The Adventist Podcast: Greg Boyd

Welcome to a summer edition of The Adventist Podcast. In this 20 minute interview with our 2016 Adventist Forum conference keynote speaker, Greg Boyd discusses the Christus Victor theory of atonement, violence, as well as open theism, systematic racism, metal music, and Donald Trump.

Greg Boyd is an internationally recognized theologian, preacher, teacher, apologist and author. He has been featured on the front page ofThe New York Times, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC and numerous other television and radio venues.

Greg received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (summa cum laude 1988), his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (cum laude 1982), and his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota (1979). He is cofounder of the Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota where he serves as Senior Pastor, speaking to thousands each week.

Greg has authored or co-authored 20 books and numerous academic articles, including his best-selling and award-winning Letters From a Skeptic and his recent books Repenting of Religion and The Myth of a Christian Nation.

Here's the book he recommends in the podcast for those of you coming to converse with him at the Adventist Forum conference Sept. 16-18: The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Great Interview!
I have come over the past 6-7 years to believe in the same Atonement View as Greg.
I also agree with his position on prophecy.
would love to be there when he presents his other materials.
He is refreshing person.
by the way. I love drumming also. sometimes one can see the Love Connection between
a drummer and his drum. Especially the cube drum, the tall flat-top drums. One can sense
the creative juices flowing with a great drum set with the various sizes and the cymbols.
Years ago at a Christian college this drummer had a set of 12 drums and did a solo on
a piece his composed of Jesus coming down with His retinue to Earth.
To be at a drumming event is special.

It appears to me that EGW supported the atonement view that Jesus submitted to the wrath of God in humanities place. EGW envisioned a time when the entire world with billions of inhabitants is destroyed through the anger of God against sin. This is the same anger Jesus took as our substitute on the cross. This vindicates the justice of God against sinners that shelters the believer from the wrath of God in the 7 last plagues with the resulting hell fire. Sinners pay for their sins in tormenting flames, while believers are spared because Jesus endured them on the cross. God’s punishment of sin satisfies the Law and justifies God’s rule by Law government.

_God’s wrath against transgression fell on His beloved Son. _

For us, Jesus trod the wine-press of God’s wrath.

…(John 3:16.) These words show us why God’s wrath descended on His only begotten Son.,…”

The power that inflicted retributive justice upon man’s substitute and surety,

The sins of the world were upon him, and also the sense of his Father’s wrath against the sinner, as he suffered the penalty of the law. It was these that crushed his divine soul.

efcee: I am amazed how we can create a EGW in our own image, with our own ideas of what we wish her to say. In the end EGW clearly taught that sin must be punished, Jesus took this punishment (wrath of God) in the believers place. Those who do not believe will suffer the wrath of God (without mercy) in hell and non-existence.

For better or worse, there is no neat, singular “Adventist” view of atonement. Christus Victor probably comes closest to accommodating the cosmic conflict and the idea that the sacrificial life and death of Christ puts to rest a false accusation (i.e. the works of…) Satan against God rather than appeasing the “wrath” of God as some people define the Penal Substitution theory. We must always keep in mind that these are all theories and they do not, in all probability, clearly expose what is in the mind of God. These theories are either useful or not useful for framing or explaining certain portions of scripture and that is probably the most that can be said for them.

We might also consider that Adventism’s best current and historical thinkers do/did not share the same view of atonement and Ellen White’s own view seems to evolve over time and to accommodate more than one of the most popular theories (see link below). It could also be said that even the writers of scripture did not all share the same view, for if they had, we would not have the variety of expressions of it that we find within those pages. This scripture, though “God-breathed”, allows us only to see as “through a glass, darkly” but not “face-to-face”. It is likely also that certain explanations could be more useful in some eras or cultures than others and therefore, more than one explanation (through time) of the mechanisms for salvation might have best served the purpose of communicating to mankind the will of God.

I love how Greg Boyd’s mind works, but ,unfortunately, I am unable to attend the AF conference. I am excited to hear reports from the conference posted here at Spectrum!


Having done a lot of study on Atonement theories I was interested to hear Boyd say that the Christus Victor theory was the main theory for the first thousand years of the Christian age. Yet when I wrote my synopsis of the Churches atonement theory I did not remember seeing Christus Victor. But a little research reveals this is the old Ransom Theory from
"Christus Victor (Christ the Victor) is a view of the atonement taken from the title of Gustaf Aulén’s groundbreaking book, first published in 1931, where he drew attention back to the early church’s Ransom theory. In Christus Victor, the atonement is viewed as divine conflict and victory over the hostile powers that hold humanity in subjection. Aulén argues that the classic Ransom theory is not so much a rational systematic theory as it is a drama, a passion story of God triumphing over the powers and liberating humanity from the bondage of sin. As Gustav Aulén writes, “the work of Christ is first and foremost a victory over the powers which hold mankind in bondage: sin, death, and the devil.”^[1]^

here is the link to my synopsis of the atonement theories.

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I love his sermons and his books! Not even once a year I hear this quality in our church…I can’t imagine life in a church where they can listen to this kind of sermon every week… must be almost heaven…

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“Almost heaven” is as close as the internet. Every sabbath morning my wife and I go to - Greg’s church - and enjoy the previous weeks sermon. They offer both audio and video files, and many of the sermon series are archived. Please check it out. You won’t be disappointed!