King Jesus Gospel Promo video

King Jesus Gospel Promo video August 22, 2011

See Zondervan’s landing page for the book, which includes the forewords by Tom Wright and Dallas Willard, as well as two short chapters.

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  • Randy Gabrielse

    I have enjoyed your writing. Given that, I have to ask, how will the new book differ from “Jesus Creed” and “Embracing Grace”? I have found these to be such concise and helpful guides to Jesus’ gospel that I have difficulty considering what could be new. But of course I eagerly await your new telling.

    Randy Gabrielse

  • Scot McKnight

    Randy, huge difference. This book is how the gospel was framed by Jesus, Peter and Paul.

  • rjs

    I like the book (at least as far as I know what is in it).

    I agree that we need to be making disciples not decisions. I agree that this starts with the gospel and I agree with the sketch of what the gospel is and what it entails.

    I don’t much care for this promo. The problem isn’t an inability to retain our youth (and I don’t think the statistics given in the video are quite right). The scare tactic might get some book purchases among pastors – but not for the right reasons. We could retain everyone and still have a deep and serious problem.

    We need a culture that is focused not on retention or numbers, but on discipleship throughout the entire church body.

  • Excellent video. What city was it shot in?

    Looking forward to reading this on my Kindle.

  • Scot McKnight

    RJS, harumph, harumph.

    I don’t see a scare tactic. It’s reality. Billy Graham himself often said no more than 1 of 4 of those who prayed the prayer stuck it out. One of the problems is keeping the youth, not the only problem. The numbers I used are, so it seems to me, reliable. Yes, the problem is deeper than that problem and the book goes into those problems. This is one angle on the book.

  • Brian Z

    Hey Rob Bell…I mean Scot, nice video…well done! Will you pass your book out to some of your favorite pastor friends/former student before the big release so we can write rave reviews?

  • JohnC

    Definitely looking forward to this book… One.Life was great, and I think what people are currently calling the Gospel is definitely in need of major reform. I am one of them there is no doubt.

    I have been trying to figure out what exactly the good news is for some time now. For a long time I accepted that the Romans Road is basically the gospel. However, the more I read the Gospels themselves and Acts, I fail to see this type of “gospelizing” almost anywhere. Eager to hear your take on it Scott.

  • Mijk V


    Having heard you speak on this topic, I can make a good guess as to where this is going and I like it. It’s high time for a reform movement in Evangelicalism to reclaim the lordship of Christ in our soteriology.

    What concerns me is the language that you use in this promo when drawing our attention to the ongoing norming power of scripture. Appealing to “the gospel Jesus preached” is what we are called to do as faithful Christians, to be sure. But in our given context this kind of language appeals to a modern hubris that fosters contempt for tradition–the very thing that has carried the gospel along over 20 centuries.

    Likewise, saying that “what we think is the gospel is not the original gospel” is quite alarming. It suggests that, where our parents got it wrong and made the Bible say what they wanted it to say, we can let the Bible speak for itself. Perhaps read the text objectively where our parents didn’t?

    What you are proposing as the “King Jesus Gospel”–which I have little doubt to be anything but a faithful expression of the gospel in this given moment–this too will be subjected to the norming power of scripture by future generations. I only hope that when this happens it will be spared the label “not the original gospel.”

    Michael v.

  • Chris Crawford

    Scot, you aren’t going to leave us for Hollywood, are you? 🙂

    Looking forward to the new book.

  • John W Frye

    Back in the middle ’90s a number of pastor friends and I were lamenting what Dallas Willard coined as “the bar code gospel”–just pray the prayer, get your assurance, and you’re in. Over two-three decades we had observed the shocking Barna stats on the *total lack of lifestyle change* between professed Christians and the world. We saw the mass exodus of youth from following Jesus after they graduated high school. We were convinced it had to be connected somehow to their “entrance” into the faith, i.e., the “gospel” they believed. Did we ever get excoriated for thinking the (reduced) gospel was at fault! The easy out on the apostasy was: “Well, they really didn’t believe to begin with.” I beg to differ. I think they really did believe what they were told and told to do. I love your line, Scot, “If you tweak a weak gospel, you still have a weak gospel.” I hope this new book runs like molten lava across American easy evangelicalism.

  • Jason Lee

    ditto on #3.

    Also, young people may be leaving the church not simply because of something that’s missing (a full-bodied gospel) but because of the extra things that are added to the essentials of the faith in evangelical churches (e.g., biblical inerrancy, young earth creationism, a culture of anti-intellectualism, gender subordination ideologies, conservative politics, nationalism, etc…).

  • Joey

    The url for the book ( doesn’t work.

  • rjs

    Scot, harumph … maybe I am overly sensitive from the misuse of crisis arguments – especially those relating to the loss of youth from the church.

    I rather expect we agree on core issues here. Conversion is not about praying a prayer.

  • rjs

    Three week before it is out! (That is what amazon says at least) … What is this, a new kind of fiendish torture?

  • Love the argument here.

  • Joey

    Sounds similar to The Gospel According To Jesus by MacArthur.

  • Jason Lee

    I’ll be buying this book and reading it. I’ll be interested to see how it differs from Willard’s “The Divine Conspiracy”

  • Scot McKnight

    If you like church tradition you will live this book!

  • The book looks good:hopefully though I would have at least some books in my collection that should cover ‘the true gospel’.
    I have always argued that John Stott was the biggest critic of evangelicalism-it is hard to read him without being challenged to walk a closer walk. In his ABCD of becoming a Christian the C was always to CONSIDER the cost which he always regarded as sadly missing in gospel appeals.
    I’m sure you’ll not be missing that in your own new volume. May it be read ad used widely Scot.

  • DRT

    I certainly am a sympathetic audience since the whole premise of my blog is that the gospel is lost and must be found again (Lost Codex).

