read this week

i finally read all of scot mcknight’s embracing grace (hey, lookit that! i’m talking about a book, and it’s not a zondervan book or a harper collins book! ooh, certainly rupert must fire me now. oh, i’m so confused our our mission!). sorry, back from that rather snarky parenthetical retort… anyhow: scot’s book is great reading. i read it as “assigned reading” for our junior high pastors summit in a week, which scot is speaking at. i’ve been wrestling with my understanding of the gospel, and more specifically, atonement theories, for some time now — especially as it pertains to speaking to teenagers. so i found scot’s book really helpful. i love his ‘definition’, found in the intro:

the gospel is the work of God to restore humans to union with God and communion with others, in the context of a community, for the good of others and the world.

another one of the many paragraphs that really caught me:

God designed the gospel for us.
God designs the gospel for more than my goodness and my sin and my redemption and my liberation and my experience and my chance to go to heaven when i die. the gospel is about us before it is about me. my own i is in the Us, and a gospel of i without an Us is a gospel about me. i’m glad the gospel is for me but it is about more than me.

6 thoughts on “read this week”

  1. he has the ability to write in such a way that he handles the heavy issues and yet is so readable and accessible. what a gift he is to the church.

  2. I read it at our youth New Year’s retreat (I teach 8th grade guys) and immediately passed it along to our youth pastor. And you picked out two of my favorite quotes (though I had a lot of ‘favorites’). It was great to findly find a gospel explored that felt “big enough” for all I’ve found in scripture, church history, and experience; a gospel big enough for someone like me.

  3. Mark: Please write more on your blog about your “understanding of the gospel and atonement”, and also how it pertains to youth ministry. I am very concerned and interested about this subject. Atonement seems so critical to our understanding of Christ, and yet we (I?) often fall into simplistic and unconvincing explanations when talking to our middle school kids. The gospel deserves better than that.

    Please share with us your thinking, and I’ll do the same. Perhaps we can learn from each other?


  4. fair enough, david. i’m in a learning mode these days on this — don’t have much “figured out” yet — but i’ll share some of my simplistic thoughts at some point!

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