Friday, June 15, 2012

Evangelicals Should Be Gospel Centered, Not Salvation Centered, Theologian Says

Evangelical Christianity has been shaped by a "salvation culture," but should strive for a "Gospel culture," says Dr. Scot McKnight, professor of religious studies at Northern Seminary.

"The Gospel of salvation has produced what I call a 'salvation culture' – a culture marked by who's in and who's out. So a very strong sense of 'we are the in group and others are the out group.' ... A 'Gospel culture' is a culture shaped by following Jesus, by living under Jesus as King. A 'Gospel culture' includes personal salvation, but it includes so much more," McKnight said in an interview with The Christian Post.

The Christian Post spoke with McKnight earlier this month while he was at the Pastorum Live conference in Chicago, hosted by Logos Bible Software. McKnight also wrote a book on the topic called The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited.

"The central question of the Bible is not, 'how can I be saved?'" McKnight said during his presentation. "This is the 'me' question. The central question of the New Testament is, 'who is Jesus?' This is the 'God' question. The 'me' question follows the Jesus question.

"The fundamental job of the evangelist is not to get people to feel guilty about sins, or to feel terrorized by an angry God. The central question of evangelism is, 'who do you think Jesus is?'"

Evangelical pastors, McKnight explained in his interview, are more concerned about precipitating decisions than making disciples. Read more

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