It is becoming increasingly more obvious that we are living in a “post-Christian” society. Meaning, more and more people no longer have Christian reference points for a Christian understanding of the world. Put another way, it’s not so much that people are antagonistic toward the Christian faith, it’s that most people have no idea what the basic Christian beliefs are. This provides a remarkable opportunity for the church to introduce people to the faith without having to undo some of the Christian “baggage” which was associated with the cultural Christianity of years gone by.
This is what’s great about Scot McKnight’s new book One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow (Zondervan, 2010): McKnight is able to connect with both audiences. The book is good for people that have grown up in the church as well as people who are learning about the faith for the first time. Here’s McKnight’s main point: the church needs to have a more biblical understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ. In the introduction, McKnight tells his own story about wrestling with the deeper meaning of being a disciple. For many years of his life, when asked what a Christian is, he would respond: “A Christian is someone who has accepted Jesus; and the Christian life is the development of personal (private) practices of piety, separation from sin and the world, and a life dedicated to rescuing sinners from hell.” Basically, McKnight was raised to understand Christianity as being “saved” from hell and being a morally good person, demonstrated by reading the bible, going to church and trying to get other people to do the same. There is some truth to this description, to be sure, but McKnight is convinced that it isn’t complete. He now answers the question much more simply: “A Christian is someone who follows Jesus.”
The rest of the book explains what “following Jesus” looks like in everyday practice. Chapters cover a wide-range of subjects, including: Kingdom, Love, Peace, Wisdom, Church, Sex, Vocation and Eternity. Many of McKnight’s examples are stories of college students who are eager to follow Jesus but aren’t sure how, making it a great book for youth and college pastors, parents of teenagers and younger Christians. McKnight does a masterful job of taking complex biblical concepts and making accessible to a wide-range of people, regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey.
Click here to visit Jesus Creed (Scot McKnight's blog)
Big News: Thanks to the good people at Zondervan, next week we will be giving away copies of One.Life! Be sure to check out Facebook, Twitter and our e-Update for details.