Home > Reviews, Zondervan > The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight

When I first heard about this book, I was excited. I liked the title: The King Jesus Gospel. I knew that he would talk about how the Gospel relates to the Kingdom of God. I wondered if he would mention Lordship salvation. I hoped that he would talk about the grand narrative of scripture. McKnight does this and more. This book is a reaction to the shallow evangelistic methods and anemic “gospeling” of the day.

Scot McKnight writes this book as a corrective for much that has gone wrong in modern evangelism. “I believe we are focused on the wrong things”,writes McKnight. Anyone who grew up in a church that used scripted evangelistic programs and/or programmed visitation can relate to the experiences and disappointments that McKnight recounts. As I read the introduction, I found myself transported back in time to my own experiences. Throughout the book I saw McKnight put into words the thoughts that have been in my mind for some time. So what is the problem and how do we fix it?

McKnight suggests that we have a salvation culture not a gospel culture: “The evangelical culture focuses on the experience of personal salvation as the decisive factor for creating that culture.”  We are concerned with people being saved from hell but we are not dedicated to them living in the light of the gospel for the rest of their lives. This is why true discipleship is lacking in the church. Our focus is on saving them from something but not necessarily to something. We fail to address the kingdom living issues. I found myself in complete agreement with the author on this assessment.

After our attention has been brought to bear on this diminution , we are taken to the reality of the full gospel. The source is of course the scripture. We are given examples in the writings of Paul, the gospel according to the four evangelists and the teaching of Jesus Himself. I rejoice that the author goes to scripture for the answer to the question, “What is the Gospel?”  McKnight then goes on to instruct us on how to usher in this gospel culture. I do not want to spoil your reading of the book so I hope this whets your appetite.

I do not always agree with McKnight. Indeed, I did not always agree with what he said in this book. But I found McKnight to be correct in reacting against the current culture, compelling in his arguments, kind to those he disagrees with and passionate about proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that this book gains a wide reading.  I hope that this topic is much discussed. And I hope that his critics will exhibit the same gracious spirit that he does in his writing.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan for the purpose of review.

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 13, 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310492986
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Categories: Reviews, Zondervan

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