Over the past couple of years, I listened through the entire sermon archive of Woodland Hills church, where Greg Boyd is the primary teaching pastor. Obviously I liked what I heard. I want to share with you some of the highlights. Unless you are familiar with the concepts already, I'm sure some of these will blow your mind.
- The gospels are reliable. From a historical critical perspective, the gospels are highly reliable documents. The only real reason they are questioned is because of their claim of resurrection—which of course normally does not ever happen—and Jesus' claim to divinity. However upon examination, the assertion that the gospels are true more plausibly explains both the gospels and the early church. And assuming they are true, Jesus' resurrection gives significant weight to the rest of his claims being true as well.
- God looks like Jesus. Jesus claimed to be the image of God, one with the Father, and if you see him you see the Father. Therefore Jesus is the clearest picture we have of God, more so than anything else. Jesus said all scripture points to him. So we must understand God, the Bible, and everything else in light of Jesus.
- God is love. John specifically says that "God is love." Jesus demonstrated God's love while he was here on earth. God exists eternally in loving relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- The good news is the kingdom. Jesus came to establish God's kingdom—the "dome" in which God is king. In other words, the kingdom is where God's will is done "on earth as it is in heaven." And because God is perfectly good and loving, his kingdom is perfectly good and loving. It is the place in which people will experience freedom, healing, love, life—an experience of being fully human. Jesus' death and resurrection broke our bondage to sin so that we can join God in his kingdom.
- Our only job is to love. Jesus said that the whole of the law is summed up by the command to love God and others. Jesus said his followers are to be known by their love. Paul says that no matter what other great works you do, if you don't have love, they are meaningless. Along with this, we can't love and judge at the same time. We're supposed to judge things and behaviors (discernment) but not people—not even ourselves (condemnation). We must love everyone the way God loves them—and God considered them worth dying on the cross for. We're to love others indiscriminately just as God does. As we do this, we manifest a glimpse of God's kingdom on earth. Collectively, those who follow Jesus are his body, physically manifesting his kingdom as ambassadors in this world.