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The Jesus Creed: Seven Lessons on Loving God and Loving Others

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'The Jesus Creed is fresh, accessible, inviting, and compelling. And without cliches. Scot McKnight brings us into a conversation with Jesus in the places and conditions in which we live our ordinary lives.'---Eugene H. PetersonWhat was spiritual formation like during the time of Jesus? As Scot McKnight points out, the early Christians didn't sing in the choir or go to wee 'The Jesus Creed is fresh, accessible, inviting, and compelling. And without cliches. Scot McKnight brings us into a conversation with Jesus in the places and conditions in which we live our ordinary lives.'---Eugene H. PetersonWhat was spiritual formation like during the time of Jesus? As Scot McKnight points out, the early Christians didn't sing in the choir or go to weekly Bible studies, and yet they matured inwardly in relationship with God as well as outwardly in their relationships with each other. How did this happen?In /The Jesus Creed DVD/, explore with Scot how the great Shema of the Old Testament was transformed by our Lord into the focal point for spiritual maturity. According to the Jesus Creed (found in Mark 12:29-31), loving God and loving others are the greatest commandments.Scot uses biblical characters such as John the Baptist and Peter to explore themes important to every Christian: What are you living for? What has God called you to become? How is God calling you to compassion? What happens when disciples fail? This DVD provides a seven-week study with Scot that is excellent for any high school or adult spiritual formation process. Use it alongside /The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others/, for nurturing officers, teachers, senior citizens, men's fellowship groups, and any others who are looking for direction in their spiritual growth. /The Jesus Creed DVD/ plus study guide provide lessons on how to mature following the model that Jesus provided for his first disciples.Study Guide included.


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'The Jesus Creed is fresh, accessible, inviting, and compelling. And without cliches. Scot McKnight brings us into a conversation with Jesus in the places and conditions in which we live our ordinary lives.'---Eugene H. PetersonWhat was spiritual formation like during the time of Jesus? As Scot McKnight points out, the early Christians didn't sing in the choir or go to wee 'The Jesus Creed is fresh, accessible, inviting, and compelling. And without cliches. Scot McKnight brings us into a conversation with Jesus in the places and conditions in which we live our ordinary lives.'---Eugene H. PetersonWhat was spiritual formation like during the time of Jesus? As Scot McKnight points out, the early Christians didn't sing in the choir or go to weekly Bible studies, and yet they matured inwardly in relationship with God as well as outwardly in their relationships with each other. How did this happen?In /The Jesus Creed DVD/, explore with Scot how the great Shema of the Old Testament was transformed by our Lord into the focal point for spiritual maturity. According to the Jesus Creed (found in Mark 12:29-31), loving God and loving others are the greatest commandments.Scot uses biblical characters such as John the Baptist and Peter to explore themes important to every Christian: What are you living for? What has God called you to become? How is God calling you to compassion? What happens when disciples fail? This DVD provides a seven-week study with Scot that is excellent for any high school or adult spiritual formation process. Use it alongside /The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others/, for nurturing officers, teachers, senior citizens, men's fellowship groups, and any others who are looking for direction in their spiritual growth. /The Jesus Creed DVD/ plus study guide provide lessons on how to mature following the model that Jesus provided for his first disciples.Study Guide included.

