Today I received a copy of Scot McKnight’s new book The King Jesus Gospel. I am excited to read it and I will be blogging on it as part of the Blog Tour scheduled by Zondervan for the 19th-23rd of the month. This means that I will be one of many writing on the book, including Mark Stevens who co-blogs here on occasion (see his personal blog “The Parson’s Patch”).
Both N.T. Wright and Dallas Willard wrote forwards to the book. These are excerpts from what Wright wrote (pp. 11-13):
“…the Christian faith has never been something that one generation can sort out in such a way as to leave their successors with no work to do.”
“…the movement that has long called itself ‘evangelical’ is in fact better labeled ‘soterion.’ That is, we have thought we were talking about ‘the gospel’ when in fact we were concentrating on ‘salvation.'”
“…’the gospel’ is the story of Jesus of Nazareth told as the climax of the long story of Israel, which in turn is the story of how the one true God is rescuing the world.”
“This book could be one of God’s ways of reminding the new generation of Christians that it has to grow up to take responsibility for thinking things through afresh, to look back to the large world of the full first-century gospel in order then to look out on the equally large world of twenty-first-century gospel opportunity.”
Dallas Willard wrote (pp. 15-16):
“At the root of the many problems that trouble the ‘church visible’ today, there is one simple source: the message that is preached. Note first of all that there is today no one message that is heard, but three or four prominent ones.”
“Second, because of that confusion, what is ordinarily heard as the message given does not lead the hearer who tries to respond into a life of discipleship to Jesus Christ.”
“He [Scot McKnight] works from a basis of profound biblical understanding and of insight into history and into the contemporary misunderstandings that produce gospels that do not naturally produce disciples, but only consumers of religious goods and services. In the course of this he deals with the primary barrier to the power of Jesus’ gospel today– that is, a view of salvation and of grace that has no connection with discipleship and spiritual transformation. It is a view of grace and salvation that, supposedly, gets one ready to die, but leaves them unprepared to live now in the grace and power of the resurrected life.”
It is apparent that McKnight will be challenging many “gospels”, which is a trendy thing to do currently, but I think he is qualified to address important blind spots in ways that other authors and groups have not been. I think this book will be a good one that will have readers rethinking what we mean by the gospel.