Cross Vision – How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence

Renowned pastor-theologian Gregory A. Boyd tackles the Bible’s biggest dilemma.

Author: Gregory Boyd

Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN-10: 1506420737

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Study Guide

The Old Testament God of wrath and violence versus the New Testament God of love and peace it’s a difference that has troubled Christians since the first century. Now, with the sensitivity of a pastor and the intellect of a theologian, Gregory A. Boyd proposes the “cruciform hermeneutic,” a way to read the Old Testament portraits of God through the lens of Jesus’ crucifixion.

In Cross Vision, Boyd follows up on his epic and groundbreaking study, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God. He shows how the death and resurrection of Jesus reframes the troubling violence of the Old Testament, how all of Scripture reveals God’s self-sacrificial love, and, most importantly, how we can follow Jesus’ example of peace.

Praise for Cross Vision

  • “The church has a long and tragic history of using Old Testament violence to justify Christian complicity in the collective violence of war, torture, and capital punishment. But Gregory A. Boyd understands that the crucified Christ reveals a God who is eternally nonviolent. In Cross Vision, Boyd offers a way of reading the Old Testament that does not succumb to the false narrative of a violent God. Cross Vision wisely calls us to read the whole Bible through the corrective lens of the cross.” –Brian Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, Missouri, author of Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God
  • “Many people are leaving religion entirely because they keep hearing God’s name used to justify mass killing, torture, and other forms of violence. The only ethical option, they feel, is to reject the whole God project because, like a radioactive substance, God is too easily weaponized. In Cross Vision, Boyd demonstrates how Christians who use a conservative approach to biblical interpretation can detoxify their understanding of God and rediscover God as most fully and beautifully imaged in a nonviolent man who loved all, hated none, and brought healing rather than harm wherever he went.”  –Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
  • “If you object to biblical stories that depict God as violent and tribal, ordering ethnic cleansing against men, women, and children, there are two things you should know: (1) you’re not alone, and (2) this book is for you. With a pastor’s heart and theologian’s mind, Boyd points us to the cross, where God’s character is revealed, not in conquest but in humility. Harmonizing these seemingly discordant realities may seem impossible, but in Cross Vision, Boyd proves it can be done with grace and care. A lively, inspiring read (and much shorter than the academic version, which I feel I deserve credit for reading).”  –Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and A Year of Biblical Womanhood
  • “The heroes of the Bible wrestled with God. That s what Gregory A. Boyd is doing in Cross Vision, and it s what you’ll be doing when you read and think and pray your way through this book. Boyd not only smashes our preconceptions on every page, he helps us fall in love with Jesus and that s the point of the Christian faith, isn t it?” –Bruxy Cavey, pastor at The Meeting House and author of (re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners
  • “What if the harshest aspects of God in the Old Testament actually help us see the most beautiful aspects of Jesus on the cross? Sound like wishful thinking? Reading Cross Vision is like staring at a two-way mirror and suddenly being able to see what’s happening on the other side. This book will show you how to read the Bible with fresh eyes and cause you to never see God the same way again! Easily one of the best and most transformative books I’ve ever read.”
    —Jeremy Jernigan, lead pastor of Abundant Life Church, author of Redeeming Pleasure
  • “In Cross Vision, Gregory A. Boyd asks all the right questions about violence in the Old Testament, answering them in a unique and compelling way. The book is engaging, tightly written, and possesses theological integrity. My favorite part of the book is Boyd’s discussion of cosmic principalities and powers active in the world today, a theme that gets far too little airplay in theological circles. This book is a must-read for all who have an interest in the topic of God and violence, as well as the hostile spiritual powers that operate in this present evil age.”
    —Frank Viola, author of From Eternity to Here and Jesus Now
  • “If you love the Bible but are torn by its violence, use this book as your therapy. Turn its pages and allow Boyd to unwind the majesty of the way God works. Afterwards, you’ll find yourself more in awe of the God of Israel and even more confident that this God has inspired the Scriptures as his word. You’ll agree with me that Cross Vision was a book well worth your time.”
    —David Fitch, Northern Seminary, author of Faithful Presence
  • ​“How shall we read the Old Testament with and through the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ? ​ Gregory A. Boyd is a welcome, ​leading voice in today’s urgent discourse and development of cruciform hermeneutics​. This concise follow-up to The Crucifixion of the Warrior God makes Boyd’s unique contribution to that conversation accessible to any thoughtful Bible reader. An important point of reference from here on.”
    Brad Jersak, author of A More Christlike God: A More Beautiful Gospel
  • “Christians have long wrestled with understanding the violence attributed to God and God’s people in the Old Testament, especially considering the contrasting picture of the loving, peacemaking Jesus seen in the New Testament. We reject Marcionism: we cannot accept that there are two different Gods in the two Testaments. Boyd has done Christianity a tremendous service by demonstrating respect for the scripture text, reverence for the character of God, and offering a way that we might understand the picture of a violent God.”
    Dennis R. Edwards, senior pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, author of 1 Peter: The Story of God Bible Commentary
  • “‘I don’t judge you, I leave that to a wrathful, angry God to do,’ once retorted Ned Flanders to his wayward neighbor, Homer Simpson. Cross Vision gets right to the heart of a predicament that has befuddled generations. Jesus taught us to love our enemies, so how come God, as presented in all those Old Testament stories, didn’t seem capable of keeping his own rules. An extraordinarily thought-provoking introduction to one of the biggest questions asked by those both inside and outside the church around the world today.”
    Steve Chalke, founder and leader at Oasis Global and senior minister at Oasis Church Waterloo, London
  • “For those struggling to reconcile the character of Jesus with the violent depictions of God in the Old Testament, Cross Vision is a priceless gift. Within these pages, Boyd uses vivid imagery and approachable storytelling to systematically unwrap a Calvary-centered, scripture-based explanation that will resonate with the heart while satisfying the mind. In short, this powerful work presents a beautiful picture of God that can revolutionize one’s life and faith.”
    Jessica Kelley, author of Lord Willing?: Wrestling with God’s Role in My Child’s Death
  • “Many thoughtful Christians are dissatisfied with the usual alternative approaches to the Bible and theology. They are told they can be either ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative,’ but both approaches carry baggage many find too heavy to bear. Gregory A. Boyd’s greatest contribution to contemporary Christianity is to provide a completely different alternative—neither ‘liberal’ nor ‘conservative’ but thoroughly Christ and cross-centered. Cross Vision, like so many of Boyd’s other books, presents an alternative paradigm to the usual ones and does it with charm and challenge.”
    Roger E. Olson, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

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