30 review for The Jesus Creed: Seven Lessons on Loving God and Loving Others

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robert Martin

    I first read The Jesus Creed in my first class at Biblical Seminary.  If you go back in my blog to that time in 2007, you'll find a much less mature blogger and, honestly, a much less spiritually mature man.  I've gotten better, but I know I still have a long way to go. I tell you this because, when I first read this book, I really didn't get it.  It was a neat idea, really, to think about a new way of viewing Jesus ministry through what he noted as the two greatest commandments: love God and lov I first read The Jesus Creed in my first class at Biblical Seminary.  If you go back in my blog to that time in 2007, you'll find a much less mature blogger and, honestly, a much less spiritually mature man.  I've gotten better, but I know I still have a long way to go. I tell you this because, when I first read this book, I really didn't get it.  It was a neat idea, really, to think about a new way of viewing Jesus ministry through what he noted as the two greatest commandments: love God and love others.  Also, not being a biblical studies major in my undergraduate work, I didn't have a lot of the background in hermeneutics, exegesis, and all those other big seminary words that many of my classmates had.  So the thrust of this book really didn't hit me.  It was a nice read, and one that I recommended, but it never really took off for me. Over time, something of that book must have sunk in and I started really thinking and looking at what it meant to be a Jesus follower and what it meant to live as he lived.  And I kept coming back to those two commandments.  And the theme of loving God and loving others and showing that I love God through loving others and the radical nature of that change really hit home.  So, when I picked up this book again to review it for Paraclete Press, I was struck with a deeper appreciation of what this Jesus Creed looks like. Scot McKnight (click here for his bio) writes, in this book, not a high-minded theological text describing all the history and background of the gospels and Jesus' world (although, that does play a role). Instead, Scot writes an easily accessible text peppered with those little nuggets that add clarity to the gospel story.  What is the Shema?  What does Jesus' love for others look like?  How did Jesus, God incarnate, live out his own creed as a human among humans?  How do we engage in this same creed and follow in his footsteps?  How do we love God?  How do we love others?  And how does this change, not only our lives, but the world around us? These questions Scot answers in his book.  It is a gently written but highly inspiring book that sparks the imagination of what it really means to be, not just a Christian, but a disciple of Jesus and walking in his way.  There are times when it might seem repetitive.  He does repeat the emphasis of the Jesus Creed in every chapter and, if you're not in a receptive mood, it might feel like he's hitting you over the head with it.  I found it helpful, though, to take note of the scripture passages at the beginning of each chapter and section and read the chapters, not as an intellectual exercise, but as a spiritually formational journey.  Done like this and taken in small doses, the book walks you through Jesus world and shows you all those nuances of what it means to live out the Jesus Creed. In my life history as a Mennonite, I had given an intellectual nod to that idea of being a Jesus centered faith and living out not just the idea of Jesus death and resurrection but all of Jesus life.  But it is through this book, both back in my early days in seminary and in this re-reading, that I've come to realize what it really means to be an Anabaptist.  Following Jesus means I take on the Jesus Creed.  I love the Lord God with all of me, not just that little bit I give on Sunday morning, but my entirely life.  And, as I do so, I realize that the best way of showing love to God is to take on the second part of the Jesus Creed and love my neighbors, whether it is the clean-shaven co-worker in the cubicle next to me, the ex-con at the recovery ministry up the street, or the homeless man begging for money outside of Philadelphia theatre.  This is the Jesus Creed and I aim for it, not because I can do it myself, but because Jesus already broke the path through the deep snow in front of me so that I can walk more easily and enjoy the journey. I reviewed a free copy of this book through the Paraclete Press blogging program. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Willis

