The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight

I love reading challenging non-fiction books, but I almost always struggle when it comes to posting reviews.  I want to wrestle with the ideas, debate premises and offer conclusions. But all too often I lack either the time or the focus, or both, to do them justice. So I procrastinate and frequently end up doing nothing. Not really a good practice for a book blogger, right?

I mention this because I have been avoiding posting on The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited for this reason for quite some time. I am not sure I can do it justice or engage the real meaty issues it touches on. But the good folks at Net Galley and Zondervan didn’t send me a review copy so I could fret about my self-esteem … So. Some thoguhts below.

First, what is this all about anyway? Publisher synopsis:

Contemporary evangelicals have built a ‘salvation culture’ but not a ‘gospel culture.’ Evangelicals have reduced the gospel to the message of personal salvation. This book makes a plea for us to recover the old gospel as that which is still new and still fresh. The book stands on four arguments: that the gospel is defined by the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15 as the completion of the Story of Israel in the saving Story of Jesus; that the gospel is found in the Four Gospels; that the gospel was preached by Jesus; and that the sermons in the Book of Acts are the best example of gospeling in the New Testament. The King Jesus Gospel ends with practical suggestions about evangelism and about building a gospel culture.

This is a powerful examination of what it means to speak of the Gospel and how our understanding of it impacts our “Gospeling” or evangelism. McKnight argues forcefully that to present a plan of salvation, or soterian, gospel is to miss the larger picture of scripture and God’s plan for the universe.

As noted, there is a lot packed in there and a lot you can, and should, debate.  But for now, a few thoughts … Continue reading