of like how many more battles had to be fought after the Allied troops were victorious on D-Day, though this victory made the outcome of the war certain. So yeah, Jesus' victory on the cross guarantees God's victory, but still we read "satan is the god of this world" and that our fight is against "Principalities and powers". It helps to not have to wonder "Why did God allow this or that" for if we have a warfare world-view, we can exact horrible things to happen, for war is hell. There will be causalities and horrible things will happen that God never intended or wanted. But still God can walk with us, He can bring good out of situations that Satan meant for evil. And God wants us to war with him against the kingdom of Darkness. Much of Jesus' and the apostles ministry had to do with opposing and defeating the enemy. so yeah, this book is loaded with thought provoking material. I definitely liked the last half on the New Testament more the the first half, but I see Boyd needed to lay a foundation, for a lot of scholars think the Old Testament is completely lacking in a outlook that included spiritual beings and a cosmic war, and that these things developed later in Jewish thought, by other influences.
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Reading Progress

March 18, 2011 – Started Reading
March 18, 2011 – Shelved
May 31, 2011 – Shelved as: theology
January 23, 2012 – Shelved as: philosophy
January 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

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