King Jesus Gospel: Part Five

Part of a week-long discussion of The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

What’s the bottom line of Scot’s book?  I think it’s this:

“We want to know what the first gospel was really like.  We want to know how the first generation of apostles evangelized, and we want to know how that early gospeling compares to what we call evangelism and the gospel today.” (p. 114)

Scot wants to get back to the apostolic gospel, the first gospel.  The real question, however, is this: Is a quest for the original gospel a fool’s errand?

[Read more...]

King Jesus Gospel: Part Four

Part of a week-long discussion of The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

Tomorrow, I’ll polish off my series on this book with a substantive post on Scot’s thesis, and whether I buy it.  But for today, I’ve got some nits to pick.  Forgive me, but I’m a booky person, and I’m also a quibbler, so there are some things about this (and every) book that bug me.  And Scot has privately assured me that my quibbles will not affect our friendship.

That being said…

[Read more...]

King Jesus Gospel: Part Three

Part of a week-long discussion of The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

Scot says it repeatedly and clearly: the gospel is “the Story of Israel completing itself in the Story of Jesus.”

There is, for Scot, no gospel without Israel.  It is the hinge on which the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus swing.  Of course, there is ample scriptural support for this view, and Scot relies on it heavily.  As do most evangelicals.

I didn’t grow up in a church or a version of Christianity that talked much about Israel, particularly modern Israel.  As I recall, we learned just enough about ancient Israel — more accurately, about the Ancient Near East — to understand what was in our pew Bibles.  That is to say, ancient Israel was the context in which our sacred text was written. But it was not seen as somehow imperative to the salvific work of God.

Sure, it was Israel that had a unique relationship with Yahweh, and it was into that people group that the Savior was born, but that seemed like a relatively arbitrary decision, historically speaking.  It could have just as easily been another ancient tribe through which God saved the world.

[Read more...]

King Jesus Gospel: Part Two

Part of a week-long discussion of The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

I remember distinctly when Doug Pagitt first said it to me: “The gospel can’t be Jesus’ death and resurrection,” Doug said, “Because then Jesus could not have preached the gospel.”  I’d actually never thought about it like that before, but it made perfect sense.  (Doug wrote about that in A Christianity Worth Believing.)

I also remember, as I became more familiar with evangelicalism through Cru (neé Campus Crusade) and Fuller Seminary, that evangelicals saw the life and works of Jesus primarily through the eyes of Paul.  In fact, a few years back, when the Emergent Village Theological Conversation was held in Kansas City around the topic of Pauline theology, I suggested the title, “Beyond Paulophilia and Paulophobia.”  It seemed to me that emergents suffered from the former latter and evangelicals from the latter former.  (Older mainliners usually just ignore Paul.)

Scot McKnight sees the same problem in evangelicalism, and he sets out to right that wrong.  By doing something that I find rather confounding: Using Paul to define the gospel.  The gospel is summed up most completely, Scot writes, in 1 Corninthians 15.  This, he argues convincingly, is the passage that serves as the genesis for the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, centuries later.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X