I just finished Scot McKnight’s most recent book King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited and wanted to share a few thoughts. I’m not going to do a big review here. I’ll redirect you to a review my friend Mike did on this book a month or so ago. I’m not sure I would write much different than him.
A co-worker I serve with in the Theological Development world of my organization told me he thought it was both brilliant and frustrating. I felt the same thing, but found it in general to be way more brilliant than frustrating.
This book is a really important book for Evangelicals especially to wrestle with given the long history of limiting the gospel to what McKnight calls “the plan of salvation.” In particular, this book offers a pretty strong critique of some of the methods and traditions of my own ministry organization. Internal debates about “the gospel” have been taking place outside and within my organization for a long time. This book provides as good of a framework as I’ve seen for exploring what really is “the gospel” as the New Testament teaches it.
The best way to summarize the book is that the reason the church today has more of a “salvation culture” versus a robust “gospel culture” is anchored in the way we’re framing and teaching the “gospel.” He argues that stripping the “gospel” of the full story of Jesus in the context of the story of Israel has led to an incomplete and insufficient gospel for the church and the lost both.
I think this really would be one of the top books I would recommend to people as believers or as ministers. It’s a significant book. Check out my friend Mike’s review on it. But I’ll add this.
One of the gems of this book is that there are multiple appendices. I found it incredible to just read through some of them as they are organized by passages in the New Testament where the gospel is being framed and spoken. Going through these gospel sermons in Acts and other books one after the other was one of the most devotional and transformational things I’ve done in a while.
So I’d encourage you to move this to the top of your reading list. You may be bothered by it, you may be troubled, you may be inspired and find it to be refreshing and hopeful as you consider the future of your life and ministry.