I finished Scot McKnight book “The King Jesus Gospel” today. I thoroughly enjoyed the book so I thought I would give a brief review here.

Big Idea: our understanding of “Gospel” has been divorced from telling “Gospelling” the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We have also forgotten that the Apostolic Gospel was rooted in the understanding that Jesus was the resolution of the story of Israel.

McKnight’s second big idea is that salvation culture (focusing on personal justification and sin management) has replaced Gospel Culture (being people of the story of Jesus).

McKnight challenges the often held belief that Paul preached Gospel, and Jesus preached Kingdom. He explores 1 Corinthians 15 as Paul’s definition of Gospel based on the handed down apostolic telling of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. I’ll admit that for most of my life I held to Plan-of-salvation Gospel (God Loves you, you are a sinner, you can be forgiven if you accept Jesus as your personal savior). As true as this is, it is only part of what early Christians believed to be the Gospel.

Ultimately, The King Jesus Gospel opens up a good dialogue about how wide or narrow our Gospel is and how close it is to the original Gospel. This original Gospel is not a mysterious Gospel, kept hidden from the faithful for ages. Instead it’s plain as the Bible in front of our face. That’s why the first four books of the NT are called “the Gospel according to…” they are Gospel because they tell the good news of the story of Jesus.

I kept wanting Scot to describe what a true Gospel culture looks like. His description seems incomplete to me. He wants us to become people who are familiar with the story of Israel, the story of Jesus, and the story of the church. This will help us become a Gospel culture. I felt that this section could have been a bit more practical.

I’ll leave you with a powerful quote from the book.

There’s our gospel: it’s the saving Story of Israel now lived out by Jesus, who lived, died, was buried, was raised, and was exalted to God’s right hand, and who is now roaring out the message that someday the kingdom will come in all its glorious fury.