This year we are going to be journeying through the book, Following King Jesus by Scot McKnight and Becky Castle Miller. The book itself works through the McKnight's books King Jesus Gospel, The Blue Parakeet, One Life, and A Fellowship of Differents. The purpose of the book is to focus on following Jesus as a disciple. It can be done individually or in a group setting.
Having walked through the first section of the book focusing on the King Jesus Gospel, I have been reflecting on the experience as a whole. The section is very challenging to the status quo I feel of how we view the good news of Jesus. The section puts the focus of the good news of Jesus. I feel the strength of the book so far, is making sure we, as modern readers realize that the gospel is not about us. We are not the reason Jesus died on the cross. More importantly, the cross is not the whole story. The cross finds significance only through the resurrection of Jesus. I believe the challenge of the gospel as laid out by Mcknight and Miller are good healthy points. The church, as a whole, should be reminded that Jesus is the good news because his story is the resolution to Israel's story. It is a good reminder of the whole story and where Jesus is situated in the story.
The story of Jesus as the resolution of Israel's story is an excellent summary of the gospel; however, I don't know if it would have the same impact on a non-Christian. What is Israel's story, and why should we care? If the criteria are to share the good news and do it succinctly, I am not sure this would be perceived as good news by someone, not in the church. I think our modern ideas of nations and states, and that might be a barrier to overcome in the message. I believe the new challenge is to take what McKnight and Miller declare the gospel as and make it translatable today. I believe it's always been the mission of the church to take the good news of Jesus to the people of your time and place.
The final chapter of the section asks how do we create a gospel culture? I think it is a beautiful challenge, but the rest of the section has been able to offer clear examples and leading that I feel it falls short at the end.
I think the section ends with a perspective of addressing people already in the church. Yes, being soaked and saturated in the story of the bible is great. I agree that knowing the story is of immeasurable value. However, the reality is that most church attenders do not have the time and energy to know the deep history of the church, theological arguments made throughout history, and the cultural context of the writings. I am still left with the question of how to engage the people outside of my brothers and sister in Christ? McKnight offers some conflicting narratives and stories that our story competes with, but how do we engage beyond our churches? How do we disciple others? I feel like in my soul I long for the book to share examples or competing views to push against these narratives or share the gospel today.
We are left with some good discussion. The book does not answer the here and now story. So how are you gospeling today? How has the reading of the book or the blog challenged your gospeling? It would be great to hear from you all.
Next, we will be looking at how to read the Bible.