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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the greatest command
First published in September 2004, The Jesus Creed is already in its third printing, and the recipient of Christianity Today's Book Award for 2005 as one of the best books of the year to introduce people to evangelical Christianity. Clearly, McKnight, the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park College (Chicago), has struck a chord with a considerable...
Published on January 17, 2007 by Daniel B. Clendenin

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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A simple message we need to hear repeated
The positives: we need to hear this theme of loving God and our neighbour (especially the latter) more in today's church. Scot reiterates this until it sinks in to even the hardest heart. This book will challenge you to act on your faith. The section on the social impact of the greatest commandment is very inspiring. There are several good cultural insights into society...
Published on January 21, 2006 by arukiyomi


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the greatest command, January 17, 2007
By 
Daniel B. Clendenin (www.journeywithjesus.net) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
First published in September 2004, The Jesus Creed is already in its third printing, and the recipient of Christianity Today's Book Award for 2005 as one of the best books of the year to introduce people to evangelical Christianity. Clearly, McKnight, the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park College (Chicago), has struck a chord with a considerable reading audience.

The strength of his book is its focus on what is central to the faith rather than peripheral, and to present that central affirmation in a simple, which is not to say simplistic, manner. McKnight taught seminary students for eleven years before choosing to teach college-level students for the past ten years, and about half of these younger students are not Christian. I admired his ability to move from his capacity as a technical specialist who has written more weighty tomes to connect with people who know nothing at all about the faith. A number of other strengths commend this book. McKnight draws upon a wide fund of ecumenical sources--Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, Pentecostal, and evangelical. He uses story-telling to good effect by sharing real-life anecdotes from his personal, family, and professional life. His style is casual throughout, and for that reason entirely accessible. John the Baptist, for example, "was wired hot and a bit off his rocker, living in the wilderness, eating bugs, and calling the nation to repentance" (141). Being the scholar that he is, McKnight also roots his discussion in the Jewish context of the life and times of Jesus. Although his presentation is simple, at the same time it is comprehensive, guiding the reader through such issues as community, social justice, the sacraments, and so forth. Finally, I appreciated McKnight's book because he introduces his readers to sources from the ancient to the modern, and to points in between. You will learn about the early fathers, the medieval monastics, the Reformation Protestants, and modern-day writers from Dorothy Sayers to CS Lewis and Dallas Willard.

And just what is the Jesus Creed? It is Jesus's amended version of the Jewish Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, the heart and soul, the sine qua non or quintessence of Judaism. When asked by an expert in the Law about the greatest commandment, Jesus answered with the Shema, adding to it Leviticus 19:18: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:28-33). In this short summary we have what Thomas à Kempis called "a whole dictionary in just one dictum" (8). In the rest of his book McKnight parses the grammar of Christian faith so clearly that few readers could misunderstand.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Why Jesus Still Matters, January 3, 2005
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This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
For those seeking to know more about Jesus, there are few if any books out there that will serve you better than The Jesus Creed.

Part of what sets McKnight's writing apart is his gift for combining sound scholarship with a down to earth writing style and a great sense of humor. That makes for a book of profound insight that it also very readable. It not only informs the mind, but touches the soul.

Another strength of this book is its practicality. The Jesus Creed does indeed analyze the philosophy of Jesus, its historical context, and the principles he espoused. But it also takes these things one step further in making concrete observations about how one might live in accord with Jesus' teaching today.

Whether you are a Christian looking to grow in your devotion to Jesus, or whether you are simply someone interested in knowing more about him from a purely secular point of view, this is a book that will help you understand both the teachings of Jesus Christ and the lasting impact he has had on the world around us.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good News is still simple, May 20, 2005
By 
Gringo Ric ""Ric"" (Nashville, TN, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
In our complex society filled with temptations and quickness to judge, it MAKES SENSE that the gospel is still as simple as it has ever been. We as a culture have become more complicated. Jesus has remained the same, and so has his message of love and selflessness.

Scot McKnight's book has shed light on the simplicity, thoroughness, and applicability of Jesus's "Creed" unlike any other theological book I have read. And the author achieves this purpose without the troublesome undercurrent of legalism and judgmentalism that so many authors are afraid to leave out.

