I got a tip to read Scot McKnight‘s The King Jesus Gospel by Jeff Saferite at a minister’s meeting some time last semester. I’ve liked Scot’s stuff in the past and got it on sale in a kindle edition, so I went for it.
I’m glad I did.
McKnight set out to define the gospel. Or at least to tell us that the way we have been defining the gospel is wrong. We’ve become more soterian than gospel oriented. That is to say that our talk of gospel has only focused on the idea of salvation. Jesus came to save and that’s it. Jesus died on the cross to save us, but that’s it. Jesus wants to save the world, but that’s it.
The problem is that when this is the view of the gospel, life for Jesus after the cross doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that Jesus was raised from the dead and that He is our soon coming King. In my opinion, and in Scot’s, this misses the point of the gospel.
Yes, salvation is important. But the idea that Jesus is the Messiah, the King of Israel is a point that the American church is missing. We have to see the gospel in the bigger picture of Israel’s redemptive history and understand that it is unfolding in the greatest redemption story of all time with what AG doctrine calls our blessed hope, the coming of Jesus at the end of “time.”
A quote that I loved from Scot goes as follows, “If the gospel isn’t about transformation, it isn’t the gospel of the Bible.” (page 27)
Ultimately, the gospel is about transformation. It’s about moving “the saved” to “the discipled.” It’s about making disciples of all nations. It’s about the resurrection and life in the Kingdom, now.
A great read by Scot McKnight that I would highly recommend!
minor side notes.
1. I found his discussion on why Matthew included three groups of 14 people in his genealogy fascinating. I had never seen that explained like that before.
2. I really enjoyed his discussion on what could be considered the major heresies of today. Which included: individualism, consumerism, nationalism, moral relativism, scientific naturalism, new age, postmoder tribalism, and salvation by therapy.