A “New Perspective” on the Gospel, the King Jesus Gospel 3

Scot McKnight in his new book The King Jesus Gospel contends that evangelicals today are really “soterians” (“salvationists”) instead of truly evangelicals. He means by this that most have equated the word “gospel” with “salvation”. But the two words, says Scot, are different. His argument is that biblically the concept of “gospel” is a much wider than simply the issue of personal salvation, although it surely includes it. This confusion, according to Scot, has led to what he calls a “salvation culture”- “a culture that focuses on and measures people on the basis of whether they can witness to an experience of personal salvation” (30). The problem with a salvation culture is in its obsession with securing decisions for Christ, it creates the problem of getting the decided to be a disciple.

A salvation culture does not require The Members or The Decided to become The Discipled for salvation. Why not? Because its gospel is a gospel shaped entirely with the “in and out” issue of salvation. Because it’s about making a decision. In this book we want to show that the gospel of Jesus and that of the apostles, both of which created a gospel culture and not simply a salvation culture, was a gospel carried within it the power, the capacity, and the requirement to summon people who wanted to be “in” to be The Discipled. In other words, it swallowed up a salvation culture into a gospel culture (33).

Do you agree with Scot’s view that the terms and concepts of “salvation” and “gospel” are not identical? Do you agree with the implication he draws from the distinction? Are you a “soterian” or an “evangelical”?

  • Ken Schenck

    As Scot knows and probably says in the book, this is a narrow understanding of salvation as well!

  • Ken Schenck

    As Scot knows and probably says in the book, this is a narrow understanding of salvation as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1846284634 Ray Pennoyer

    Even though I’m sure Scot McKnight puts his own special spin on the presentation, this does not sound particularly new. For a recent reflection within the evangelical community, you might look to John McArthur’s so-called “Lordship Salvation.”

    I would ask Scot (only having read your excepts): First, are we becoming shy about salvation by grace through faith? Second, how many evangelical churches are only interested in “decisions for Christ” and not in taking those people and making them “disciples”?Third, what is the the individual’s motivation to pursue discipleship? Is it to become acceptable to God? Or is it love for Jesus and gratitude for what he has done for us?

    Having said this, I am struck by the reticence of evangelists such as George Whitefield to “count” or “identify” decisions. This is because he recognized that this is a truly divine transaction, the reality of which can only be outwardly seen over time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1846284634 Ray Pennoyer

    Even though I’m sure Scot McKnight puts his own special spin on the presentation, this does not sound particularly new. For a recent reflection within the evangelical community, you might look to John McArthur’s so-called “Lordship Salvation.”

    I would ask Scot (only having read your excepts): First, are we becoming shy about salvation by grace through faith? Second, how many evangelical churches are only interested in “decisions for Christ” and not in taking those people and making them “disciples”?Third, what is the the individual’s motivation to pursue discipleship? Is it to become acceptable to God? Or is it love for Jesus and gratitude for what he has done for us?

    Having said this, I am struck by the reticence of evangelists such as George Whitefield to “count” or “identify” decisions. This is because he recognized that this is a truly divine transaction, the reality of which can only be outwardly seen over time.

  • Pingback: dbgooglereader

  • Geoff Smith

    Joel, I went ahead and responded to the question on my blog again.

    http://blaargracer.blogspot.com/2011/09/more-on-willitts-on-mcknight.html

    I really want to read this book.

  • Geoff Smith

    Joel, I went ahead and responded to the question on my blog again.

    http://blaargracer.blogspot.com/2011/09/more-on-willitts-on-mcknight.html

    I really want to read this book.

  • Pingback: Joel Willitts

  • Pingback: RyKappaBot2

  • Justin Borger

    McKnight uses a double standard when he makes this distinction. He says we aren’t really evangelicals but soterians because we’ve reduce the gospel to a message of salvation. But then, later on, he quotes Martin Hengel approvingly when he says that the Gospel of Mark “seeks to be wholly and completely a message of salvation.” (p. 83)

  • Justin Borger

    McKnight uses a double standard when he makes this distinction. He says we aren’t really evangelicals but soterians because we’ve reduce the gospel to a message of salvation. But then, later on, he quotes Martin Hengel approvingly when he says that the Gospel of Mark “seeks to be wholly and completely a message of salvation.” (p. 83)

  • Pingback: Johannes Woudstra


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X