    It really doesn't take you so long to read this book. I started to reread this book with a student throughout last semester (Fall '17), but stopped three chapters short of finishing it again. However, it was kind of cool to see that the three chapters left all dealt with what we're celebrating this week/weekend. Back when I first read this book in the summer of 2009, I was floored. I absolutely LOVED it and it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. Scot also became arguably the aut It really doesn't take you so long to read this book. I started to reread this book with a student throughout last semester (Fall '17), but stopped three chapters short of finishing it again. However, it was kind of cool to see that the three chapters left all dealt with what we're celebrating this week/weekend. Back when I first read this book in the summer of 2009, I was floored. I absolutely LOVED it and it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. Scot also became arguably the author that I follow and look forward to new releases from in hopes of reading it as soon as available. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you're interested in the subject and implementation of discipleship based upon the life and teachings of Jesus.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    What is the true "Good News"? That God loves us. What is the way to live out the Gospel? Love God. Love others. Could it be that simple? Yes, it can, suggests Scot McKnight. We may differ in a few minor areas of theology, but on this, Dr. McKnight and I can agree. In this compelling book he talks about how we can not only live this, but practical ways to do so. Starting with the Jewish Shema (Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind), adding to it what Jesus added to it with "Love your neighb What is the true "Good News"? That God loves us. What is the way to live out the Gospel? Love God. Love others. Could it be that simple? Yes, it can, suggests Scot McKnight. We may differ in a few minor areas of theology, but on this, Dr. McKnight and I can agree. In this compelling book he talks about how we can not only live this, but practical ways to do so. Starting with the Jewish Shema (Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind), adding to it what Jesus added to it with "Love your neighbor as yourself", we can find a simple liturgy to repeat daily to remind us of the simplicity of what it is to follow Jesus. This "Creed" creates an inclusive society rather than an exclusive one. A society that puts others first. All others. A society that transforms and restores. Where all can find joy. It shows us that faith is seen in action. That we are not defined by what we do, but who we are. It gives us restoration. Redemption. It is simple. But it is powerful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    First published in 2004, The Jesus Creed by author, blogger, and New Testament Professor Scot McKnight has quickly achieved a place of prominence on many Christian “must read” lists. In The Jesus Creed McKnight attempts to articulate spiritual formation not just as a set of disciplines we practice amalgamated over the course of Church history but rather as a coherent lifestyle based upon Jesus’ own teachings. At the core of these teachings is what McKnight calls “The Jesus Creed.” The Jesus Cree First published in 2004, The Jesus Creed by author, blogger, and New Testament Professor Scot McKnight has quickly achieved a place of prominence on many Christian “must read” lists. In The Jesus Creed McKnight attempts to articulate spiritual formation not just as a set of disciplines we practice amalgamated over the course of Church history but rather as a coherent lifestyle based upon Jesus’ own teachings. At the core of these teachings is what McKnight calls “The Jesus Creed.” The Jesus Creed is Jesus’ own adaptation of the Shema of Deuteronomy 6 coupled with the command to “love our neighbor as ourselves” found in Leviticus 19. McKnight argues that the best way to view both Jesus’ life and ministry and the Mission of the Church is through the lens of the Jesus Creed. Although I have studied both of these topics for many years in college, seminary, and on my own, through reading The Jesus Creed, I have been given a fresh perspective on my life as a Christian and have been invigorated in my desire to serve God and others in ministry. Although the “Jesus Creed” itself is composed of the familiar “Greatest Commandment” as found in the Gospels (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31), McKnight devotes the entire first section of the book to carefully unpacking its importance for spiritual formation, both for the first Disciples rooted in Second Temple Judaism and for us as contemporary Christians. Of all of the chapters in this section, I most appreciated Chapter 4 in which Dr. McKnight compares the society created by followers of the Jesus Creed to a table. First century Jews were highly concerned with status. If a person were male or female, clean or unclean, Jew or Gentile, it made a considerable difference in their ability to worship in Jerusalem. The Jesus Creed, with its command to love God and others levels the playing field and allows all equal access to God’s table. I personally have a strong desire to work with marginalized communities during my ministry and was encouraged by McKnight’s inclusion of the anecdote of Alex Guinness (of Star Wars fame). The story of Guinness’ gradually opening heart to the love of God and its consequence of opening his heart to love others is a wonderful picture of the Gospel in action. In Section Three, Dr. McKnight explains how the Jesus Creed should impact the life of the Church. Before the reader gets to the “application” stage of the work, he or she is exposed first to six “illustrations”--stories of important figures in the life and ministry of Jesus including his parents and his Disciples. Of these stories, I most appreciated McKnight’s treatment of what he calls the Apostle Peter’s “Progressive Conversion.” I grew up in a Lutheran church and my earliest theological education was distinctly Lutheran in flavor. When I was older we moved to an Assemblies of God Church that emphasized “making a decision for Christ” and had many “altar calls.” I distinctly remember feeling routine doubts about my own salvation many times even though I had been trusting in Christ for several years at that time. I truly appreciated McKnight’s thorough treatment of Peter’s growing in the knowledge of Jesus and holiness as a more Biblical model of conversion and sanctification. Throughout the book, Scot McKnight has included numerous quotations and stories from a wide variety of sources, both lay and clergy, from across the spectrum of the Christian Tradition. Nowhere is this more apparent and indeed helpful to the reader than in Chapters 22 and 23 about Restoration and Forgiveness. The story of Michael Green’s marriage difficulties and subsequent restoration and Philip Yancey’s confession and plea for forgiveness for previous racism were especially heart-warming. While I was reading these stories I was filled with hope and new appreciation for how the love of God inspires a believer to use that love as a catalyst to repent, reform, confess, and ultimately restore relationships to where they should be. Once again, the glory of the Gospel was on full display. While the entire work was an encouragement to me, as I continue seeking after God in seminary, no section touched me more personally and viscerally than the last section which describes key events in the life of our Lord through the lens of the Jesus Creed. My only disappointment in the book is that this section did not precede sections three and four which concerned the life of the Church and the individual believer respectively. With this minor quibble aside, McKnight’s treatment of Jesus’ Baptism, Temptation, Transfiguration, Last Supper, Passion, and Resurrection were some of the most spiritually uplifting words I have read in some time. Throughout this section, Dr. McKnight explains the importance of Jesus’ performing these actions. Jesus repented perfectly at his baptism so that we might be able to repent, he was tempted so he could identify with our temptations, he was transfigured to give us a taste of the life to come, he suffered so he could identify with our physical pain, and he rose again to give us access anew to Paradise and Eternity. I walked away from this section with a new appreciation and ever-increasing devotion to Christ, our example, not just in his Passion, but in all aspects of life. Although not written as a scholarly tome, The Jesus Creed is fully referenced and provides a full bibliography and suggestions for further study. Many of the works cited throughout the book are classic works of spiritual formation and Christian discipleship. I have no doubt that McKnight’s The Jesus Creed will one day be considered one of these classic works. No other work on Jesus’ life and teachings has left me with such a passion to get out and serve others in grateful thanksgiving for God loving me first than Scot McKnight’s The Jesus Creed. When and if I find myself in a position of ministry, I will encourage all those in my charge to read this book with open mind and heart.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg Dill

