I have finished reading McKnight’s book and want to share some of my thoughts on it. Prof. McKnight was one of my professors when I was in seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he is a prolific blogger at www.Jesuscreed.org
The takeaway point is that the gospel is not only about individual conversion, but the fruit of the gospel in the life of an individual should work itself out in the transformational development of a community in advancing the evidence of God’s kingdom.
What is the gospel?
He defines the gospel as “embracing grace.”
Yet behind that definition is a book of over 170 pages to tease it out via stories, examples from lives of others, and personal testimony, and lots of Bible quotes to keep the development of his definition anchored in the Bible.
What I found refreshing was the fact that the gospel is not just about individual decisions to follow Christ.
McKnight carefully lay’s out how the gospel affects more than just the individual’s relationship with God. It spills over into community — working towards changing the world, which eventually spills into the ultimate redemption of creation.
The fact that McKnight doesn’t keep the gospel confined to an individual conversion speaks towards the trend in evangelism to integrate a person’s conversion with the outward working of that faith. That’s missional faith. To embrace grace personally should lead to grace performed in the local community.
Several chapters show the connection in real live examples of how “proclamation and performance of an authentic gospel combine into credibility.”
McKnight introduces us to the term “Eikon,” referring to the image of God after which humans are created. We are cracked icons, our community is full of cracked eikons. Embracing grace allows cracked Eikons to be released into serving their community and sharing that same grace with others.
Order Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us from Amazon.
Let me ask you this?
What do you think is the relationship between the gospel and transformation of a community? I invite you to share it here in the comments.