One.Life | Scot McKnight

I can’t think of a better refresher for North American Christians, on the eve of the new year, than McKnight’s latest offering: One.Life.

He begins by shooting down the sub-par version of Christianity that’s so prevalent in Western evangelicalism: that being a Christian means accepting Jesus and engaging in private acts of piety to separate yourself from the world. Being a Christian includes that, to be sure—but it’s much, much more. For McKnight, being a Christian is far more simple and engaging:

A Christian is someone who follows Jesus.

The rest of the book examines what it means to follow Jesus in every area of the one life we have to live. He tackles big issues like Justice, Peace, and Sex. No area of our one life is exempt from Jesus’ call to follow him.

His chapter on eternity is particularly interesting. After making it clear that he believes in heaven and hell (because Jesus did), he draws a sharp contrast between the Dante-styled version of hell made popular in the middle ages and the Biblical images of decay, fire, and darkness. While avoiding dogmatism in the details, he slipped in an interesting endnote about Gregory MacDonald’s work on evangelical universalism. While I found his honesty refreshing, I’m pretty sure he’ll come under fire for this!

My only qualm was his tendency to use gimmicks. The book is sprinkled with terms like “One.Life” and “Kingdom.Life”. He also regularly broke the prose up with strings of bulletless sentences to make his point. This evokes the feel of a preacher pausing after an important point. While I’m sure some will enjoy it, I found it mildly distracting.

If you’re frustrated with the lack of passion in your Christian life and are looking for a good motivational jolt, give One.Life a try.

Disclaimer: A free review copy of this book was provided for me by Zondervan.

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