I’m really looking forward to Scot McKnight’s book, The King Jesus Gospel.
I have been grievously burdened for some time about the gospel that is being peddled in the western church. Some have called it an ‘incomplete’ gospel in that it presses for decisions but leaves off the necessity of discipleship. I believe it is not only incomplete, but deceptive in that it offers an unreliable assurance to those who are trusting in it. It falls in the category of what Paul warned against:
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8, NASB)
Then Paul repeats the last refrain just for good measure in verse 9.
We’ve made the Gospel message a veritable stroll down the Roman’s Road instead of a narrow road that leads one out of Vanity Fair. We place so much emphasis on “It is finished!”* that we tragically ignore the admonition to “finish the course” with a fixed belief**. There are entire generations who believe they have heaven because they prayed a prayer and made a decision for Christ. Where are the testimonies of the abiding life? I’d like to see John 15 become a bigger part of the discussion on eternal life than the Roman’s Road. All of First John, too.
Why not Mark 1:14,15? Or the rest of the ‘Red Letters’?
There’s a ridiculous notion out there that says the Gospels can only be applied to a particular audience for a limited period of time. Sorry, but the dispensationalism of Darby and Scofield have led to the diluted, deconstructed gospel we have today. Let’s do, as Scot suggests, “start all over again.”
With the Gospel of King Jesus. The Gospel that Jesus—and His disciples (including Paul***)—preached.
*It most certainly is finished on our Lord’s end, having secured the means, way and endurance for our salvation, but it remains for us to enter in by faith and determined belief—all of which comes with the empowerment of grace to accomplish
**Such a life can only be lived by drawing on grace that empowers us to abide in ‘this other life’, not by human effort, and certainly not by the means of religious piety
***Acts 20:25; 28:30,31