Today I’m proud to have Scot McKnight with me on the podcast.
Scot is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author or editor of forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL. Dr. McKnight has given interviews on radios across the nation, has appeared on television, and is regularly speaks at local churches, conferences, colleges, and seminaries in the USA and abroad. Dr. McKnight obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham (1986).
Scot sits down to talk about Jesus Is Lord Caesar Is Not, which he edited with Joseph B. Modica.
As the tagline infers, the book is an evaluation of Empire Criticism in the New Testament. For those unfamiliar with Empire Criticism as I was before reading the book, it can defined as an approach to New Testament studies whereby the New Testament’s message is seen primarily as a criticism of the Roman empire.
I loved every second of this interview with Scot, and was especially struck by this statement…
“There is politicization…. Young evangelicals have become progressives… Progressives today are socially active, believing that the way to make society better, so for instance the aim is the common good, the aim is repairing the world, the aim is to be significant in the world and make the world a better place, the aim is socio political, and means is socio political, namely they see themselves as repairing the world by becoming involved in social justice, that is a fundamental politicization of discipleship in the church and Christianity, in fact so politicized is it that many of these young progressive evangelical type Christians and non-evangelical type Christians have very little to do with the church… it’s a progressive posture in our culture on the part of Christians where they see their fundamental task to work for the common good by providing water, helping to end sex trafficking, etc., all of these things are good, but they are divorced from the church and they are anchored in the actions of politicians in Washington DC and Berlin and London, these become the central focus and when that happens we do exactly what happened when Gustavo Gutierrez was arguing in the 1970’s and 80’s that the church has to be de-centralized, so what we have I think is a colossal politicization of the church in our world today and it is impacting the church in ways that I think could be remarkable.”
Please go and hear this for yourself in the context of the entire interview! Then come back and tell me what you think about what Scot said.