The Jesus Creed - Winner of the 2005 Christianity Today Book Award
When an expert in the law asked Jesus for the greatest commandment, Jesus responded with the Shema, the ancient Jewish creed that commands Israel to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength. But the next part of Jesus' answer would change the course of history. Jesus amended the Shema, giving his followers a new creed for life, the Jesus Creed: loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, but also loving others as themselves.
In The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
, biblical scholar and popular teacher Scot McKnight presents a 30-chapter guide to spiritual formation, rich in theological insight and alive with practical applications.
"Make sure this new guide for living is on your shelf." –Max Lucado
"Scot McKnight brings us into conversation with Jesus in the places and conditions in which we live our ordinary lives." –Eugene Peterson
"[Scot McKnight] has been a kind of secret weapon for my own education and growth. Now he can be yours as well. This book will bring Jesus' world and yours much closer together." –John Ortberg
|This fascinating book explains that the gospel is about the restoration of ""cracked Eikons"" (fallen humans) so that humans can be in union with God and in communion with the saints. In the candid and lucid style that has made McKnight's THE JESUS CREED so appealing to thousands of pastors, lay leaders, and everyday people who are searching for a more authentic faith, he encourages all Christians to recognize the simple, yet potentially transforming truth of the gospel message: God seeks to restore us to wholeness not only to make us better individuals, but to form a community of Jesus, a society in which humans strive to be in union with God and in communion with others.|
|July 26, 2006|
|With a degree of theological insight that is refreshingly ""meaty,"" The Jesus Creed is an excellent resource for anyone desiring life-changing, Christ-centered, spiritual growth.|
|September 24, 2004|
|Amid a sea of books on Christian spiritual formation, McKnight brings us a simple, highly readable one focused on the weightiest teaching of Jesus: love God and love others as yourself. . . . McKnight shows great respect for the Jewish heritage of Jesus and offers readers scholarly, yet highly accessible, illustrations of the sociocultural landscape of first century Palestine.|
|August 24, 2004|
|There are few people in the world who both speak well and know what they are talking about. Scot McKnight is one of those people. He blends a great scholarly mind, with a wonderful communicative spirit. In The Jesus Creed this all comes together. Read it, and read it again.|
|Samuel Lamerson, Ph.D., Asst. Professor of New Testament, Knox Theological Semin|
|July 24, 2004|
|This book is a rare treat. A biblical scholar of the first rank offers the fruit of his own personal study, life experience, and prayerful reflections. It is clearly written, eminently practical, and based on a wide range of sage traditions (Protestant, Catholic and Jewish). One does not have to agree with Scot McKnight in all the particulars to see that he has produced a work of real value. No doubt this book will draw many readers closer to Christ, and more deeply into the wisdom of God's Word.|
|Scott Hahn, Ph.D., Professor of Scripture and Theology, Franciscan University of|
|July 24, 2004|
I first read The Jesus Creed
in my first class at Biblical Seminary. If you go back in my blog to that time in 2007, you'll find a much less mature blogger and, honestly, a much less spiritually mature man. I've gotten better but I know I still have a long way to go.
I tell you this because when I first read this book, I really didn't get it. It was a neat idea, really, to think about a new way of viewing Jesus ministry through what he noted as the two greatest commandments: love God and love others. Also, not being a biblical studies major in my undergraduate work, I didn't have a lot of background in hermeneutics exegesis, and all those other big seminary words that many of my classmates had. So the thrust of this book really didn't hit me. it was a nice read, and one that I recommended but it never took off for me.
Over time, something of that book must have sunk in and I started really thinking and looking at what it meant to be a Jesus follower and what it meant to live as he lived. And I kept coming back to those two commandments. And the theme of loving God and loving others and showing that I love God through loving others and the radical nature of that change really it home. So, when I picked up this book again to review for Paraclete Press, I was struck with a deeper appreciation of what this Jesus Creed looks like.
Scot McKnight writes, in this book, not a high-minded theological text describing all the history and background of the gospels and jesus' world (although, that does play a role). Instead, Scot writes an easily accessible text peppered with those little nuggets that add clarity to the gospel story. What is the Shema
? What does Jesus' love for others look like? How did Jesus God incarnate, live out his own creed as a human among humans? How do we engage in this same creed and follow in his footsteps? How do we love God/ How do we love others? And how does this change, not only our lives, but the world around us?
These questions Scot answer in his book. It is a gently written but highly inspiring book that sparks the imagination of what it really means to be, not just a Christian, but a disciple of Jesus and walking in his way. There are times when it might seem repetitive. He does repeat the emphasis of the Jesus Creed in every chapter and, if you're not in a receptive mood, it might feel like he's hitting you over the head with it. I found it helpful, though, to take note of the scripture passages at the beginning of each chapter and section and read the chapters, not as an intellectual exercise, but as a spiritually formational journey. Done like this and taken in small doses, the book walks you through Jesus world and shows you all those nuances of what it means to live out the Jesus Creed.
In my life history as a Mennonite, I had given an intellectual nod to that idea of being a Jesus centered faith and living out not just the idea of jesus death and resurrection but all of jesus life. But it is through this book , both back in my early days in seminary and in this re-reading that I've come to realize what it really means to be an Anabaptist. Following Jesus means I take on the Jesus Creed. I love the Lord God with all of me, not just that little bit I give on sunday morning, but my entire life. And, as I do so, I realize that the best way of showing love to God is to take on the second part of the Jesus Creed and love my neighbors, whether it is the clean-shaven co-worker in the cubicle next to me, the ex-con at the recovery ministry up the street, or the homeless man begging for money outside of Philadelphia theatre. This is the Jesus Creed and I aim for it, not because I can do it myself, but because Jesus already broke the path through the deep snow in front of me so that I can walk more easily and enjoy the journey.Abnormal Anabaptist