The point I want to make is that the soterian gospel is too often an individualistic, even at times incredibly selfish and self-serving, reshaping of the Story. The Story of the Bible is about God directing all of history toward Jesus as King and toward the arrival of the New Jerusalem where God will be all in all. We join in on that, but we are not the Center of the Story. The soterian gospel makes us too much the center of the Story.
Any gospel that is not God- and Jesus- and Spirit-centered is not the full gospel and is not driven by the right categories. Any gospel that is soterian shaped is, to one degree or another, shaped by the liberal impulse to make life about good ol’ me!"For God so loved Himself?" Is God a Narcissist? by Ben Witherington from November 20, 2007
I suppose we should not be surprised that in a culture and age of narcissism, we would recreate God in our own self-centered image, but it is surprising when we find orthodox Christians, and even careful scholars doing this.McKnight, at least in this article, misses that God loves humanity, Jesus served humanity, and we're called to do likewise.
If we are supposed to be the image of God, and God is all about Himself, then shouldn't we then be all about ourselves? But what if we are supposed to be the image of God, and that image is one of creativity, love, and service to others? (Phil 2:5-11)
God's kingdom is upside down and it is through service one toward another that people are exalted. (Mark 10:43)
Jesus is our King. He should receive glory. And we should join with Him in His work of loving others. It is about others because we love God through loving them. (Matt 25:40, 1 John 4:20)
Many go too far in making the gospel only about the individual, but to go and make the gospel only about God also goes too far. When we talk about the emphasis being God's glory, we cannot remove that from how God goes about getting that glory. He gets it by serving us. Lowly, created, sinful humans. What a great God! Worthy of glory!