Why Greg Can’t be Accused of Marcionism (Let’s Not Burn Him at the Stake Just Yet)
Richard Beck posted a blog today entitled It’s the Same God: On Marcionism, Creeds, Hermeneutics and War. You’re going to want to take the time to read through it in its entirety. Greg has been accused of Marcionism quite a lot as a result of the working out of his Cruciform Thesis. But while Marcion basically threw out the Old Testament, claiming that it portrayed a different God than Jesus shows us, Greg has insisted that the Old Testament is inspired, as Jesus clearly believed. So how do we resolve the tension between the portrayal of God we find in the Old Testament and the revelation of God we find in Jesus? That’s the hermeneutical conundrum that Greg has been working on for the last several years.
We’ll let you know when we have a publication date for Crucifixion of the Warrior God. It’s gonna be awesome! In the mean time, here’s a snippet from Richard Beck’s blog post.
We can see, now, the shape of the Marcion accusation toward pacifists. When pacifists pit Jesus against YHWH in the Old Testament they are of accused of Marcionism because, as the creeds tell us, “it’s the same God.” The assumption being that you can’t use Jesus to say that God is always, unequivocally against war. Because, clearly, God isn’t against war in the Old Testament. So God can’t always be against war because, again, “it’s the same God.” To suggest otherwise is to flirt with the Marcion heresy.
So that’s the argument. But I’d like to draw attention to the bait and switch going on.
Basically, the thing to note is this. The claim “it’s the same God” is, as we’ve seen, aconfessional rather than a hermeneutical assertion. More precisely, the confession “it’s the same God”–“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”–hands us a hermeneutical conundrum.
The confessional statement “it’s the same God” creates rather than solves the hermeneutical problem.
Although it’s clear that Jesus regarded the Old Testament as the inspired word of God, he also directly challenged aspects of the Old Testament law. To illustrate, Jesus was repudiating Sabbath law when he defended his disciples’ harvesting of food on the Sabbath (Mt 12:1-14; cf. Ex. 34:21). Some scholars argue that the disciples were…
Podcast: Greg Introduces His Cruciform Hermeneutic at the CrossVision Conference and Dialogues with Rachel Held Evans
Greg Introduces His Cruciform Hermeneutic at the CrossVision Conference and Dialogues with Rachel Held Evans. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0240.mp3
The general assumption of both the Old and the New Testaments is that the earth is virtually engulfed by cosmic forces of destruction, and that evil and suffering are ultimately due to this diabolical siege. Jesus defined himself and his ministry in terms of aggressively warring against Satanic forces. Both he and his disciples recognized…
Greg dons camouflage in this boots to the ground episode. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0295.mp3
As some of you know, for the last five years I’ve been working on a book addressing the problem of divine violence in the OT. (For alleged violence in the NT, see Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld, Killing Enmity: Violence in the New Testament (Baker Academic, 2011). It will be a highly academic tome, approximately 600…
Image by rashdada via flickr. The cross reveals the full truth about us. This truth reconnects us with our true source of life, which in turn heals our idol addictions. This dimension of the cross is frankly so breathtakingly beautiful that, so far as I can tell, very few followers of Jesus have ever really grasped it.…