McKnight Publishes “Forty Days Living the Jesus Creed”

Post a Comment » Written on April 1st, 2008     
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CHICAGO, IL (April 1, 2008) – Scot McKnight knows what you’re thinking when you hear the title of his new book, Forty Days Living the Jesus Creed. Either it’s “just a rehashing of his popular book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others”, or “he’s trying to imitate The Purpose Driven Life,” which also uses a 40-day structure.

McKnight, Karl A. Olsson professor in religious studies at North Park University, says, however, that neither assumption is correct. His latest work expands on The Jesus Creed, and the 40 days is meant to tie in with the biblical number.

Publisher Paraclete Press asked McKnight to write the book and suggested that he simply excerpt from his prior book. He refused.

“It was very important to me that I write a different book,” McKnight says. “There’s very little repetition.” He adds, however, that there is enough introductory material in the current book that it is not necessary to read the prior one.

Although still readily accessible to a general audience, the current book is a further theological exposition of what the Jesus Creed ethic looks like in a believer’s life, says McKnight. He further explores how the creed “undergirds the Sermon on the Mount, the Love Chapter of the apostle Paul, and the core moral teachings of James (brother of Jesus), Peter, and the apostle John.”

The Jesus Creed, McKnight says, is found in Mark 12:29-31—“ ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 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.”

McKnight says this passage was “the moral creed of Jesus and the earliest Christians.” He encourages people to pray the creed several times throughout the day.

McKnight emphasizes that the book can be used throughout the year, or as a study during the 40 days of Lent or during Advent. And that it should be read slowly.

“I don’t want anybody to read through this book in a day,” McKnight says. Time is needed to absorb the words in a way that impacts a person’s life, he explains.

“We can’t master this with a weekend conference,” McKnight says. “It’s not something we master; it’s something we do.”

McKnight continues to be surprised by how well The Jesus Creed has sold and the stories of people’s spiritual lives being changed by adopting the practice of saying the creed. “It’s been amazing,” McKnight says. “It was way beyond what we thought would happen.”

He frequently hears from people who comment that praying the creed has enriched their faith. “It’s very encouraging to see what a sacred rhythm can do for someone’s life,” McKnight says.

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