    Within the Christian faith, there are a slew of creeds that exist. Perhaps the most famous of all are the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. But, little do we know that Jesus himself established His own creed. This creed is known as the Jesus Creed. But, before explaining the Jesus Creed, there is a bit of background information that must be addressed first. Before Christ was born, Jews all throughout the known world had their own creed. This creed is better known as the Shema (Sh'ma) and is st Within the Christian faith, there are a slew of creeds that exist. Perhaps the most famous of all are the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. But, little do we know that Jesus himself established His own creed. This creed is known as the Jesus Creed. But, before explaining the Jesus Creed, there is a bit of background information that must be addressed first. Before Christ was born, Jews all throughout the known world had their own creed. This creed is better known as the Shema (Sh'ma) and is still professed by millions of Jews today. The Shema is taken from a passage in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 which reads: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is the shortened version of the Shema and the one most often cited by Jews. Daily, when awakening and retiring for the night, observant Jews recited this creed aloud. Every Jew knew this sacred creed and repeated it quite often. It was also the greatest commandment and was to be followed very obediently with no other exceptions. Anyone who did not follow or recite this creed was known as an "Am ha-aretz", loosely defined as a country bumpkin with no education. Now, fast forward many years later to the days of Jesus’ ministry when He was asked what is the greatest commandment of all: "And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.'” (Mark 12:28-31) The Scribes were expecting only one response. Note the singularity of the question in verse 28? But, Jesus responds not only with the Shema, but adds something additional to this historic creed. Jesus amends the Shema with, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In other words, Jesus personalizes the Shema from a Love-God only Shema to a Love-God-and-Love-Others Shema. And, we all know Jesus certainly demonstrated this in His love for other people. But, the story doesn’t end there... Jesus is once again put to the test with yet another trick question regarding this new creed. What precisely does Jesus mean by “neighbor” in this equation? If a person is not my neighbor, am I still obligated to love him? "But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29-37) So, the bottom line is this. We are to love God and love others. This is the Jesus Creed. Our neighbors, are anyone with whom God places onto our path. It’s easy to claim we love God. Anyone can make this claim. But, it’s a bit more challenging to truly love people; ALL people no matter their background; even if they may not love us back. This applies to those that are hard to love or whom we may deem our "enemy". America certainly has it's enemies, but as Christians, are these too our enemies? Loving others is an outflowing of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. It will also likely be a reason many people may ask us, why do you love me? Why do you care? Francis Schaeffer, in his book, "The Mark of a Christian" summarizes this love of neighbor very succinctly. He writes: "Love, and the unity it attests to, is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father." (page 59)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kinsfather

    Yes! McKnight nails it. Jesus Creed is about how following Jesus, in every way, is about loving God and loving people. While this is a very simple premise, McKnight approaches this topic with power and penetrating insight. The Change: Much of the book is about the changes Jesus brought to the Jewish faith. THis is where McKnight really shines. His knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures and Jewish tradition shines as he examines the prayers, stories, and creeds of Jesus and their Jewish roots. Scot r Yes! McKnight nails it. Jesus Creed is about how following Jesus, in every way, is about loving God and loving people. While this is a very simple premise, McKnight approaches this topic with power and penetrating insight. The Change: Much of the book is about the changes Jesus brought to the Jewish faith. THis is where McKnight really shines. His knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures and Jewish tradition shines as he examines the prayers, stories, and creeds of Jesus and their Jewish roots. Scot reveals how the Jewish faith focused on loving God, then Jesus broadens this to included loving our neighbors as well. His use of Scripture and history is masterful. The Jesus Creed attempts to break following Jesus down to it's most basic elements. While the thought is far from new, McKnight's approach his fresh and contemporary. I certainly agree with him, that modern Christians (myself included) have a ways to go to love our neighbors the way the New Testament instructs. This book is a timely help.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Manuel

    If you're a Christian, Jesus' greatest commandment is probably not a foreign concept to you. "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." While these may not be words always put into practice, they are words that are often talked about in churches and among Christians. Scot McKnight i If you're a Christian, Jesus' greatest commandment is probably not a foreign concept to you. "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." While these may not be words always put into practice, they are words that are often talked about in churches and among Christians. Scot McKnight in his book The Jesus Creed approaches this commandment from a slightly different angle than most churches. He views this statement as Jesus's creed, or formal statement of faith. In McKnight's approach, Jesus is taking the often used Shema of the Jewish faith, which would have been the faith Jesus had come out of, and is adding to it. Instead of only focusing on love of God, Jesus is added a dimension to loving others. After developing this idea for a few chapters, his focus is then on having us live out this creed in our lives. To act upon our love of God and love of others, instead of just holding it as a belief in our mind. He does this by focusing on various stories and passages from the gospels and how they exemplify living out the Jesus Creed and encourage us to do the same. Personally, I found this to be a great book for focusing on our call to both love God and to love others. I thought that McKnight does a great job on fleshing out the Jewish background of Jesus, something I feel that is often missed by many Christians today, at least Christians in the United States. He also does this while keeping the book accessible to readers. His writing style is fairly accessible. He also marks words that are more unfamiliar and has a glossary of these words at the back of the book, another sign that he is intentional about making this book accessible. While I did enjoy the book quite a bit, it does have a few minor flaws, in my opinion. Nothing that I felt was worth docking it a star, but things I felt I should mention. The first is the size. The Jesus Creed is a fairly long book. It's about 300 pages of reading (not including all the end notes and everything like that). This could make it appear intimidating to some who view longer theological books as scholarly or inaccessible to an everyday Christian. This long length also makes the book feel a bit repetitive at times (which didn't really bother me, but it is there). Overall, though I felt that The Jesus Creed is a book that points us to the heart of the Christian faith, the commandment that Jesus himself said was most important. It's a bit long, maybe a little repetitive, but I found myself being both encouraged and challenged as I went through the book. I would definitely recommend it to others.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samuel McCann

