The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited 3

…how we have gotten ourselves to a point where we can wonder what Jesus’ being Messiah has to do with the gospel. (p. 24)

Piper’s assumption is that justification is the gospel. The Calvinist crowd in the USA — and Piper is the leading influencer in the resurgence of Calvinist thinking among evangelicals — has defined the gospel in the short formula “justification by faith.” But we have to ask whether the apostles defined the gospel this way. Or, better yet, when they preached the gospel, what did they say? We will answer these questions in the pages that follow. (p. 25)

I believe the word gospel has been hijacked by what we believe about “personal salvation,” and the gospel itself has been reshaped to facilitate making “decisions.” The result of this hijacking is that the word gospel no longer means in our world what it originally meant to either Jesus or the apostles. I know this is an unusual claim, and I know some will think my claim is outlandish, so I’m going to ask you to be patient enough to hear me out. I believe we are mistaken, and that mistake is creating problems we are trying to solve. But as long as we remain mistaken, we will never solve the problems. Our system is broken and our so-called gospel broke it. We can’t keep trying to improve the mechanics of the system because they’re not the problem. The problem is that the system is doing what it should do because it is energized by a badly shaped gospel. (p. 26)

Scot McKnight, The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Zondervan, 2011)

* * *


Did McKnight get on your nerves already? I hope so. Because he is into slaying holy cows here (please do nolt take this mataphor too far; no offense is intended; at least not this time 🙂

Scot’s contention here (the emphases in bold are mine) is that we have transformed the biblical gospel, the one preached by Christ and the apostles, into a pragmatic tool for ‘getting people saved’ (whatever that means). Of course, with the best of intentions. As we well know, ‘the way to hell is paved with good intentions’.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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