Living the Gospel of King Jesus (Blog Series): Matthew W. Bates on Acts


This is a series of blogs about some of the participants in the new book, Living the Gospel of King Jesus. Today we have Dr. Matthew W. Bates, co-editor and contributor to this tribute book to our friend Scot McKnight.

Although I had long admired the Scotian Scholarship, Scot and I personally connected for the first time after I asked him if he would be willing to write a foreword for my Salvation by Allegiance Alone. After reading the manuscript, he offered to meet at the SBL. We hit it off, leading to future collaborative work. Our friendship developed from there.

Scotus’s emphasis on the gospel of King Jesus helped me refine my understanding of the gospel. This indirectly led to my work on “faith” (pistis) as involving the external and relational dimensions of loyalty. In short, his gospel of King Jesus has helped me see how much the enthronement has been overlooked as a “gospel” by scholarship – and this in turn has led to a pattern that demands allegiance. to the king as part of the saving faith.

Can I have a witness? My chapter is “Living the Gospel According to Acts”. When I reread Acts for what it means to live the gospel, it became clear that while our vocation as disciples of Jesus is multifaceted, everything we are called to do must be coordinated into a larger task: testify to royalty.

My vocation is to be a faithful disciple. I am currently professor of theology at the University of Quincy, a Franciscan liberal arts college. As a Protestant, it is a pleasure and a challenge to teach in this context. My work is above all missionary and evangelist. I try to help Christians (myself included) to discover the quality of eternal transforming life that God wants to give through the discipleship of Jesus. I try to introduce my students to the model of the cross and the resurrection – why it is difficult but beautiful to live this way.

Obviously the Gospel of King Jesus. My background is that of a New Testament scholar, so I also particularly appreciate his more technical comments in the NICNT series.

Scottish History: After the Cubs won the World Series in 2016 – miracles happen – Scot wore a tacky Cubs hat to SBL. I told him that I tried to wear my 2010, 2012, and 2014 Giants hats, but couldn’t put on three at a time. It failed to erase the huge smile from Scot’s face. Scot and I love to chat about baseball. He’s a depressed Cubs fan. I’m enjoying the most incredible regular season the Giants have ever seen…. but I will stop there for fear of becoming less charitable.

A tentatively titled book, Why the Gospel?, for Eerdmans.

If you want to learn more about Matthew’s thoughts on Acts, check out Living the Gospel of King Jesus, a tribute to Scot McKnight, and Matthew’s excellent work on the gospel (see below).

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