I know it is vain, but as I read it, I kept waiting for him to quote from a journal article I wrote back in 2006 called “The Gospel is More than Faith Alone in Christ Alone.”
Of course, Scot McKnight never did quote from it.
So either he plagiarized me, or he never read the article… Hmmmm… I wonder which one it is?
The Gospel is about more than How to get Saved
In the 2006 journal article, I studied the New Testament usage of the word “gospel” and ended up concluding that
The gospel contains everything related to the person and work of Jesus Christ, including all of the events leading up to His birth, and all the ramifications from Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for unbelievers and believers.
Then, in 2009, in a blog post titled “The Gospel is Full of Good News” I stated that
The full gospel is full-orbed in the claims it makes about our present life and eternal existence, and what Jesus wants to do with both.
Later, I did a whole series on “Gospelism” (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6) in which I argue many of the points that Scot McKnight made in his book, but which he referred to as “Gospeling.”
As I was reading Scot’s book, it often felt to me that I was re-reading some of those old posts.
Sure, Scot McKnight and I don’t argue along exactly the same train of thought, and he nuances things differently than I did, but in general, we are in agreement. I found this very comforting, since in 2006, some people blasted me pretty hard for the article I had written. I imagine Scot might be taking flak also. People don’t like their “gospel message” to be challenged.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a review of his book, and so far, it’s all about me… I told you when I started it was vain…
So I will write a different post tomorrow as an actual review, since this one is already too far gone…
The Point of the Gospel
The point is this: Stop thinking that when you share the Four Spiritual Laws, or the Romans Road, or the plan of salvation, or given an altar call, or invite someone to believe in Jesus for eternal life, or any of the other myriad of things that Christians today call “sharing the gospel,” stop thinking that you have actually shared the Gospel. Because you haven’t.
The Gospel includes an offer of eternal life, it includes a message about the forgiveness of sins, it includes facts about the death and resurrection of Jesus, but these by themselves are not the entire Gospel.
The biblical Gospel is much bigger than just our eternal life, the forgiveness of our sins, justification, or getting to heaven when we die.
Instead, the Gospel is a story about God creating the universe, and mankind entering into rebellion against God, and so God choosing to set apart a people for Himself who will set in motion a plan to restore and redeem the universe, but just when this plan seems to go terribly awry, God sends Jesus, His only Son, to complete and fulfill the plan through His miraculous birth, life, miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection. But even this was not the end of the Gospel. Jesus, began the story afresh in himself, and created a new people of God who must carry on the plan and purposes of God for the world and for the universe, both now and for all eternity.
And this, as brief as it is, is only the most pitiful and briefest summary of the Gospel that I can muster. Scot McKnight’s book was a great reinforcement for what I have been thinking and writing about for these past six years. I will talk more about his book in an actual review tomorrow.
Until then, what do you think about this view of “the Gospel”?