I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with perceptions of a "tricky" or "confusing" gospel, such as those whose assurance has been challenged. Or to anyone who thinks the Jesus tossed around in church is *necessarily* the Jesus who walked the earth 2000 years ago or who lives still today.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A simple message we need to hear repeated, January 21, 2006
This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
The positives: we need to hear this theme of loving God and our neighbour (especially the latter) more in today's church. Scot reiterates this until it sinks in to even the hardest heart. This book will challenge you to act on your faith. The section on the social impact of the greatest commandment is very inspiring. There are several good cultural insights into society of Jesus' day. The recommended reading list is a very very good one. It should be required reading for every Christian.

The negatives: the book is cram full of quotes from his recommended reading list. Often I felt that rather than making a point of his own, Scot was simply writing down what had inspired him in another publication. The insights he does have I felt therefore were watered down and overillustrated in places. Sometimes I felt the illustrations didn't quite fit. I have serious doubts about one particular aspect of Scot's theology in particular: that of Jesus having to repent. This did disturb me.

I'd recommend this, despite my reservations, as a good read for anyone who finds classic spiritual writing challenging to read and needs an introduction to it. It is also good for those new to the faith so that they can get their bearings on what is fundamentally the most important aspect of our Christian lives.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving your neighbor, January 1, 2007
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This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
The Jesus Creed - Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight

Summary by G. Stephen Goode

From the Preface --

"A Jewish expert on the law once asked Jesus what was the most important thing for spiritual formation. Jesus' answer turned history upside down for those who followed him. This book is an invitation for you to explore Jesus' answer to that man. I call it the Jesus Creed, and what he said should shape everything we say about Christian spirituality. Everything."

Jesus knows what life is all about. He was born into a Jewish family and culture but he was more than Jewish. He took the Shema which was central to Judaism but he added to it to make it the Jesus Creed. It is simple, yet it will cost us our lives, living it out. Love God. Love others. It is central to who Jesus was and is the core of who we should/can become. Jesus gave us the Creed and a model to follow.

Dr. McKnight is a Old Testament scholar but he does not write like one. I have to admit that I sought out this book because of the loving others part. I think we in the church should be doing that better and more often in order to demonstrate the love of God to the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, to the poor and other unreached worlds. It also has to be integrated. Loving God and Loving others is like a coin. You cannot have one side without the other and yet it seems like we continue to get pulled from one side or another. Either just loving God or loving one's neighbor. We cannot do one without the other. God help us to be more like Jesus.

This book helped me a great deal as I started reading it during our response to the Asian tsunami. Loving God and our neighbor has been there from the beginning. Listening to those who suffer, entering into their grief and bearing their burdens helps us to fulfill the love of Christ. Compassion in the Jesus Creed is on every page of this book just like it is in the four Gospels. I think we forget that sometimes but Jesus did not. That is why He made it the center.

From page 117

"Jesus doesn't act in compassion in order to dazzle people into adoring him. He acts out of love and to transform the life of the grieving person. The widow gets her son back and has an income again. The prostitute's life is transformed from impurity to purity. Each woman of Luke 8 - Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and others - has a special story to tell about what Jesus has done: one tells a story of spiritual cleansing, another of physical healing, and others(if I may guess) of learning that Roman money is to be distributed to the needy, including Jesus. Wealthy women at the time of Jesus-- and these women were evidently wealthy -- did not pay taxes. Instead, if they had good hearts, they distributed their funds to charities. The chosen charity of these women was Jesus, whom they support and follow his entire life. It is these same women who become witnesses of Jesus' death and resurrection......"

So may we continue to love God and others and fulfill the same creed that Jesus did.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Combination of Scholarship and Devotion, November 27, 2005
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This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
I think what I enjoyed most about this book was McKnight's clear intimate knowledge of Jesus and his world and his ability to turn that into a readable and transforming text. As other reviewers have noted, the book does a wonderful job of presenting the core of the Gospel in a winsome and powerful way. The Jesus Creed successfully combines a life of scholarly insight with a pastoral heart.

