THE KING JESUS GOSPEL
Author Scot McKnight
The author is a seminary professor. The book is about a matter vital to the health of our souls. Clearly, it was the intention of the author to write simply and with the minimum of length on his subject. The book gave me the impression that it was a rather rushed job. The main substance we should not disagree with. I know that multitudes in the churches have started by a ‘decision for Jesus’ kind of gospel. But, if they have walked with God, deepened in their understanding and been taught of Him they will have arrived increasingly at the reality that Jesus is Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David, the true Israel and image of God and that He is all in all. There is no salvation outside of Him. Sadly, perhaps the evangelicalism has, in the main, not begun where it truly ends. It begins with four spiritual laws, a neat salvation message about Jesus dying for us so that we could avoid hell and get to heaven and many just embrace that bare and superficial gospel message and carry on living a life cleaned up only on the surface. This author seeks to bring us to the whole plan and purpose of God, showing the full story. If he fails to convince it will not be so much the subject matter he handles, but the lack of cohesion and the sense of hurry to get the point across that begins to irritate. He mentions, at points, the teaching thrust of men such as John Piper, I do not get the sense that he is slandering or cynical about any of those who’s writings he examines. In fact, he is commendatory as well as negative. But somehow, although there is an eirenic tone there also appears to be a pressure that drives him on to fulfil his mandate at breakneck pace, perhaps because he wants to make his book accessible to others than theological students and in so doing may be shooting himself in the foot. To some the dominant idea McKnight is writing may seem a revolution in Christian doctrine, to others he helpfully puts into words what they have been seeing for years and years. He shows briefly how we historically arrived at the ‘four spiritual laws’ gospel and instead tries to seat us on, (at least in his own reasoning) the four legged stool, that there is no conflict between what Jesus taught, Paul, Peter and the creeds formulated by the church through its first centuries. It was all about Jesus fulfilling what Adam and Eve were created to be and do, and Abraham and Israel were called to be and do, to be a kingdom of priests and what they failed to do but Jesus Son of David accomplished removing sin in the process of His death and resurrection and pouring out the Spirit so that God will have His kingdom of priests in His church out of every kindred tribe and nation. I have stated this inadequately but what a wonderful picture it is. Surely any book that attempts to set forth the wholeness of what God is doing in history is to be commended.