McKnight Releases "Forty Days Living the Jesus Creed"

Scot McKnight

CHICAGO, IL (April 1, 2008) – Scot McKnight knows what you're thinking when you hear the title of his most recent book, Forty Days Living the Jesus Creed:

"...probably just a rehashing of his popular book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God and Loving Others"

or "He's trying to imitate The Purpose-Driven Life."

McKnight says, however, that neither thought would be 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, Karl A. Olsson professor in religious studies at North Park University, to write the book and suggested it could be excerpts from his prior book. He said no.

"It was very important to me that I write a different book," McKnight says. "There's very little repetition." He adds that there is enough introductory material in the current book so 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's 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 greater command 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.

Although the book can be used as a study during the 40 days of Lent or Advent, McKnight emphasizes that it can be used throughout the year. 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 by 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.

McKnight hosts a blog that he visits daily, encouraging discussion related to his books and other timely topics.