    Picked up this book with a lot of anticipation and excitement. Have heard a lot of good things about Scot McKnight from professors and his commentaries are often well received. The beginning starts off with a bang and you feel he has grasped an imcredibly important concept, yet I felt throughout the book he did not bring to fruition the promise of his work. Maybe I had unfair expectations. In some ways I thought this might break free from the typical American evangelical formula, but throughout w Picked up this book with a lot of anticipation and excitement. Have heard a lot of good things about Scot McKnight from professors and his commentaries are often well received. The beginning starts off with a bang and you feel he has grasped an imcredibly important concept, yet I felt throughout the book he did not bring to fruition the promise of his work. Maybe I had unfair expectations. In some ways I thought this might break free from the typical American evangelical formula, but throughout when he seems on the precipice of something innovative he seems to slip back into the same rhetoric and outlook of a broader evangelical sentiment. That is not to say he is your typical evangelical author, far from it, but it feels as though he is constrained. However, maybe I desire that he conforms more to my own tradition and all of these critiques could be unfair. Yet what I find most frustrating is the simplicity with which the topic is discussed. Very rarely does he dive into the complexity of human life and when he does it feels that he is trying to squeeze the positivity out of every situation. I think this is also present in his treatment of the New Testament texts and their context. I've seen more recent scholarship call into question the hard and fast characterizations of 1st century Judaism that McKnight leans upon in this book. If this is the case, then the exegetical fuel is really undercut. Either way I feel he overstates his case, yet again neglecting the potential complexity present. I certainly would recommend this above a litany of other theological, biblical, and spiritual books written for non-academic audiences, but it just felt as though he didn't reach the heights he was aiming for.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emma Palmberg

    The Jesus Creed is not a book to breeze through in one sitting. Instead, it should be read slowly and with some thought put into it. McKnight breaks up the chapters into small, manageable chunks, as well as combining chapters into particular groups. This allows for easy reading and organization. How much one gets out of the book is really up to them. If carefully read, the information can apply to all of our lives, even if just in subtle ways. A beautiful tone is used throughout the book and it The Jesus Creed is not a book to breeze through in one sitting. Instead, it should be read slowly and with some thought put into it. McKnight breaks up the chapters into small, manageable chunks, as well as combining chapters into particular groups. This allows for easy reading and organization. How much one gets out of the book is really up to them. If carefully read, the information can apply to all of our lives, even if just in subtle ways. A beautiful tone is used throughout the book and it is one that is quite genuine. McKnight comes across as an honest, and loving individual, which is necessary of course when writing about love. He captures the poignant stories of the gospel in a different light, with everything being directed towards loving God and others. While this concept is not new and Jesus uses this phrase himself, the complexity and theological density of the Bible can at times seem to interfere with its main premise of love. McKnight not only uses the stories of Jesus to convey how we can all love others but uses them to show the different types of love. Compassion, justice, forgiveness, faith and more are all explored, and how love encompasses each of these important attributes. I only have two minor complaints. However, they are relevant nonetheless. McKnight says that Jesus amended the Shema. While he did add on to the Shema to include loving others, I wish McKnight would have specified that the addition was simply to the exact phrase. The Bible, both old and new testament, commands us to love God and others. McKnight perhaps should have more thoroughly explained that Jesus did not add on new laws, but fulfilled them and placed love as the supreme law. This holds true for both before and after Jesus. One other small issue is that as the book progresses the writing becomes wordier and all over the place. It seems as though near the end this produces a lack of cohesiveness and connectivity to the central theme. Yet despite these complaints, McKnight addresses a prominent part of scripture with grace. While the church currently has divisions, McKnight seeks to unite us through the love of Christ and how we can project this love upon others. Through scripture and theology, he is able to show us that we can apply the law of love to our daily lives, no matter who we are. Even more importantly, he demonstrates that the entire life of Jesus was dedicated to love and how we can grow closer to him daily, both through his life and becoming more like him.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This book proved to be a good discussion starter for a small group study. McKnight's application of the "Jesus Creed" (Love God, love your neighbor) finds many ways. I found some chapters were much better than others, so the application was uneven; profound in some ways, a stretch in others. Overall I enjoyed reading the book very much. I don't understand why they removed the whole last section of chapters from the 10th anniversary edition of this book. I thought those were some of the best. I r This book proved to be a good discussion starter for a small group study. McKnight's application of the "Jesus Creed" (Love God, love your neighbor) finds many ways. I found some chapters were much better than others, so the application was uneven; profound in some ways, a stretch in others. Overall I enjoyed reading the book very much. I don't understand why they removed the whole last section of chapters from the 10th anniversary edition of this book. I thought those were some of the best. I recommend that readers stick with this edition.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Enjoyed the discussion questions in a group setting but the book was a snooze fest.

