Scot McKnight

Free E-Books and The Story of God Bible Commentary

Zondervan is about to release the first two volumes of it’s new Story of God Bible Commentary (coming Oct. 29, 2013).

1) Scot McKnight’s Sermon on the Mount commentary.

2) Lynn H. Cohick’s Philippians commentary.

As a sample, Zondervan is offering two free e-books, basically excerpts from these two books.  The “cost” is that you provide them with your email.

1) Scot McKnight’s free eBook Kingdom Vision (taken from his volume):

2) Lynn H. Cohick’s free eBook Eager Expectations (taken from her volume):

I’m not sure how long the free e-book offer will be available, so if you’re interested I’d grab it soon.

I’m excited about this new commentary series for a number of reasons, but the most personal reason is that I’m writing the commentary for 1, 2 Kings.  But I won’t be finished for awhile, so don’t ask me about it any time soon.

Share this post or these links with anyone who you think might be interested.

Hope you enjoy the free e-books.

The King Jesus Gospel 2

In chapter 2 of The King Jesus Gospel (2011), Scot McKnight focuses on the distinction between the gospel and salvation.  The problem in the evangelical church is that we’ve equated the two when that’s not what Scripture teaches.  Instead of calling ourselves “evangelicals” based on the Greek word euangelion (= gospel), Scot thinks it would be more accurate to call ourselves “soterians” based on the Greek word soteria (= salvation).  Although, he really wants us to have a more biblically informed view of the gospel, so we could accurately call ourselves evangelicals.

There’s part of me that wants to say, “Duh”.  Isn’t what Scot is saying obvious?  Apparently not, at least for many Christians in the US.  I was at a meeting recently where the leader spoke about “sharing the gospel”, but in reality he meant telling people how to make an expression of faith in Jesus in order to be saved.  That’s certainly important, but isn’t the gospel bigger than that?

At the end of the chapter, McKnight introduces us to the mysterious character “Pastor Eric.” (I wasn’t sure who Eric was so I had to double-check to see if he’d mentioned Eric previously, but I couldn’t find any.)  Pastor Eric exemplifies the problem since he is essentially a soterian.  For Eric, the gospel doesn’t involve a call to imitate Jesus, it isn’t an announcement that Jesus is Lord and King, it isn’t an invitation to the church.  That’s a problem.

In the rest of the book, Scot is going to help us understand what Jesus and the New Testament authors meant by the term “gospel”.  Sounds like an important discussion.

How is the gospel more than just telling people about how to be “saved”? 

The King Jesus Gospel I

Scot McKnight begins The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Sept. 2011) with a personal story that may resonate with many evangelicals.  As a seventeen year-old he went door-to-door with a deacon from church.  Even though they shared “the gospel” and the man they visited “made a decision” something was wrong.  The convert seemed to feel pressured and his motivation to “accept Jesus” came not from a deep personal hunger, but in order to remove the two strangers from his house.  Scot never saw him at church.

This evangelistic experience is, unfortunately, not unique.  And it led Scot to become somewhat cynical about evangelism, particularly forms that seemed “slick and manipulative” (p. 21).

Scot’s book is essentially asking a question that is crucial to evangelicals since it should define who we are: “What is the gospel?”  (Scot’s book has not one, but two Forewords–NT Wright and Dallas Willard–which tells you something about the importance of the subject he has undertaken.)

In Chapter 1, Scot offers 3 exhibits for why the Evangelical perspective on the gospel is off.  1) An emailer wondered to Scot what why does it matter that Jesus was the Messiah.  2) John Piper is able to just barely find evidence that Jesus spoke about justification, which is of course the essence of the gospel.  3) Another pastor (unnamed by Scot) tells Scot that Jesus essentially didn’t get to preach “the gospel” because he was, in Scot’s words, “born on the wrong side of the cross.”

Hmm.  I think we have a problem if Jesus didn’t preach the gospel.  Yes, perhaps our understanding of the gospel is a little off.

Personally, I love Paul, but if I had to choose between Paul and Jesus, it’s going to be Jesus every time.  So, far, I’m in agreement with Scot McKnight.

(I wonder, will my blog posts on his book affect his sales as much as his did for my book?  Just wondering.  For his posts on GBB, click here.)

What do you think Jesus thought was the gospel?