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The Jesus Creed (Companion Guide) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   67
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2004
Publisher   PARACLETE PRESS #810
ISBN  1557254125  
EAN  9781557254122  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
According to Jesus, the spiritually formed person is the one who loves God and who loves others. This Companion Guide enables the reader to anchor the lessons of The Jesus Creed into the depths of one's heart. Reading The Jesus Creed is the first step; reciting throughout the day The Jesus Creed is the next step. Applying it to all of life is next. Each day's Guide applies the fundamental spiritual formation principle of each chapter in The Jesus Creed, and then encourages each of us to dig deeper in the Gospels to learn more about how The Jesus Creed shaped the life of Jesus and all those around him. What one learns is that The Jesus Creed is everywhere in the Gospels because it was at the heart of spiritual formation for Jesus.

Publishers Description
According to Jesus, the spiritually formed person is the one who loves God and who loves others. This "Companion Guide" enables the reader to anchor the lessons of "The Jesus Creed" into the depths of one's heart. Reading "The Jesus Creed" is the first step; reciting throughout the day "The Jesus Creed" is the next step. Applying it to all of life is next. Each day's "Guide" applies the fundamental spiritual formation principle of each chapter in "The Jesus Creed," and then encourages each of us to dig deeper in the Gospels to learn more about how "The Jesus Creed" shaped the life of Jesus and all those around him. What one learns is that "The Jesus Creed" is everywhere in the Gospels because it was at the heart of spiritual formation for Jesus.

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More About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight Dennis R. Venema (PhD, University of British Columbia) is professor of biology at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, and Fellow of Biology for the BioLogos Foundation. He writes and speaks regularly about the biological evidence for evolution.

Scot McKnight (PhD, University of Nottingham), a world-renowned scholar, writer, and speaker, is Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including Kingdom Conspiracy, The Jesus Creed, The King Jesus Gospel, and The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life. He is also a popular blogger (Jesus Creed).

Scot McKnight currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois.

Scot McKnight has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Ancient Practices
  2. Biblical Guides
  3. Bringing the Bible to Life
  4. Guides to New Testament Exegesis
  5. Library of New Testament Studies
  6. Living Theology
  7. Mersion: Emergent Village Resources for Communities of Faith
  8. New International Commentary on the New Testament
  9. NIV Application Commentary
  10. Rzim Critical Questions Discussion Guides
  11. Story of God Bible Commentaries
  12. Story of God Bible Commentary
  13. Studying the Historical Jesus

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Some say religion is like a sponge that soaks up every bias, prejudice, and sentimentalism- and there is much truth to that (see my forthcoming review of A LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION). Scot McKnight has squeezed the sponge dry; his book THE JESUS CREED-LOVING GOD, LOVING OTHERS distills orthodox Christianity into the Jesus Creed which is Jesus' remarkable answer when asked "what is important." Jesus answered to love God and love others. This foundational creed is derived from the Jewish Shema, Deuteronomy 6.5-5, and from Leviticus 19:15 "Love your neighbor as yourself." McKnight writes, "It should shape everything we say about Christian spirituality. Everything."

Jesus' imperative to love God and love others was radical when Jesus taught and remains radical today or at least muffled under the cacophony of Christian credal contentiousness. McKnight, a professor and Christian biblical scholar, draws on his intimate knowledge of the Bible, holy land history and sociology to highlight, using stories from the Bible and his own life, Jesus' essential and uncompromising command to love God and others.

"What a concept," my high school students might say sardonically without knowing knowing what sardonic means! But McKnight is serious and insists that love God and love others must inform every interpretation of every Biblical verse and every understanding of Christian tradition. McKnight's teaching is gentle with fewer "rough edges" than Jesus' own, and the book is even humorous at times with stories and quotes from friends and contemporary entertainment media. Ironically, McKnight is teaching a not always well received message (MERE CHRISTIANITY by C.S. Lewis comes to mind as another distillation of Jesus' message that threatens the verse-interpretation obsessions of so many denominations). Jesus' simple command that McKnight names the "Jesus Creed" challenges contemporary (and past) Christian perspectives, caught up, as so many are, with worldly and political agendas.