  12. 4 out of 5

    william herzog

    Challenged Simply a great read....challenging and encouraging...how should we live. By Jesus Creed...love God with everything and your neighbor as yourself!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim Kilson

    I've read this little book several times... it never fails to teach me something new!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scotty Roberts

    If the Sermon on the Mount was the manifesto of the Kingdom of God "The Jesus Creed" serves up a veritable pledge of allegiance to that Kingdom's Ruler and His overarching prerogative which is, of course, LOVE. In exploring Rabbi Yeshua's affirmation of the Judaism's Shema ("Hear O Israel... the LORD is one: you shall love the LORD with all...") which He conjoined with the Golden Rule (which is an affirmation of Leviticus 19:18), McKnight makes clear that, for all the clarity that doctrinal conf If the Sermon on the Mount was the manifesto of the Kingdom of God "The Jesus Creed" serves up a veritable pledge of allegiance to that Kingdom's Ruler and His overarching prerogative which is, of course, LOVE. In exploring Rabbi Yeshua's affirmation of the Judaism's Shema ("Hear O Israel... the LORD is one: you shall love the LORD with all...") which He conjoined with the Golden Rule (which is an affirmation of Leviticus 19:18), McKnight makes clear that, for all the clarity that doctrinal confessions provide, the essense of manifest Christianity is in loving God with all that we are and loving others as unto Him. Though it really is more mantra than creed where the stated objective is "spriritual formation" to make such love possible. Part 1 also covers the Kaddish of Yeshua and its derivation from rabbinical tradition of the time which is fascinating in contextualizing the aesthetic of a most famous Rabbi of all. It is the further expostion of what is more commonly know as the Lord's Prayer that is helpful in seeing its more profound implications for a proactively loving community of faith. Because "a spiritually forme person embraces the stories who love Jesus", Part 2 uses hagiographies of the contemporaries of Jesus to further the thesis of The Creed's transcendence over the individual's circumstances and foibles. Quite a bit of the divining of motives here seems trite if not suspect especially where Professor McKnight anthropologically pegs the proto-disciples Mary and Joseph to socio-political castes in Jewish society. The survey of the main metaphors in Jesus' teaching as elaborations of His purported creed is what the third part covers, entitled "The Society of The Jesus Creed". While there's no denying that the Church is to emulate an ethos of Transformation, paradox ("A Society of Mustard Seeds"), Justice, Restoration, and Joy--and with eternal Perspective, it was a bit disconcerting to see how quasi liberation theology was creeping into the otherwise spendid exegesis of the parables. The concluding section of "Living the Jesus Creed" was solid preaching of the dynamics of encountering and walking out the Gospel with sustaining grace. It especially, along with the rest of the book, is definitely worth re-reading since it cannot be over-stated or over-meditated upon that to love Jesus is to Believe on, to Abide with, to Surrender to, and be Restored by, and to Forgive in, and to share ("Reach Out with") of... the Christ worthy of such a profound life-creed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    G Stephen

    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 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. 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 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. God help us. This book helped me a great deal. 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 Jesus Creed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steve Johnson

