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Every Day With The Father
by Mark Stibbe
Publisher:Monarch imprint of Lion Hudson
Many people feel that John’s gospel is ‘beyond them’ – too theological – too much concerned with concepts to be relevant to real life situations. They think that the Synoptic Gospels are more ‘people-centred’ and therefore easier to read and understand, and thus more relevant.
Mark Stibbe tackles this ‘John problem’ head on. 365 mini expositions on verses from John in verse order from 1:1 to 21:2. In them he focuses on what he believes to be John’s treasures – the Fatherhood of God – Papa, Daddy, Dad – the jewel in John’s crown. His mission is to demonstrate how Jesus reveals the Father’s love – how Jesus is a window onto ‘the world’s greatest Dad’.
I was drawn, like many I suspect, to see what Stibbe makes of John 3:16, which others have described as John’s Gospel in a nutshell. Stibbe encourages us to focus on the subject of the verb love – and that subject is God – and God in John’s terms means the Father. And the object of the verb is the world – in the Greek kosmos – the WHOLE world. God is wooing us – not coercing us – to a loving relationship with him.
I can’t quite make up my mind whether this is to be seen as a book of days, to be read throughout a calendar year –or one to throw a slightly different spotlight on a particular verse or parable from that of more conventional commentaries. Perhaps it is not for me to decide: some people will use it in the first way and some in the second.
What I do know is that it is a treasury bringing new jewels constantly to our consciousness.
Reviewer: Nick Horton (26/11/11)