An investigation into the foundations of Christianity through one of its most popular verses.
Ink, an attorney with experience in full-time and lay ministry positions, brings careful, precise analysis to one of the Bible’s most well-known lines: 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 everlasting life”). Citing quotes from a range of cultural figures, such the Rev. Billy Graham an Christian author Max Lucado, Ink discusses the impact of simple, profound phrases on our conscience as a society. For him, though, nothing compares to the depth and profound nature of John 3:16: “One could dwell and meditate for a lifetime on this one sentence.” Ink offers a thorough probe into the words of the verse, including an insightful retelling of the Gospels for context. He deconstructs its words and phrases to find the engaging subjects they represent by blending historical references, personal anecdotes, biblical analysis, and figures of popular culture. The components of the verse—including “God,” “the world,” “believes in him”—become springboards to discuss myriad issues and ideas pertaining to modern Christianity. In the section on the phrase “his one and only Son,” which covers both notions of parenthood and Jesus as “a historical figure,” Ink shows his true powers as a researcher, bringing together information from varied sources and making it all accessible to a wide audience. He often shows skill at filtering complexities and making them relatable. He often inserts clever takes on classic ideas, as when he refers to John as having been “a strange desert creature” before finding Christ, or when he breaks down the complicated theological study of sin into layman’s terms. Overall, Ink has produced a very close textual reading that’s academic in its approach but clearly intended for a wide audience. His inclusion of “Thought Questions” at the ends of chapters make it ideal for personal or group Bible study, but his accessible tone and obvious knowledge may appeal also to other readers who are curious about Christianity.
A succinct but thorough analysis of the Christian faith that raises thought-provoking questions in a personable voice.