Saturday, March 31, 2007

Book Report – The Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight

I’ve been wanting to read this book for some time. It has been setting beside my bed for over 6 months. I have finally got a chance to read it and I am glad I did. I’ve had a chance to read Scot McKnight’s book “Embracing Grace” about a year ago and it was a great read so I was really excited about getting into this one. I finish them book on my family vacation and it was a great way to finish it.

The idea of having a creed isn’t a new one for me but certainly wasn’t something I thought about much. I have to say this book has changed the way I think in many ways. I usually share two big take aways that I get from a book I’ve read but I’m adding to this report a very simple and practical application that I got also.

Big take away #1 – McKnight explains what the Jesus Creed is: “Jesus thereby amends the Shema of Judaism (Dt. 6:4-9) by adding Lev 19:18, revealing that spiritual formation is about the love of God and others.” When Jesus address a religious scholar in Mark 12:28-33 Jesus, as McKnight puts it, answers with this Creed: “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord your god with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these (Mark 12:29-31 MSG).” This is really more of a reinforcement than a new idea for me. I totally and complete agree that we are here on this earth to love God and to love others.

Big take away #2 – McKnight explains throughout the book what it means to be a spiritual formed person. The list that he put together is an excellent reference for me. I can see myself going back to this reference and McKnight’s book often as the Lord grows my spiritual formation. Here is that reference list:
“ A spiritually formed person:
- Loves God by following Jesus and loves others
- Embraces the stories of others who love Jesus
- Lives out kingdom values
- Loves Jesus
- Participates in the life of Jesus.”
This list seems so simple but it has a life time of uses for me.

The very simple and practical application that I am using is this:
1) I have started reading a chapter a day from the Bible (I started in I Thess.)
2) From that chapter I find at least one verse that stands out to me
3) I then write a short (one sentence to three sentence) explanation of why that verse stood out to me.
4) My goal is to take a ½ day ever 6 mths to look over all of my short explanations and see if I find some kind of common theme(s) in them.
5) I take that common theme(s) to help me plan my next set of books I read, what I study in the Bible, change my person quite times to contemplate this common theme(s) better, etc
6) Grow in my understand of how to love God and love others better.
I know this seems simple but for me, who needs things to be simple, I very excited about what God might do in my life while using this simple application.

Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight is an excellent book and I recommend to anyone to read it.

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