The what-is-the-gospel discussion continues. The latest contribution comes from New Testament professor Scot McKnight in his new book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Zondervan, 2011). In the preface, N.T. Wright suggests that McKnight is proposing a "revolution" in our understanding of the Good News. Whether this praise is overstated or not, McKnight's work is a thoughtful and illuminating account of how the early church understood the gospel and its relationship to Jesus.
McKnight's central critique is that contemporary evangelicals have reduced the gospel to the plan of salvation, or to the question of how an individual gets saved. McKnight is careful not to dismiss the importance of personal salvation or of justification by faith, but he contends that the plan of salvation is not the whole gospel, and that in equating the two, evangelicals have made a dangerous mistake.
McKnight writes that the gospel is "the salvation-unleashing Story of Jesus, Messiah-Lord-Son ...1