    Is this targeted toward a different audience that This is more in the Community of Atonement vein?

    Love the church, have to lose the Chevy truck though. Oh wait, I guess that guy really is lost 😉

  • scotmcknight

    Closer to the Atonement book. The level of Surprised by Hope.

  • Clay Knick

    How soon can we get this?

  • Scot McKnight

    Clay, I suspect in ten days or so.

  • Alison


    Huge congratulations on the new book. I am definitely looking forward to reading it. You’ve articulated a lot of the questions I’ve been thinking, but haven’t been brave enough to ask out loud. Thanks.

  • Danny

    Farewell Scot McKnight.

    Just kidding! Love the premise and can’t wait to get the book and dive into the details. Thanks for the post! Also, I can’t help but think that the untucked shirt in the promo video is gonna go a long way in getting you some street-cred with the youth of today =)

  • DuWayne Lee

    Scott, I doubt that those who align themselves with the Gaace Evangelical Society will appreciate your new book. But thats OK

  • Peter Gadsby

    It seems to me that we are wrong to regard the word ‘gospel’ as having a defined content. Eg. the word ‘Macbeth’ denotes a play with a defined content, but the word ‘message’ has a great variety of possible content.

    So, in the Book of Acts, when the Apostles (and others) preach ‘the gospel,’ they do not make reference to some of the matters mentioned in 1Cor.15:1ff as ‘the gospel.’ For example, I would dare to say that Acts has no doctrine of the atonement, as such.

    Furthermore, Rev.14:6-7 speaks of an angel bearing ‘the eternal gospel,’ and it turns out to be a message of judgment!

    The translation “Good news” for euaggelion is, in my opinion, deficient and misleading.

    I think that the word ‘gospel’ is a Biblical portmanteau word that has the general meaning of ‘God’s authoritative message for mankind’ or the like. It’s closer to ‘message’ than it is to ‘Macbeth.’

    At the heart of this authoritative message is the Person and Work of our Lord, as you describe in your lectures. But the message may be explained in one way to unbelievers (Acts) and in fuller ways to believers (1Cor.15).


  • DRT

    scot, finally read the reviews, wow, do you really want that to live up to? I am sure you can and do!

    I appreciate the acknowledgement from the good former bishop that we all need to work it out for ourselves. Thank you Scot for also realizing this and writing for me on my journey.


  • rjs

    Wow – those are quite some forwards. They sell the book much better than the promo does (I know – harumph…).

  • John

    I already pre-ordered it. Can’t wait to read it.

    Now, I need discernment how to share this with people who think differently about the gospel.

    Looking forward to it.

  • Even tenured professors and authors need to tuck in their shirts, Prof. McKnight.

    Looking forward to seeing you in November!

  • Maria

    Is there going to be a kindle edition?
    (And your voice doesn’t sound the same as the voice I’ve heard for years in my head.) 🙂

  • Rodney

    Powerful video, Scot. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for being faithful to our Lord.

  • EricW

    3. rjs wrote:

    I don’t much care for this promo. The problem isn’t an inability to retain our youth

    At first I thought you were referring to the fact that the video shows that Scot hasn’t been able to retain his youth(fulness). 😀

    (Full Disclosure: I’m quite a bit older than Scot and haven’t been able to retain my youth, either.)

  • CO Fines

    Scot, thank you for weighing in on this question. I consider it one of the most important in my quest of Back to the Basics and it amazes me that there is such a wide variety of answers whenever it is brought up.

    I hold that whatever the Gospel is, it ought to be understandable by a small child and in my view it is contained in seven words, not that the unpacking doesn’t run to a great deal more.

    You did well with The Jesus Creed as part of Back to the Basics, and I look forward to your take on this one.

  • Scot, I’m very excited about this book! It sounds like you are putting into words a lot of the frustrations I’ve been having in recent years with the tendencies and emphases of a lot of modern evangelicalism. The true gospel has the King at its center, and our relationship to that gospel is one of loyalty to a person and his kingdom agenda, not of mere assent to an individual soteristic calculus. My only criticism of the promo video has to do with the way you relate this to the modern church. While I agree with you that what we tend to preach as “the gospel” is not in fact the original gospel of Jesus, it is easy if you are not explicit to make people think that, because you talk about ‘recovery,’ you are claiming that the church has lost the gospel completely (and wouldn’t that make them apostate?). The Church, after all, does proclaim and always has proclaimed Jesus the Messiah as the crucified and raised victorious bringer of God’s kingdom, and the true and only Lord of the universe. In that sense we haven’t ‘lost’ the gospel – we’ve simply gotten mixed up over what the word itself means, and have consequently de-emphasized what ought to be the actual content of the gospel (maybe we could say the gospel’s ‘kyriological’ rather than soteriological content). Perhaps that’s exactly what you mean anyway (though I don’t want to put words in your mouth). But I can just see a lot of people taking your language about recovery in the wrong way, and becoming your enemies/opponents when in fact they ought to be your allies. Even if it has ceased to be the centerpiece of our proclamation, the church today surely hasn’t completely lost the gospel – rather it’s taken the term, lifted it and moved it over to something else (say, justification by faith), and dropped it down there. Perhaps I am really just straining a gnat? I guess my criticism isn’t as much a disagreement with you as it is a plea for specificity, for the sake of your audience.

    Anyway, can’t wait to read the book!

  • Terry

    Scot, I too have heard you speaking on these things and am very much looking forward to the book (it has been a long, long year — I feel RJS’s pain.) Making disciples not decisions!

    Others have noted the untucked shirt (my preferred method of styling), but I noticed the Levis in the very opening. Now that’s something, by your own admission, we wouldn’t have seen just a few short years ago. Very cool.