Buca di Boydo

Get out your blenders. Pour in some Stan Hauerwas, William Willimon, Walter Wink, John H. Yoder, add some American and church history, and finish it off with some less technical language. Press blend and out comes...The Myth of a Christian Nation.

I received this at the bookstore yesterday. I put it down to go to sleep and class and that's it. Few times in my life have I so wholeheartedly agreed with anything. My only beef is that some of the 'filling in the lines' of what Biblical characters were thinking or feeling is a little too speculative. Other than that, yes yes yes.

Sometimes I think that all my beef with the America and God are buddies sentiment around me makes me crazy. Then I read some Yoder and Hauerwas & Willimon and Wink and I realized that I'm not crazy. I'm just not evangelical. Then Boyd came along and said, "Hey Ryan, it's okay to believe the Bible is totally true AND be a pacifist and think America is not God's nation. In fact, that's what you SHOULD believe if you think the Bible is true." So I guess maybe I still am an Evangelical. I don't know. The jury's still out on that one. Plus what is an evangelical anyway? I'm trying to figure that out and I'm not getting very far as there are loads of different opinions on this.

I especially liked...who am I kidding? I liked EVERYTHING. Perhaps my enthusiasm is clear in that I hate it when people use all caps for emphasis, and that's what I'm doing. My joy and exuberance have superceded my all caps reservations. It is very well informed on all points. Boyd did his research and it shows. Plus I think that it is super-balanced. He is not trying to tick people off or cause division as some people can do. He is trying to tell us what we should have known all along about not just our country, but countries in general and what Christians should be doing. What a guy. What a time. What a baseball game.

The first chance you get, read The Myth of a Christian Nation. If you're familiar with the guys I keep mentioning, parts of it will be either familiar or even redundant. Yet taken as a whole, I think this book is a great read. So read it. Buy it. Write in it. Underline it. And tell me how good it is, because it is that good. I will look forward to us talking about how it is completely right about everything.


Jagey said...

I will recommend a book to you as well, although I imagine that you will not be terribly crazy about it. I'm enjoying it, but it's not uber-awesome. The book is titled, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" and it is written by two guys named Norm and Frank (I'm too lazy right now to find out their last names).

The book is strictly apologetic - which is cool - and fairly basic - which is not. If you can ignore the fact that some of their "proof" is actually just an argument (which is what I think they mean), then it's pretty good. I'm about halfway through and I haven't read anything in there that I hadn't read or heard or thought of before, but it's nice to have all of those arguments in defense of my faith right there in one place. Also, it's been eons since I've read anything apologetic, so it's pretty refreshing.

I imagine it'll be boring-time for you, but, on the other hand, you might enjoy it. Say hi to peeps for me,


Ryan 1 said...

I'll say hi to everyone I see for the next three hours for you. This will definitely include Paco. It may include some Afghan people and drug-dealers (different people, not the same). Also, I am familiar with the book of which you speak because I work at the Denver Seminary Bookstore. The problem here is that we have one of the craziest Apologists teaching here, which kind of turns me off to Apologetics. I realize that is immature and silly, but that's just the way it is...some things will never change...that's just the way it is...ooohhh, but don't you believe it (piano solo). Plus, I took philosophy of religion with Dr. Woodruff, who pretty much believes that if someone is convinced by Apologetics, then they simply don't know good counter-arguments. I'm not totally there. I think there is sometimes a place for Apologetics. However, I think the whole discussion on the atheist side is more an underlying desire not to be a Christian and arguments against the existence of God are a good intellectual cover. I'm not saying this is always the case, but I'm just saying it doesn't seem like convincing people God exists often does the job (or gob?) for getting people to love Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Father (that's the trinity for you folks out there) and Sophia (that's the quadrinity for you feminists out there). This is really a giant discussion, and I'm open to being totally wrong, but that's what I think.

Trevor said...

I like how you're always open to being wrong. I am always open to being right.

I think apologetics are fine, but the problem is people can still find plenty of reasons to not love Jesus. I know a guy who left the faith because he wasn't content with any of the answers for why not everyone goes to heaven. He knew the apologetics but they all came up short for him, so it's just never foolproof.

I find apologetics are a nice second thing and an inadequate first thing (to use the terminology of C.S. and Dori (who's a really smart lady at my church)).

Ryan, can you freakin blog again now.

Jagey said...

Freakin' blog! Freakin' blog!

Again, again, again!

Well, I think apologetics are cool and all, but I agree with you on the Sophia thing. I think that's one thing I did like about this book; it wasn't presenting itself as proof that Christianity is absolute truth, just that there are only a certain number of choices of what truth can be and, to the authors, it takes more faith to not believe in the Christian God than it does to believe in Him.

In the book, which is awfully repetitive, they often state that it is usually not intellectual arguments that keep people from God but it is rather a matter of the will; they just don't want to admit a God exists because with a God comes certain ramifications.

On the other hand, I wish they had at least mentioned the Holy Spirit working on a person's heart somewhere in the book.

But they don't.


I miss you. I'm working on a sweet digital portfolio to get me a sweet job. I'll show it to you sometimes in the future.

Some times! Some times! Some times we'd have in heaven!