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Products>Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence

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

ISBN: 9781506420738

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

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’s 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’s example of peace.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Answers questions about God and violence in the Old Testament
  • Demonstrates an approach to biblical interpretation that can help understand God in the context of the Old Testament


  • Introduction: Something Else Must Be Going On
  • Part 1: The Problem and a Looking-Glass Cross Solution
    • The Elephant
    • The Unveiling
    • A Cruciform Through-Line
    • Revolting Beauty
    • Building on Tradition
  • Part 2: Biblical, Historical, and Ancient Cultural Support
    • The Heavenly Missionary
    • Rorschach God
    • Echoes of a Pagan Warrior
  • Part 3: The True Nature of God’s Judgment
    • Divine Aikido
    • Self-Punishing Sin
    • Doing and Allowing
  • Part 4: Seeing Something Else through the Looking-Glass Cross
    • Cosmic War
    • Creation Undone
    • Dragon-Swallowing-Dragon Warfare
    • Misusing Divine Power
    • Commanding Child Sacrifice
  • Postscript: Four Words of Encouragement

Top Highlights

“So let us settle on this guiding principle: Insofar as any law reflects an improvement over the prevailing laws of the ANE, I submit that it reflects God acting toward his people. As barbaric as many of the OT laws are, most reflect an improvement, and sometimes a significant improvement, over the laws of Israel’s neighbors, and this surely is the result of the influential work of God’s Spirit. But insofar as any law falls short of the character of God revealed in Jesus’s cross-centered ministry, it reflects the point at which the fallen and culturally conditioned state of his people resisted the Spirit and, therefore, the point at which God stooped to allow his people to act upon him. In my view, all portraits of God in the Bible should be assessed by this criterion.” (Pages 98–99)

“Prior to the eleventh century, most Christians believed that Jesus died not to free us from the Father’s wrath, but to free us from Satan’s wrath. This is known as the Christus Victor view of the atonement, and in contrast to the penal substitutionary view, this view doesn’t implicate God in any violence.” (Page 139)

“If the cross reveals what God is truly like, it also reveals what God has always been like.” (Page 53)

“It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of a believer’s mental representation of God, for the way you imagine God largely determines the quality of your relationship with God. The intensity of your love for God will never outrun the beauty of the God you envision. Related to this, the depth of your transformation into the likeness of Christ will never outrun the Christlikeness of your mental representation of God.” (Pages 18–19)

Praise for the Print Edition

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 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, Abundant Life Church, author of Redeeming Pleasure

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 was a book well worth your time.

—David Fitch, Northern Seminary, author of Faithful Presence

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

Gregory A. Boyd (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Previously, he was a professor of theology at Bethel University, also in St. Paul. His books include Recovering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies, Letters from a Skeptic, God of the Possible, Repenting of Religion, Seeing is Believing, Escaping the Matrix, The Jesus Legend, Myth of a Christian Nation, Is God to Blame, God at War and Satan and the Problem of Evil.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Ian Carmichael
    I'm just part-way through, but far enough to say that this is a superbly thought out and deeply reflective work which will help us think our way through the (many) dissonant passages of Scripture. And it will help us by framing sound Christological lens through which we may read all of scripture with integrity and confidence. I've rarely been so excited in beginning a new theological work. Thank you Greg Boyd - both for this summary work, and the magnum opus upon which it stands. I thoroughly recommend the book to all.
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Regular price: $13.99
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