McKnight combines historic settings and metaphor to beautifully bring Jesus' message to life. The table metaphor is one such Biblical setting and metaphor. The Torah required obedience to 613 laws, laws which defined "clean" and "unclean" in ways that sometimes made love of others difficult or impossible. The Parable of the Good Samaritan, for instance, required ignoring the perhaps dead- and therefore impure- Jericho man lying on the side of the road. The Samaritan, however, was willing to violate the law in order to fulfill the greater command to love God and love others. Jesus, in ways that astounded and provoked the elites of his time, welcomed all to his table (and ministry): women, who were marginalized by the ethos of his day, sinners of every sort, lepers, and all the untouchables of that society. Loving god and others meant love god and ALL others.

If the Jesus Creed, love God and love all others, is often hard to hear in the pronouncements of Christians and Christianity, it is even harder to live, witness the history of the church. This book with its simple and difficult message is recommended to all Christians who may have lost the path by following the extraneous, and it is especially recommended to all Christians and non-Christians who have been hurt and angered by those who lost the path and failed to express love and welcome. Possibly like you, my life has been touched more by the path-fallen messages than by the Jesus Creed, a message anything but mean-spirited.

McKnight also hosts a Jesus Creed blog (use your search engine to find it) where daily blogs include the tame, the topical, and the terrifying. Time and time again McKnight and his contributors wrestle with Biblical verses and Christian tradition, sharing their journeys, their doubts, their hopes and fears in ways so moving that any Christian or non-Christian would walk the extra mile with them. These blog pilgrims are sometimes as stripped naked wanderers in the wilderness searching for sustenance and meaning. And that sustenance and meaning comes not from their voluminous knowledge- these blog contributors are mostly professors, students and pastors dizzy with their book knowledge and interpretations- but from six simple words: love God and love all others. From the book and from the blog, one is constantly reminded- all interpretation must be informed by the Jesus Creed. Also, there is general blog agreement that Biblical interpretation must be informed by established scientific facts and theories, but that is another story, outside the scope of McKnight's book.

Another recommended book is A LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION by Sam Harris, an atheist who attempts "to demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity in its most committed forms," and quite successfully, I might add, except for one proviso. Scot McKnight, his book, and his blog escape and are not demolished by Harris' just criticisms. I think McKnight would agree with very much of Harris' critique, and I can't help but think that Harris would find the Jesus creed among the highest expressions of religion. In fact, had Christians learned to love God and love all others there would have been very little basis for Harris' book. However, it must be admitted that, with very few exceptions, Christians and all others, share in this deficit of universal love.

McKnight teaches all to love God by following Jesus along that path of loving others, and his pilgrim bloggers are a testimony to its truth. Harris succinctly shows how Christian dogma and prejudice has continually blocked many from loving others, often creating rancor and sometimes war- another undeniable truth. Somehow, perhaps, love and truth will overcome our history's foreshadowing of tragedy: a world divided into angry factions with weapons on every side that can extinguish the human experiment. These two books, THE JESUS CREED- LOVING GOD, LOVING OTHERS and A LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION inform each other and give some hope that love and reason, indeed the human experiment, might prevail.

the greatest command  Jan 17, 2007
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.
Loving your neighbor  Jan 2, 2007
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.
A Creed in the most literal sense...  Dec 13, 2006
Scot McKnight does a fantastic job of showing what living the life Jesus calls us to live is all about. Using intense historical, religious, and personality background, Scot shows that Jesus central concern was for his disciples to live the kingdom life of loving God and loving others daily. He doesn't skirt around the fact that this kind of life is messy, and complicated. But he shows that Jesus lived that life for us, that it wasn't just his death, but his very life that was a sacrifice for us.
Gripping Summary of Christ's Motives on Earth  Jul 28, 2006
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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