Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

The Circularity of the Sword

August 21, 2008

Greg Boyd’s The Myth of a Christian Nation is a good book, though perhaps longish and a little hard on his opponents (but hey, when you believe that human governments are inherently demonic, there’s bound to be a polarizing effect). I couldn’t help but compare it to J4P, since they are both published by Zondervan, and cover much of the same ground. Boyd’s book has neither a single illustration nor much jocularity, so my preference remains for the brighter book by Claiborne/Haw/Sharp.

On the other hand, Boyd’s strength is the pages he devotes to detailing the atrocities of Constantine’s so-called ‘Christian nation’. Yet he doesn’t stop here– he shines the same light on the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades, Augustine’s persecution of his theological opponents, the Protestant Reformer’s similar actions, and the European refugee’s domination of the Americas. He is careful not to offer a particular critique, but a general one: each of these groups was peaceable and nonviolent when they were a persecuted minority, but once they possessed the power of the sword, they used it.

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