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3:16 The Numbers of Hope
If 9/11 are the numbers of terror and despair, then 3:16 are the numbers of hope.
Best-selling author Max Lucado leads readers through a word-by-word study of John 3:16, the passage that he calls the "Hope Diamond" of Scripture.
Lucado (When Christ Comes; Facing Your Giants ) digs deeply into one of the most famous and oft-quoted passages of the Bible-John 3:16. First situating it in its biblical context as part of Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus, Lucado then dissects the 26-word promise phrase by phrase, picking out key theological ideas that provide hope to Christians. What does it mean that God "so loved the world"- What must we do to gain everlasting life- Using his trademark folksy style, Lucado employs great stories and real-life illustrations to drive home points about God's love, justice and determination to save. The chapter on hell (pinging off the phrase "shall not perish") is alone worth the price of admission; it's uncharacteristically hard-hitting for Lucado, with the beloved pastor drawing a line in the sand for evangelicals who might be tempted to believe in universal salvation or who imagine hell as a mere metaphor. That chapter, in fact, could and should be further developed in a book of its own.
Some of Lucado's points in this book are devastatingly insightful, others only gimmicky or superficial; still, the book is an excellent entry into the popular Texas writer's body of work. It's short, marvelously accessible and followed by a 40-day Bible study on the life of Jesus (excerpted from Lucado's prior books). Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.