Monday, January 9, 2012

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, by Scot McKnight

I am one chapter(and a few appendixes) from finishing The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It really seems to take alot of what I have been feeling and what I believe to be biblical and puts them together, making a great argument for the Soterian, rather than Evangelical, nature of Evangelicalism.

In October, Michael Horton wrote a lengthy review on his blog highlighting much of what I enjoyed and pointing out some of the flaws of the book in a clear, concise and charitable way. I would direct you there for a great article.

Also, the guys at White Horse Inn interviewed McKnight and it was recently rebroadcast. You can find that in your White Horse Inn podcast subscription...but in case you dont have that, here is a link to the show.

And...just to wet your whistle, here is the beginning of Horton's review. Follow the link to finish, it is well worth a read, as is McKnight's book!
Many of us were raised in churches where the presentation of the gospel meant explaining how you “get saved.” “If you were to die tonight, and Jesus asked, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’, what would you answer?” If you shared the gospel, that meant that you told someone that they were sinful and separated from God, but that God sent his Son to die for our sins and by accepting him as Lord and Savior they could know that they would go to heaven when they die. The goal was to get as many people as possible to make a decision. That’s what it meant to present the gospel. That’s why D. L. Moody said, “I can write the gospel on a dime.” More recently, a noted evangelist said, “The only theology you need is whatever you can say to an unbeliever in an elevator.” In my youth I passed out a tract to non-Christians that offered the Plan of Salvation. The last page had a contract that the reader could sign with Jesus, guaranteeing salvation to the signatory.

Like many other Christians, Reformed people typically wince at this approach. We do so for a variety of reasons. Many of those reasons coincide with Scot McKnight’s concerns. However, I wonder if he quite gets us to where we need to be. So let me begin by summarizing his arguments.

What is the gospel? According to The King Jesus Gospel, it is the announcement that Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord, is the resolution to the Story of Israel. Unpacking that is the burden of these 150 pages.(continue reading)