Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CWR (Chapter 21)

Chapter 21: Battle of the Gods

Boyd believes that "the most fundamental thing that the cross accomplished... is that it in principle defeated Satan and all other forces of destruction that had held us captive and corrupted the creation for eons." The third principle of the cruciform thesis is thus: "The agents that carry out violence when God withdraws... include perpetually-threatening cosmic forces." In other words, when God withdraws, it is these forces (not God) who actually carry out or are behind the carrying out of) the violence.

Boyd spends time, in this chapter, showing how the Old Testament talks about these powerful forces (the raging sea, cosmic monsters, chaos, etc.). In a real sense, they are rival gods... part of the heavenly counsel. They have free will and some of them are in rebellion against God. These truths do not deny God's sovereignty. Boyd wouldn't even say they threaten it. But they do complicate it in relation to how many Christians today imagine the spiritual scene (most seem to ignore the reality and power of these forces).

I have read Boyd on this subject before. I think he makes some very strong points about the nature of monotheism and the reality of powerful spiritual beings other than God. He does a great job of showing the form this cosmic conflict takes in Old Testament literature. He also suggests (as will be made clear in the next chapter) that this motif isn't pushed to the side in the New Testament. The opposite is true. The nature of the cosmic conflict is clarified and amplified in and through Jesus.

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