This “John 3:16” makes no sense to me…

John 3:16 in the Bible

(This post is part of our “Give away the gospel” series.)

A GoodSeed staff member tells us of a Thai friend who was trying to understand what the Bible was all about. He writes:

My Thai friend Aroon* told me that he used to have a manager who was a Christian. This manager had spent several months trying to explain the good news of the Bible to him. He used John 3:16 as his starting point. He told Aroon, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten son…”

Aroon halted his manager right there and articulated several problems he had with that verse. First of all, God to him was not a person. God was a universal force, the kind of force that holds the universe together, like gravity. Aroon couldn’t understand how a force could love him. Secondly, what was love anyway? Was love just a warm feeling in the heart? And this universal force had a son? How could that be? If God had a son, did he also have a wife?

The problem was that Aroon had absolutely no background about God and the Bible. Those very precious words had a different meaning for him because he lacked the biblical perspective.

We can run into all sorts of problems when we just jump in to share the good news because our friend may have a totally different worldview. Do you have friends like Aroon? They may be of another ethnicity or they may be just like you, but their thinking is postmodern, secular or even Eastern in influence. How do we break through their worldviews so they can simply understand the message of the Bible?

Building on the effectiveness of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus,” we have developed another tool for the growing group of people with a postmodern worldview or people with ideas stemming from New Age, secularism, polytheism, pantheism or animism. For such people, we developed By This Name.

By This Name assumes a person has no prior knowledge about God and the Bible, so it starts from the very beginning and quietly answers questions and issues they might have, in an objective, non arm-twisting manner.

As you prepare to be an ambassador of the gospel to all kinds of people God puts in your life, why not familiarize yourself with By This Name. It could be just the right tool for the next person you talk to.

(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)