The Message of Jesus via Scot McKnight

Call me a Scot McKnight fan. He is a well-read, academic who communicates very well with less academic readers. He also has grasped a holistic approach to reading the Bible that I have found very helpful. And he is a theologian who knows how ideas go together and who writes with a depth of understanding that is rare.

Evangelical Christianity has for a while now had within it movements for change. Some have fizzled. But one thing that continues to grow, thankfully, is the realization of a kingdom gospel and a rejection of the revivalist, get them saved, reductionist gospel. The kingdom gospel is far from being standard in churches, mind you. The classical, revivalist, tent-meeting, reductionist, just-believe-and-no-works-needed gospel is still common fare. But listen to McKnight talk about why 2/3 of children in churches who “make a decision for Christ” leave the church by the time they are 35. It’s the weak gospel that has been the message in churches, folks — that is the problem.

Video: McKnight Explains the Real Gospel

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9 Responses to The Message of Jesus via Scot McKnight

  1. justin says:

    This was a revelation to me when I entered in to occupational ministry as a Youth Pastor in 2004. I had no experience working alongside a local church, did not grow up in a local church, and went to school for all things unrelated to youth ministry, haha.

    Yeshua happened to me at 16 after I read through the gospels at the urging of a friend. The Kingdom seemed to me, a completely non-religious, atheist-ish, to be at the forefront of the stories in the gospels! It became all I knew.

    Thankfully, I was later introduced to Ed Dobson at Calvary Church in GR, Michigan in college, and thus continued my studies in 1st century Jewish History, early Roman history, etc. and my love for Israel really began to take on new meaning in 2000…again, all embracing the knowledge of such a gospel as this!

    When I began teaching in youth ministry and youth camps, I was stunned at the loss of understanding in relation not to some of the seemingly more complex platforms of our faith, but at the bizarre dissonance between the gospel and the kingdom. And yet, I was pleasantly surprised to find a hungry, hungry appetite from my students.

    It was truly amazing, not to mention, extremely engaging. It forces such great conversations as “discipleship” in light of the talmidim, evangelism and good news in light of the corresponding Roman ideas of those terms, ya know. It was great…

    At any rate, I appreciate this post – and love your post on “Why Yeshua” – definitely resonates over here, haha.

    Thanks again.

  2. Mike Miller says:

    I noticed Zondervan’s description of the book included this:

    “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 completion of the Story of Israel”? Guess the fat lady has sung.

    • Derek Leman says:

      Scot usually avoids supersessionism pretty well. I rankled at the wording as well and will want to see more clearly how he says it in the book. But I don’t completely disagree with the word “completion” if this refers to present and future works of Yeshua. That may be what he means (not Yeshua completed it and put an end to it, but Yeshua is completing Israel’s story and will complete it in the age to come).

  3. Joshua says:

    You can read the forward by NT Wright and a sample of chapter one here:

  4. benicho says:

    I didn’t realize this was news to so many people in the Messianic congregations.

  5. louise says:

    The reality is that sin is a problem that affects every human being from birth until death. The secular mindset, schools, society, culture..offers ways to either deny or mask the reality of sin. Scripture pretty clearly identifies this problem of sin from Genesis on, giving us the truth of being cast out of the Garden into a world filled with sweat and toil and thorns. The first brother kills the first brother. The wars and bloodsheld continue…

    Our Father chooses Israel, He spends a lot of time with bloody sacrifices and why? because of sin. Are our wiser writers/theologians today trying to tell us this also is not part of what the very JEWISH MESSIAH YESHUA was preaching when He talked about the Kingdom? If we who adhere to Scripture the way it is written acknowledge there will be a temple with bloody sacrifices in the Millenial age, as prophesied by Ezekiel, all because in that Kingdom Age death and sin are not done away with, then how can it be we should not still be including discussion about what sin and death (which go hand in hand, along with that other horror Evil) are? And sermons on this do still need to be preached.

    The disciples wanted the Kingdom do start then, when Jesus was right there among them. He told them there had to be a big horrible cruficifixion of ATONING BLOOD or things would never be right. Never because only the blood of the GOD/MAN could ever heal not only the land, the earth and all of nature, but also the souls of individual human beings.

    It seems to me McKnight could very well be throwing out the baby with the bathwater, to put it mildly.

  6. Derek Leman says:

    But you may have misunderstood McKnight, Louise. He was referring to the neo-reformed who are over-emphasizing sin and guilt. He does not deny sin and guilt at all in his writing. His book on atonement is one of my favorite books of all time.

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