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MUST-READ: “The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel,” by Scot McKnight

By Mark D. Roberts | Saturday, March 1, 2008

Scot McKnight, a New Testament scholar, popular author, and outstanding blogger, has just published a must-read article in Christianity Today. It’s called “The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel,” and is part of The Christian Vision Project. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a more concise and powerful explanation of what the good news really is all about.

To whet your appetite, I’m going to quote the first few paragraphs of McKnight’s article. Then, by all means, go and read the whole piece. It is truly excellent.

“The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel” by Scot McKnight.

Our problems are not small. The most cursory glance at the newspaper will remind us of global crises like AIDS, local catastrophes of senseless violence, family failures, ecological threats, and church skirmishes. These problems resist easy solutions. They are robust—powerful, pervasive, and systemic.

Do we have a gospel big enough for these problems? Do we have the confidence to declare that these robust problems, all of which begin with sin against God and then creep into the world like cancer, have been conquered by a robust gospel? When I read the Gospels, I see a Lion of Judah who roared with a kingdom gospel that challenged both Israel’s and Rome’s mighty men, gathered up the sick and dying and made them whole, and united the purity-obsessed “clean” and the shame-laden “unclean” around one table. When I read the apostle Paul, I see a man who carried a gospel that he believed could save as well as unite Gentiles and barbarians with Abraham’s sacred descendants. I do not think their gospel was too small.

I sometimes worry we have settled for a little gospel, a miniaturized version that cannot address the robust problems of our world. But as close to us as the pages of a nearby Bible, we can find the Bible’s robust gospel, a gospel that is much bigger than many of us have dared to believe . . . .

To keep reading, click here.

Topics: Recommendations |

5 Responses to “MUST-READ: “The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel,” by Scot McKnight”

  1. Pistol Pete Says:
    March 1st, 2008 at 3:18 am

    You are right. This sounds like a very compelling book. Too often, we do settle for less than the best God would do through us.

  2. Chris Giammona Says:
    March 1st, 2008 at 11:47 am


    Excellent article. I was going to post the reference too as Scot is one of my favorite authors. His definition of the gospel (in the article) shows why the gospel is good news for a hurting world.


  3. Matthew Says:
    May 26th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Though there is something to be said for Scot’s concern with understanding the Gospel from Gen. 1 to Rev. 22, from where I currently stand there is reason to hesitate at swallowing his remarks whole.

    There is a need to maintain a distinction between the Gospel-proper (Christ’s person and work) and the effects of the Gospel upon the individual and church. Certainly, a wedge can wrongly be driven between the two, yet so too an eraser be applied that blurs the essential distinction to the point that everything becomes the Gospel.

    Scot is right in emphasizing the connection between Creation –> Fall –> New Creation (Redemption, and Consummation). Yet, I’m left to struggle with our “grand” vision on this side of Glory (“already”) being that of a “new society” rather than “an emblem of shame”…the Cross.

    Nonetheless, I found Scot’s comments helpful in pondering again the fuller ramifications the Cross-work of Christ Jesus.

  4. Rahab Klingensmith Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm…..a Must Read,and watch, and listen…A wonderful writer with a profound expectation he has in demonstating a full richness of concern for the poor-and widow alike…and adhering to the gospels advices given on ‘do not’ ever trounce upon, and terrorize the poor and down trodden…God’s righteousness and judgements soon come to follow in a unique form/pattern–the rulers themselves will be greatly un-prepared for–enough said…..Now, why take on such a burden these unrighteous stubborn fellows…when a choice is involved of~Love thy Neighbor Scot McKnight suggests….but, its actually quite more than that!…A call to a higher living standard, or thou aren’t a leader at all–Step Down from your thone before God takes you down one by one , by one….Never hurt the poor,the simple hearted-faint much, and uninformed….or the individual who takes more precious time to understand The Why’s of God’s love and thy Words to understand…..amen

  5. dick ballard Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I recently found The 8 marks of a robust gospel on line along with your What Was The Message of Jesus? and John Piper’s Compassion,Power and the Kingdom of God, an introduction to his series on The Kingdom of God. In the Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard invites us to take a fresh look at the Gospel. The good news message of Christ. Thanks to Scot McKnight, Piper, Willard, and Roberts and N.T.Wright, John Bright and others I am getting a robust view of the Gospel message from Genesis to Revelation.Enjoying your site now, your books not yet, but soon. In Christ, Dick Ballard


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