Part I here
In Ch. 3 McKnight lays out 4 categories.
- The Story of Israel/the Bible.
- The Story of Jesus.
- The Plan of Salvation
- Method of Persuasion.
“Which of these four categories would you apply the term gospel to?”
He argues that these four categories are connected and ought to build on top of one another.
“without the story of Israel, the story of Jesus makes no sense, and without the story of Jesus, the plan of salvation makes no sense.”
Mcknight opines on the Plan of Salvation:
“sometimes we are so singularly focused on the personal-Plan-of-Salvation and how-we-get-saved that we eliminate the Story of Israel and the Story of Jesus altogether.”
“The Plan of Salvation and the Method of Persuasion have been given so much weight they are crushing and have crushed the Story of Israel and the Story of Jesus.”
“Our Method of Persuasion is shaped by a salvation culture (rather than a gospel culture) and is designed from first to last to get people to make a decision so they can come safely inside the boundary lines of the church.”
And Mcknight argues on the Story of Israel/Jesus, “without the Israel and Jesus story there is no gospel, and if we ignore that story, the gospel gets distorted, and that is
just what has happened in salvation cultures.”
Salvation cultures have
- Focused on methods of Persuasion, rather than the persuasive content of the gospel.
- Have equated the Plan of Salvation with either the Story of Israel or the Story of Jesus & distorted the gospel and at times even ruined the Story.
the Plan of Salvation
- is not the apostolic gospel.
- The Plan of Salvation emerges from the Story of Israel/Bible and from the Story of Jesus
It is unfortunate when the method of persuasion becomes the focus of evangelistic curriculum. The curriculum then aids the student in rendering the ‘unintelligible’ plan of salvation persuasive. Why not just make sure our people understand who Jesus is, what he thought, and taught? I like where McKight is headed so far. Can we not infer from the beginning of Mark’s gospel, that the gospel is the story of Jesus who is the climax of the TaNaK? I think we can.
Mcknight is convinced that because, by and large we think the gospel is the Plan of Salvation, and because we preach the Plan of Salvation as the gospel, we are not actually preaching the gospel. I agree. Trying to persuade people to believe a few propositional truths about the ‘plan of salvation’ rather than introducing them to the person and work of Jesus is a bit weird, and unlike what the apostles were doing. Indeed the apostles gospel was thoroughly story bound and Christological.