Monday, May 21, 2012

Meditation: It's Time to Dump John 3:16

I hate bumper stickers, even when I agree with them. How can anything important be reduced to so few words? Our media soaked, marketing driven age has generated a sound-bite generation. We have been trained to reduce life and death thoughts into catch phrases and slogans.

It’s even true in the church, where for the last 60 years the most popular verse in the Bible has been John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” It’s been the go-to verse for outreach because it speaks of God’s sacrificial love, our need for faith, and the promise of eternal life. I’m in favor of all those things--they are all true. Still, there is a danger in quoting John 3:16 apart from the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It reduces the good news to something Jesus never intended.

It’s time to stop using John 3:16 apart from the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

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