Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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.'
"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.I hate to pick nits here, but I think we make a fundamental mistake when we say it's about "Jesus." The Christ is an entry point to the totality of the triune God. Once Christ has "saved" us it is the Holy Spirit that perfects us. It is God the Father to whom we ultimately submit as our sovereign. I fear that focusing on Jesus alone is not that different from the me focused salvation message.
"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?'"
McKnight is so right in decrying the "me" focus of so much that passes for church these days, but the broader focus is much broader than he here announces.
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