Answering a series of questions posed by another Christian professor of theology, Scot McKnight explains how in church history “gospel” became a mere message of “personal salvation.” He says the Catholic-Orthodox trajectory made gospel = sacraments. The Protestant trajectory made gospel = decision. The first step was reframing the creeds into confessions (going back to Augustine’s Enchiridion, but especially in Luther and Calvin) and then the revival movements of the 19th and 20th centuries which downgraded the gospel further into five steps to salvation. My copy of The King Jesus Gospel is in a UPS truck somewhere en route to Snellville, Georgia. I am thrilled to see evangelical Christian voices recognizing some key points about the “gospel”:
(1) The “gospel” (the good tidings) is the story of Yeshua (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).
(2) Paul defines what he means by gospel in 1 Corinthians 15 (the story of Yeshua).
(3) Justification by faith is not the gospel.
And hopefully, all of this will mean more people reading the gospels. Next week: I will make available a CD and printed outline from a presentation I am giving with Boaz Michael of First Fruits of Zion at our “Studying the Jewish Gospels” seminar here in Atlanta. My presentation is “20 Ways to Read Yeshua’s Life.”