Out of Context: Gregory Boyd

"It's not an issue of whether or not we should engage moral evil and politics, but is it our primary job? It's not the main job of the church to be running the government or to influence legislation. The main job is to live out the kingdom. I feel like some Christians put the political cart before the kingdom horse. Christians in America differ very, very little from the broader American culture. We're almost indistinguishable. I'm focused on getting my congregation to live out radical kingdom principles 24/7. If we get that done, I think we'll have a lot of clarity about how to engage the culture, including politics."

-Gregory Boydis pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Taken from "Body Politic" in the Summer 2008 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

September 11, 2008

Displaying 1–10 of 14 comments

John Meche

September 30, 2008  3:23pm

PS Please note I do not side with Greg on open theism.

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John Meche

September 30, 2008  3:21pm

Richard, people who have been transformed by the power of the Spirit through the gospel (which is not of works) produce fruit of that transformation in the way they live their lives -namely by Kingdom principles. He is saying he wants his congregation to live out Kingdom principles. Congregations are supposed to be composed of believers...people who have been transformed by the gospel from death to life. I don't see how this is works righteousness. Works righteousness would seem to me to be thinking that your vote in the R column somehow gains you acceptance with God.

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Trucker Frank

September 23, 2008  12:58am

After being bombarded by both sides about being a "moron","lousy Christian" and "too otherworldly" for not taking an active part in the political process,I finally read a sane comment. Thank you Greg Boyd! Frank P.S. "Myth of a Christian Nation" was one of the best books on the subject of church-state relationships ever written in my opinion

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Richard Dennis Miller

September 17, 2008  8:05am

My point is you are putting the cart before the horse. People who do not know the Gospel can't live it. And the Gospel is not about good deeds. You are falling back on a works-based theology.

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Sam Andress

September 12, 2008  9:40pm

Amen. Thank God for fellow followers like Greg Boyd who clearly articulate the alternative reality of what it means to follow Jesus. Richard Dennis Miller, if you don't understand that in the Gospel of Matthew, the Great Commission is rooted in the call to follow, the beatitudes, and the ensuing teachings of Jesus for the renewed people of God (or the Sermon on the Mount if you perfer). But it seems you are not able to read the Gospel of Matthew as a whole.

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September 12, 2008  4:06pm

Tim, nearly everything Jesus taught was about "living out the Kingdom." "...teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded..." What you call works-based theology is what Jesus called obeying His commands.

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Kent Walkemeyer

September 12, 2008  2:50pm

Jesus taught more than the Great Commission. Living out the kingdom seems to be a part of the prayer Jesus invited us to pray with him which included "Your kingdom come. Your will be done." If that doesn't begin as a prayer of personal submission, how do we pray it for other people and circumstances? Your kingdom come, your will be done – and start with me.

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September 12, 2008  12:27pm

Richard, I think that may be included in the "teaching them to obey everything I commanded you" part of the Great Commission. Making disciplies necessarily implies that the disciples follow their teacher, which is, I think, another way of saying "live out the kingdom."

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Richard Dennis Miller

September 12, 2008  8:24am

Where in the Great Commision are we commanded to "live out the kingdom?" This sounds like more man-centered works-based theology. Nothing new.

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Tim Aagard

September 11, 2008  6:26pm

What percentage of churches would you say actually think it is their primary job to impact legislation? Maybe we could only guess. I would guess maybe 1/2 of 1%. I'm thinking you could include Rev. Jeremiah Wrights church in that small percentage. I think a greater political problem among believers is the low percentage of them that simply vote regularly. I would say there are probably more churches that feel inhibited for a variety of reasons to even whisper one political word from behind the pulpit. The reality that believers differ very little from their culture is a different problem. Would you say there is a brand or kind of church that has this problem mostly resolved? Will preaching sermons about radical faith accomplish this, or will systemic change to the assumptions of church life also be required? Can you do church the same way and get different results?

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