Friday, October 12, 2012

Blogs I Read: Scot McKnight's "Jesus Creed"

For the second installment of this new series, I wanted to introduce you to a blog that is radically different from the first one (at least, in viewpoints).

Scot McKnight was a professor at Trinity when I first got there, but he soon moved on to a new post. The closest I got to him then was reading a book on how to interpret the New Testament (his speciality) my first year in seminary.

Now in addition to writing and teaching, Scot blogs at Jesus Creed on the Patheos blog network. That's where I have gotten to know him the best.  I was introduced to his blog through my friend, Bob Robinson (another blogger who I'll tell you about some day).

Scot is a prolific blogger and is very generous. He gives a platform to other writers and points people to their works. He is very gracious and tries hard to offer a middle way between extremes.

I have to say that I hardly ever agree with him. . . .Well, that's not quite true.  I find points of commonality regularly, but on certain issues, we definitely disagree. For example, he's an egalitarian, a pacifist, a "new perspective on Paul" proponent, and an Arminian theologian.  He would say that I'm a "soterian gospel" proponent which, in his parlance, is not a slam, per se, but not a compliment either.  (And he's often over my head, too.)

So, why do I read Scot McKnight, and should you do so, too?

I read him because he makes me think, because he's careful in what he says, because he tries hard to understand and correctly represent his opponents, and because he is an influential Christian brother.  Just because I frequently disagree with him, doesn't mean that I don't learn from him.

We shouldn't just listen to people we agree with, should we?  Ruth Bell Graham once said that if two people in a marriage agreed all of the time, one of them wasn't necessary.

Of course, we need to read with discernment and think for ourselves, but it's also good to listen to what others are saying and to have good conversations. I almost never read Scot's blog for "what to think," but it's a great place to find out "what people are thinking," and to cause me to do some myself.

If you like (or need) some of that, then read Jesus Creed.

By the way, Scot also has an interest in gossip. He has posted on the topic multiple times, including an insightful review of Joseph Epstein's book of essays on gossip published last year.

Because of that, I wrote Scot and asked if he would be willing to read and endorse my book. And just as I expected, he responded quickly and graciously. Even though he couldn't read or endorse my work because of time constraints and priorities, he looked forward to reading it when it came out. A classy, generous man.