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The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others Paperback – August 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Author can not tell the difference between the commands of Christ and what a statement of faith is. This is an example of making the Bible say what you want it to say, not an... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Loring L Schoenhut
Scot McKnight is a prolific author. He has written numerous books that are highly respected in Christianity. This book provided two impressions. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Matthew Morine
While this book will be viewed as too elementary by some serious theologians, I find that it touches me at the foundations of my faith. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Terry Rudy
The local Lutheran Pastor said he chose this book for his Adult Bible Study Class because he didn't feel the class members could understand anything more involved or academic. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Colorado Kid
Getting the basics right in our Christian faith is so important. Mr McKnight helps us understand what Jesus clearly showed us in the gospels. Love God. Love your neighbor.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not finished reading the whole book as yet.
Church giving sermons and backfeed on it.