    This is one of the best books on living the Christian life that I've read, ever. I think it is a must read for all Christians. If you don't have joy in your walk, read it. If you don't know quite who Jesus was, read it. If you aren't readily feeling love for your neighbors, or you in-laws, or yourself, read it. While I usually blow through books that I love, I read this one much more slowly. I read it and many of the Gospel passages more develotionally, but don't think that this is just some warm This is one of the best books on living the Christian life that I've read, ever. I think it is a must read for all Christians. If you don't have joy in your walk, read it. If you don't know quite who Jesus was, read it. If you aren't readily feeling love for your neighbors, or you in-laws, or yourself, read it. While I usually blow through books that I love, I read this one much more slowly. I read it and many of the Gospel passages more develotionally, but don't think that this is just some warm devotional. It is a well written, scholarly response to the Gospel in light of the modern church. It demands action. It should change the way you look at Jesus and the way you address the people in your world. The number one thing I got from reading this book is a commitment to reading the Gospels more. After all, if being like Christ is the goal of discipleship, then I need to know what Christ was like. He's not simple to understand and he's a lot more giving than I dream of being.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Although McKnight made some good points... this book was too long for an explanation of the scriptural verses it centers on in Mark 12:29-32 that McKnight calls the Jesus Creed. McKnight creates a lengthy 234-page novel that over examines these four self-explanatory verses found in the book of Mark. The four verses in Mark 12:29-32 are the core values of the Christian faith. In these verses Jesus tells us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves and that there is no other commandment greate Although McKnight made some good points... this book was too long for an explanation of the scriptural verses it centers on in Mark 12:29-32 that McKnight calls the Jesus Creed. McKnight creates a lengthy 234-page novel that over examines these four self-explanatory verses found in the book of Mark. The four verses in Mark 12:29-32 are the core values of the Christian faith. In these verses Jesus tells us to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves and that there is no other commandment greater than these. Simply said but a lifetime to master. McKnight's book is exhaustive in breaking down these four verses examining them at length in what becomes more his opinion rather than what Christ said.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Greg Taylor

    I read Jesus Creed in 2004. The Jesus Creed, according to McKnight, is the way Jesus combined two important Mosaic laws into one life of love. In Mark 12:28-33 Jesus is responding to a teacher of the law asking, "Of all the laws, which is most important." Jesus responds with two: Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (Love God with all your being) and Leviticus 19:18 (love your neighbor as yourself). So McKnight calls this important combination "the Jesus Creed" and makes the claim that Jesus is the first to make t I read Jesus Creed in 2004. The Jesus Creed, according to McKnight, is the way Jesus combined two important Mosaic laws into one life of love. In Mark 12:28-33 Jesus is responding to a teacher of the law asking, "Of all the laws, which is most important." Jesus responds with two: Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (Love God with all your being) and Leviticus 19:18 (love your neighbor as yourself). So McKnight calls this important combination "the Jesus Creed" and makes the claim that Jesus is the first to make this particular move of combining these in just this way. The book thoroughly lays out these teachings from the original Hebrew scriptures, what Jesus intended, then points to how we live these out today.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharman Wilson

    I really enjoyed the first half, but I felt like he was stretching a bit toward the end. I especially appreciated how he brought Jesus' Jewishness to the forefront. McKnight argues that Jesus amended the Shema found in the Torah to form what McKnight calls the Jesus Creed: When Jesus was asked by an expert in the Law about the greatest commandment, he answered with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), then added to it Leviticus 19:18: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord y I really enjoyed the first half, but I felt like he was stretching a bit toward the end. I especially appreciated how he brought Jesus' Jewishness to the forefront. McKnight argues that Jesus amended the Shema found in the Torah to form what McKnight calls the Jesus Creed: When Jesus was asked by an expert in the Law about the greatest commandment, he answered with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), then added 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).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Howard Boswell

    I have read several books on Christian spirituality over the last three or four decades. I would rate Scot McKnight's The Jesus Creed has one of the best. His point is extremely clear. Using Jesus' summary of the Law in Mark, he believes the spiritually formed person loves God and loves others. The rest of the book provide beautiful variations on that central theme. McKnight combines a comprehensive grasp of Scripture and church history with an ability to tell stories that illustrate his argumen I have read several books on Christian spirituality over the last three or four decades. I would rate Scot McKnight's The Jesus Creed has one of the best. His point is extremely clear. Using Jesus' summary of the Law in Mark, he believes the spiritually formed person loves God and loves others. The rest of the book provide beautiful variations on that central theme. McKnight combines a comprehensive grasp of Scripture and church history with an ability to tell stories that illustrate his argument well. I cannot imagine anyone who would not find their spiritual life enriched after reading The Jesus Creed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carl

