Friday, November 11, 2011

McKnight 8: Jesus and the Gospel

Next is chapter 7 of Scot McKnight's King Jesus Gospel

Intro: Evangelism Explosion
Chap. 1: The Big Question: What is the Gospel?
Chap. 2:Gospel Culture vs Salvation Culture
Chap. 3:From Salvation to Story
Chap. 4: The Gospel of Paul
Chap. 5: Salvation Takes Over the Gospel
Chap. 6 The Gospel in the Gospels

Now Chap. 7, "Jesus and the Gospel."

If the gospel is the story of Jesus' death, burial, resurrection as the fulfillment of the story of the OT, did Jesus himself preach it?  Scot's answer is yes.  Did Jesus preach that he was the completion of Israel's story?  Scot argues that he did.

He starts with pre-Jesus stuff, Mary and Zechariah in Luke.  Yes, they see in Jesus the completion of the entire sweep of God's covenant with Israel.  In Jesus the awaited kingdom comes, involving a new kingdom society and a new citizenship.  Jesus is at the center of this kingdom.

In his dialog with John the Baptist, Jesus implies that he in fact is the messiah, the culmination of expectations.  In three "look at me" passages, Jesus says that his moral vision is the culmination of the OT. He appoints 12 disciples, which implies the restoration of Israel. He foresees his death and sees his role in terms of the Son of Man of Daniel 7.

The conclusion--Jesus preached the same gospel.
I agree with a great deal here, although I wouldn't put it together quite this way.  I do believe Jesus saw himself as the messiah.  I believe he foresaw his death.  I believe that his appointment of 12 did indeed indicate the restoration of Israel.

I actually start my understanding of gospel with Isaiah 52:7 and the ministry of John the Baptist as the anticipation of God's impending restoration of Israel.  It is the good news that God's kingdom is coming.  So, yes, I do believe Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom's arrival and that he saw himself as an intimate part of it. But I don't think that the word was yet used in reference to Jesus as king until after Jesus' resurrection, and I don't think Jesus' preaching of the gospel initially included any teaching about his death or resurrection.

To me, Scot gives the word "gospel" too continuous a meaning and runs a lot of nuances and historical developments together.  From a scholarly perspective, there are also a lot of assumptions here about these being exactly the words spoken on various occasions.

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