The Resurrection for Style Points | Scot McKnight
So Scot McKnight's new book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited is all about seeking a Biblical view of what gospel really means. In my first post, I mentioned how all the early church fathers used the word Gospel to refer, not just to the crucifixion of Jesus, but to all the chapters of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The stories themselves were the Good News. But what if early church Fathers weren't quite right. What do the scripture writers say? At a key point, Paul writes:
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1 Cor 15.1-5
Why is this so central? Paul here is repeating a "passed on" statement from the apostles. It shows up here but again and again. This was a summary of the good news. And it's repeated elsewhere, like Romans 1.1-4:
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord
Again you see the life, death, resurrection of person of Jesus. And importantly, Paul constantly refers to how this was part of a larger story of Israel—"according to the Scriptures" and "from David."
So great, what's the point? Scot worries that many evangelicals have learned only the "Plan of Salvation" but not the bigger Gospel. Not the whole Biblical Story. And that this has really sorta messed us up. While everything about the Plan of Salavation is true, it's not the whole Gospel. At least not the way Paul, Peter, Jesus, and the church fathers talked about the gospel.
I love how Scot quotes one of his undergrad students at North Park
Implicitly, in the theology I often heard, Jesus did not really need to be raised since the mission of Jesus was to forgive us of our sings and that was accomplished on the cross.
The resurrection only theologically counted for style points.
Scot is working to help us understand the wider Story. Why Israel, the Resurrection, and so much more matters when proclaiming the Gospel.