In the prologue Scot gives this definition of the gospel:
The gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of a community, for the good of others and the world.Scot describes "the flow of grace":
God embraces you and me andHe summarizes:
God embraces others and
God embraces the whole created order.
You and I embrace God back and
We embrace others and
We embrace the entire created order.
...the gospel is about forgiveness, about justice, and about the community of faith. And it is about each of them, together.This sets the groundwork for the book.
God's grace in Jesus is seen, in this picture, to embrace all. Christ's salvation is cosmic in its proportions (Colossians). All of God's good creation is included in his redemption. Those who refuse that redemption and good kingdom of God are judged in the end. All else is saved and united together in Christ (Ephesians).
We therefore, must not truncate the gospel, and make it something less than what it is. It must include the forgiveness of our sins in Jesus and his death and resurrection for us. It also must include justice, living according to the promise that all things will be made right by God through Jesus. This especially pertains to us humans, the broken Eikons (image-bearers) of God that we are. And also to the creation that awaits humanity's full redemption in Christ, so that it too may be set free from its own bondage to decay (Romans 8). And it concerns a community: the people of God in Jesus. This is a community of the kingdom of God come to earth in Jesus. And a partaker in the dynamic union and communion of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This salvation does bring us into that community, and as part of that- missionally, to bring this gospel of God's embracing grace, to the world.
As we go through Scot McKnight's book, we will focus in on these points closer. Though our thoughts on this blog will be only summations as well as trying to interact with the main point, or points of each chapter.
I invite participation. In questions. Thoughts you may have. Or perhaps in just reading. Both for those who have yet to read the book. And for those of us who have read it.
To begin here: What comes to your mind as to what the gospel is? Or, how would you define the gospel?