author Scot McKnight, an acclaimed professor of religious studies at Chicago’s
North Park University, issues a discipleship challenge, aiming to reveal what
it means to truly follow Jesus, in One.Life:
Jesus Calls. We Follow.
a Christian home, McKnight accepted Christ at age 6, but in his teen years he
began to grapple in a deeper way with what it actually meant to be a believer.
“I moved from understanding
a Christian as someone who accepts Christ into their heart to someone who
surrenders themselves to Christ in trust and obedience, so that a Christian,
for me, is not someone simply who has accepted Christ but someone who, as the
result of accepting Christ, follows Christ,” he said.
“That transformed my life when I
was 17 years old and through my seminary-study days, when I realized that being
a Christian was a revolutionary decision and lifestyle that would impact
everything I did.”
McKnight, who addressed
the topic of love in The Jesus Creed,
goes on to examine what it means to be a follower of Jesus in a multitude of
ways, offering up topics from justice to sex to vocation to eternity.
“I want to sketch what
the Christian life looks like if we ask Jesus to define those terms and to set
the parameters—and Jesus was all into [the] kingdom of God, and He wanted
people to be caught up in the vision of what God is doing in this world,” he
“And I emphasize church,
that this is not just me and Jesus. This is about Jesus and His people and my
connection to the church, that this will be a society, a kingdom, a community,
a church, a congregation that will have a completely different vision for how
to live in this world.
“It will be an
alternative to what our world offers us, it will be an alternative to American
culture and society, and it will be a radical vision that will involve terms
like justice and peace and holiness and love and surrender and faith.”
McKnight calls One.Life “a church book which is designed to show that the
church is to be the alternative society that the followers of Jesus offers to
the world a completely different agenda.”
Jesus emphasized the
kingdom of God, McKnight says, “the will of God displayed on earth to the
degree that it’s possible,” adding that he wants to see it displayed in the
everyday life of believers.
“I want to excite people about the
vision of Jesus, but I want them to realize that the reality of living that out
is a tough challenge, it’s a rugged commitment, and it takes place in local,
concrete, rather routine ways rather than some kind of dreamy reverie that we
get lost in when we’re in our car listening to our favorite music.
“I like the excitement of the
dream, but the dream has to take foothold with hands and feet in the real world
serving our neighbors rather than some Platonic ideal of loving the world. So
I’m really into the dream that Jesus calls us to have, but I want that dream to
be seen as something that is lived out in the mundane, concrete and routine
help readers “ponder the significance of the life they have,” the book is
“oriented toward people who need to hear the call of Jesus upon their lives,”
college students and 30-somethings tend to be the ones who most need to hear
the challenge of discipleship, he said, the book is also intended to be helpful
for parents who want to discuss it with their adult children, small groups who want to live out a kingdom vision
and pastors aiming to lead their congregations into true discipleship.
Click here to purchase