cover image THE JESUS CREED: Loving God, Loving Others

THE JESUS CREED: Loving God, Loving Others

Scot McKnight, Scott McKnight, . . Paraclete, $16.95 (335pp) ISBN 978-1-55725-400-9

Amid a sea of books on Christian spiritual formation, McKnight, professor of religious studies at North Park University in Chicago, brings us a simple, highly readable one focused on the weightiest teaching of Jesus: love God and love others as yourself. The "Jesus Creed" of the title is a trimmed down version of the Shema of Judaism (Deut. 6:4–9), which declares we are to love God with all our being, amended to include caring for one's neighbor as oneself (Lev. 19:18). Packed with vivid and touching stories—from the Bible, history and the author's life—this book covers important aspects of what it means to love God and others. McKnight shows great respect for the Jewish heritage of Jesus and offers readers scholarly, yet highly accessible, illustrations of the sociocultural landscape of first-century Palestine. The book is slim on doctrine, making no comment on the thorny theological squabbles that divide many Christians. That's refreshing for the reader tired of the squabbling, but may leave others wondering what love does require in certain difficult situations. Still, this book is an excellent introduction to Christian spirituality. Its pages glow with compassion, generosity and the invitation to understand what was important to Jesus and what is crucial for Christianity. (Oct.)