I recently finished Scot McKnight’s latest, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Zondervan, 2011). I thought the book was great, with a compelling method of “putting together the pieces” of the gospel in a way that makes sense biblically, historically, theologically, and culturally.
Here’s a little blurb from my review, which you can read in full on The Burner:
Growing up in the trenches of modern American evangelicalism, I found myself in wholehearted agreement with McKnight’s assessment of the soterion-focused American gospel. The good news, as presented in my early formative years as a Christian, was synonymous with eternal, personal salvation. This was not done in a malicious attempt to subvert the true gospel or to save souls at the expense of real needs in the world, but as an earnest and impassioned attempt to be faithful to the call of evangelism, which was synonymous with discipleship (just as the kingdom of God was synonymous with the future reality of heaven). In a sense, then, the project of McKnight’s King Jesus Gospel is to “desynonymize” the core tenants of the good news – the kingdom of God and heaven, evangelism and discipleship, gospel and salvation – which have gotten muddled and conflated in the last few centuries.
I’m looking forward to more conversations about this book, and am hoping to get a group of friends in LA together to read through and talk about what a “King Jesus Gospel” looks like in the context and practice of a local church community.