I am beginning to work my way through The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight. My church staff will be making our way through it the next several weeks as well.
The diagnosis of the “evangelical problem” resonates with me. The struggle over “decisions” and “disciples” has been something I’ve felt for all my years in ministry. McKnight lays out his take on why this isn’t working.
As evangelicals, we come up with ways to explain “the plan of salvation” to people. We want to lead them to a decision. The problem is that it doesn’t capture the gospel.
The Plan of Salvation, to put it crudely, isn’t discipleship or justice or obedience. The Plan of Salvation leads to one thing and to one thing only: salvation. Justification leads to a declaration by God that we are in the right, that we are the people of God; it doesn’t lead inexorably to a life of justice or goodness or lovingkindess. If it did, all Christians would be more just and more filled with goodnes and drenched in love.