Though there were a couple of points at which I did not agree with his take on Scripture, overall, his description and explication of the Jesus Creed is a wonderful spiritual tool that could easily be used in a devotional/spiritual formation format.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Glimpse of Jesus Like I've Never Seen!, January 28, 2005
This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
Loving God and loving others; What could be more simple? Though at first this message may seem elementary, Dr. Scot McKnight has shined a brilliant light for us in the church on what is perhaps the single-most fundamental and essential truth for our collective and individual lives in the church today. Dr. McKnight in The Jesus Creed brings to life the pages of Scripture - both Old Testament and New Testament. His mastery of Scripture (particularly the New Testament gospels) and ability to teach present day truth in light of its historical setting is balanced and seasoned with his seemingly inexhaustible interest in every-day life, from baseball to music to novels to the waterfowl gracing his nearby lake. With each turn of the page, I couldn't wait to see the tidbit of everyday life that would be intertwined with the message of God's love for us and God's call on me to love Him and those around me. Few authors have this ability to relate what it means to be spiritually formed in Jesus Christ through the enlistment of such a broad range of references ... from the lyrics of pop artists like Celene Deon to personal stories of friends, neighbors and numerous others who moved and stirred me. And a good deal of time is spent in the spiritual classics as well as present day writers - from Frank Laubach, Brother Lawrence, John Bunyan and C.S. Lewis to Phil Yancey, John Ortberg and Rick Warren.
After reading and rereading The Jesus Creed, I am convinced this book will become something of a regular spiritual "classic" or corner-post that is worth a frequent visit. It is a priceless "find" for small group study...there is even a companion study guide available.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, April 4, 2005
This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
The thing I respected the most about Scott McKnight's book was that he showed respect to the Torah of the Jews. Taking the Shema, Mr. McKnight showed how that Jesus respectfully expanded this time-honored prayer to include the love of others as well.

I may not agree with everything he says as it relates to his interpretation of the ways of the Jews, but this book is truly a good read. I believe that everyone can get a better glimpse on what it truly means to love the Father as Jesus loved. This book is not overly deep but can be easily understood.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Summary of Christ's Motives on Earth, July 28, 2006
By 
This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
I read some of Scot McKnight's earlier work, but this title takes the cake. The Jeus Creed which captures and repaints the Christian faith in a one-sentence mantra to love God and love people provides thankfully easy-to-comprehend (but hard to live out) content.

I particularly liked the use of the table metahor in discussions over Christians' roles in their surrounding culture. The image of table of course was one that Christ himself employed but McKnight capitalizes on it with genious.

I think this book is valuable for those who are looking to live a lifestyle of faith rather than simply practicing a religion. And it is an ideal tool for more seasoned Christians who have perhaps comfortably settled into their own religious routines but need some encouragement to do more life application. Excellent read. I highly recommend it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Jesus Creed: Alright, February 15, 2010
This review is from: The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others (Paperback)
Title: Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight

Pages: 335.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 1 year.

Days spent reading it: 2 months. (I started it, got bored, put it down, picked it up again and finished).

Why I read it: I enjoy Scot McKnight. He has a great blog called Jesus Creed. He's a christian scholar who likes to think outside of the box. I don't agree with him all the time (or even most of the time I think). But he does make me pause and think about my theology.

Brief review: The premise of this book was simple: What does Jesus teach us about how we can Love God? Scot McKnight uses "The Jesus Creed" to explore spiritual formation ('Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The Second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these). McKnight traces how many of Jesus' sayings about spiritual formation are grounded in the Old Testament law and then expanded upon and applied by Jesus.

I liked some of this book. In the beginning McKnight uses too many transliterated Hebrew words in his text. I understand using Shema to talk about "Hear, O Israel" and the Ten Commandments. I don't understand using Anawim (pious poor), mamzer (illegitimate child), tsadaqim (righteous ones), OVER and OVER again to talk about words that are expressed just fine in English. I honestly annoyed me so much I put the book down for awhile. However, some of McKnight's chapters on about how we live out our lives following Jesus in the second half of the book are very good and were worth reading.

McKnight has some great insights, but he can be difficult to read. His writing is not as clear or as smooth as I was expecting. Maybe it was just me, but I found him awkward and frustrating to read during the first 100 pages.

Jesus Creed was alright. It was not great. It was not bad. It was just good. I've read other books on spiritual formation that I would recommend before this book. But if you're interested, McKnight does have some good points about how to follow Jesus in the last half of the book.

Favorite quote: "Our reputation (what others think of us) is not as important as our identity (who we really are). Spiritual formation begins when we untangle reputation and identity, and when what God thinks of us is more important than what we think of ourselves or what others think of us."

Stars: 3 out of 5.

Final Word: Alright.
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The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others by Scot McKnight (Paperback - August 1, 2004)
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