    Been meaning to read this for a while. One of many books I'd like to read in which the meaning of Jesus' key statements/beliefs is explored in light of his cultural and religious context as a first century Jew. I've heard Scott speak about this book before, so I have a general idea of what it's about: apparently Jesus' famous summary of the two most important commandments (to love God and to love others) is actually a reformulation and affirmation of the "shemah" (sp?) of the Jewish faith (I thi Been meaning to read this for a while. One of many books I'd like to read in which the meaning of Jesus' key statements/beliefs is explored in light of his cultural and religious context as a first century Jew. I've heard Scott speak about this book before, so I have a general idea of what it's about: apparently Jesus' famous summary of the two most important commandments (to love God and to love others) is actually a reformulation and affirmation of the "shemah" (sp?) of the Jewish faith (I think that's the part that begins "Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one...) I'll have to say more once I finally get around to reading it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Excellent grounding of the Christian life in the Shema, the creed Jesus would have used during his lifetime, as altered by Jesus in his own teaching on loving God and loving others. Solidly biblical, but the writing format wore me down after awhile. Maybe I should have read it in smaller chunks, because the repetition and the simplicity of every chapter seemed to draw the obvious out. Great content, love McKnight as a teacher, but this book felt about twice as long as it needed to be to get its Excellent grounding of the Christian life in the Shema, the creed Jesus would have used during his lifetime, as altered by Jesus in his own teaching on loving God and loving others. Solidly biblical, but the writing format wore me down after awhile. Maybe I should have read it in smaller chunks, because the repetition and the simplicity of every chapter seemed to draw the obvious out. Great content, love McKnight as a teacher, but this book felt about twice as long as it needed to be to get its ideas out there.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy Young

    In essence Jesus expanded the Shema ("Hear oh Israel") to include loving God and loving others. The book was well organized. What gets me, is that as someone who grew up in the church, why wasn't I told more of this? The good samaritan -- how often have we heard that the Levite and the priest were turkeys for "not crossing the road?" They thoght they were loving God by avoiding the impurity of a dead body! I was also quite challenged by Joseph's willingness to lay down his reputation in obedienc In essence Jesus expanded the Shema ("Hear oh Israel") to include loving God and loving others. The book was well organized. What gets me, is that as someone who grew up in the church, why wasn't I told more of this? The good samaritan -- how often have we heard that the Levite and the priest were turkeys for "not crossing the road?" They thoght they were loving God by avoiding the impurity of a dead body! I was also quite challenged by Joseph's willingness to lay down his reputation in obedience to marry an aldulterer (Mary) and become the legal father to Jesus.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Raley

    I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. Overall, it has changed my life over the past year - the way I think about God, myself, and my interactions with others. I cannot think of the right words to write to give a ringing endorsement of the core idea of this book, which is that "Love God and Love Others" is at the heart of an authentic Christian faith and lifestyle. That said, there were chapters that fell flat, and examples that were just silly. It's not perfect. But, who are we to expec I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. Overall, it has changed my life over the past year - the way I think about God, myself, and my interactions with others. I cannot think of the right words to write to give a ringing endorsement of the core idea of this book, which is that "Love God and Love Others" is at the heart of an authentic Christian faith and lifestyle. That said, there were chapters that fell flat, and examples that were just silly. It's not perfect. But, who are we to expect perfection? I'm a fan of Scot McKnight, and I hope he will keep up his prophetic work.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rom LaPointe

    There were some very good sections of the book that really illuminated Jesus. The overall focus of this book are the foundations of the Christian faith, and more importantly how we are called to live our lives. That's all a 10 for me. I think this is an important book for followers of Christ. The message and creed are, of course, exactly right. I also got a lot from the detail on Jewish words and customs during Jesus' ministry. So, it should be rated higher, but the readability and repetition of There were some very good sections of the book that really illuminated Jesus. The overall focus of this book are the foundations of the Christian faith, and more importantly how we are called to live our lives. That's all a 10 for me. I think this is an important book for followers of Christ. The message and creed are, of course, exactly right. I also got a lot from the detail on Jewish words and customs during Jesus' ministry. So, it should be rated higher, but the readability and repetition of his style prevents that for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brian Cooper

    This was a refreshing read. It is straightforward, and grounded approach to the two great commands of Christ. McKnight fills the book with practical examples, and an expansive look at the totality of Loving God & Loving Others. This is also not a "feel good" book of how great Christianity is, and how great your life will be once your Christian. It is aware of the world, its nature, and our place within that (both the trouble and the joy).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Sandmeyer

    A good book. It shows how Jesus took the Shema and added "love others" to make a new creed for His followers. This book explains what Jesus called us to do and why, but comparing it to Jesus' actions. It got to be a little wordy and harder to read in the end as it continued. McKnight uses good examples and stories to explain what he means.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Martin

    I love Scot McKnight's blog, so it stands to reason that I'd love his books. And, indeed, I loved this book. This book is about the basics of the Christian faith - loving God and loving others. The "Jesus Creed" is the combination of the Shema of the Old Testament with Jesus' Great Commandment from the New Testament. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Excellent book that I highly recommend. It will inspire and challenge readers to flesh out what it really means to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbors as ourself. It also has a companion guide to be used for small group or individual study.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    A book about "loving God, loving others" that I found thorough yet somehow concise. With this topic that's quite a big job! I appreciated the organization of the material, which helped since there is a great deal. I'm glad now to begin the version for students with my daughters. I have a feeling it may help formulate my takeaways.

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