God's One-Verse Invitation to Love the World
by Paul Borthwick
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 09 Jun 2020 | Archive Date 09 Jul 2020
"'John 3:16 is a beautiful summary of the entire gospel in fewer than thirty words. If the whole Bible had been destroyed or lost except for John 3:16, that would still be enough for any person to come to know God and to receive eternal life,' as Timothy George has noted. Paul Borthwick, a highly respected, well-traveled, seasoned missionary spokesperson, masterfully weaves the meaning of this core mission text with some of his most compelling mission encounters. He brings to life these wonderful words of Jesus in a fresh and practical way."
Marvin J Newell, staff missiologist with Missio Nexus, editorial director of the Evangelical Missions Quarterly
"Paul Borthwick skillfully weaves together his missiological expertise—as a global scholar and a crosscultural minister—with a gentle but unignorable call for each of us to live as whole-life, whole-world disciple-making disciples. This invitation comes through sound biblical exegesis and inspiring stories that honor the faithful witness of women and men from around the world."
Ruth Hubbard, vice president, Urbana, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
Sermons have been preached about it. Conferences have been organized to promote it. Books have been written to describe it. Yet, nothing beats a one-verse definition of the mission of Christ. Arguably the most famous verse in the Bible, we are talking about John 3:16 as that one verse definition of God's mission to love the world. It is the gospel wrapped up in one crisp and concise statement. Author Paul Borthwick calls it Jesus' "Elevator Speech." In order to understand that verse in context, he takes us through chapter three of John's gospel, and points us to the larger picture of God's love. There are themes of "born again," "light," "life," "the world," which all are linked together in John 3:16. God is the initiator and motivated by His love for all the world. His love is so deep that He offered the deepest expression of love, his sacrificing his only Son. The beneficiaries are the world at large, that whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life. Borthwick takes time to expound the verse. In "For God," he focuses on God as the pursuer, the One who searches for us, and wants to rescue us. Like the lost coin, the lost sheep, or the lost son, we needed to be found. "So Loved" details the heart of God for us. Such motivation differentiates Christianity from the other religions of the world. He gives lots of examples of how we can love our neighbours. We love all, not just people we like. Love reaches out far and wide. Like how God loved the world, we are urged to go into the world to serve out the gospel to them. Yet, that remains a challenge, which is one reason why with mass migration, God is bringing people from foreign lands to our shores. The gospel comes to us at a cost: the life of Christ. Those who want to follow Christ will need to know that persecution is common for the faithful. Chapter 5 about sacrifice is perhaps the most convicting chapter of all. Borthwick puts together stories from all over the world to tell us how the mission of Christ must be bigger than any of our earthly sacrifices. In a world that runs and hide for safety, we are called to go forth and shine openly for the gospel. Will we choose our comfortable and safe "bubble?" Or will we choose the conviction to go to places where no one has gone before, to touch the people who have never heard of the gospel? On the giving of God's Son, the author reminds us that the gospel is entered on one person for salvation: Jesus Christ. No other religion teaches this. On and on, Borthwick lets his heart for mission infects us. He challenges us on many fronts. Though the subtitle of the book indicates "invitation," inside the book is a collection of challenges for us to take mission more seriously. We are challenged not only to memorize John 3:16 but to read through the whole chapter. Like Jesus' challenge to Nicodemus to be born again, we are asked to reflect on our own conversion narrative and how we can be ambassadors for Christ. We need to move beyond theories about love toward practice of love. Borthwick challenges us to know more about the world outside our comfortable spheres of life. On sacrifice, he asks us to think outside the box to include the sacrifices of time, money, dreams, even relationships. How can we honour Christ more? How do we be more intentional about inviting people into our lives? How real is hell and judgment? Living a life in Christ cannot be separated from the mission of God. Like any Missions professor, Borthwick's final chapter is essentially a challenge for us to live beyond ourselves. How do we be always on mission? He shows us some biblical passages. The apostle Paul challenges Timothy to be prepared in season and out of season. The apostle Peter tells us to always be ready to share with others the hope we have in Jesus. Borthwick challenges us to be available 24-7 to speak of the gospel. In fact, this book is essentially equipping us to do just that. For anyone interested in missions, this book is good primer to get started. For those who are still ambivalent about missions, perhaps, Borthwick will move you over the line from passive to active proponents of the gospel. Read this book. It is that good! Paul Borthwick (DMin, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is senior consultant for Development Associates International and previously taught global Christianity at Gordon College for thirty years. Through his speaking, writing, and resource ministry, Borthwick works to mobilize others to participate in world missions. Rating: 4.5 stars of 5. conrade This book has been provided courtesy of InterVarsity Press and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
Paul Borthwick (2020). Mission 3:16 God's One-Verse Invitation to Love the World. InterVarsity Press is set to be released June 9, 2020. I was able to read a pre-launch version of this book. I was first aquainted with Paul Borthwick after reading his 2012 book Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church? Having enjoyed that book, and giving copies away, I was eager to read this book, and I was not disappointed. Our author takes the well know passage, John 3:16, and builds upon it stressing the need for our involvement in the mission of God. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NASB) Each chapter of his book begins and enlarges upon each phrase of this passage: "For God", "so loved the world", "that He gave", " His only begotten Son", "that whoever believes in Him", "Shall not perish", "but have eternal life". He uses examples throughout his book that demonstrate the livedness of each phrase to assist in our own deper application. His understanding of the text also shows the thickness of his interpretation. For example when it comes to the phrase "His only begotten Son" (monogenēs in Greek) he writes, "it is stating that Jesus literally has the “same genes” or the identical genetic makeup of God." In the end he gives us examples of ways we can start our involvement in mission in stages. Moving from simple application to those that require greater sacrafice. This is a very good introduction into the knowledge that being a Christian is by its very nature to be involved in mission. This would be an excellent book for a Church Sunday School class to read, act upon suggestions, and discuss the results. This book has been provided courtesy of InterVarsity Press and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
Mission 3:16 God's One-Verse Invitation to Love the World by Paul Borthwick InterVarsity Press InterVarsity Press IVP Christian Pub Date 09 Jun 2020 I am reviewing a copy of Mission 3:16 through InterVarsity Press and Netgalley: God has a mission in this world and the mission includes you. A plan that is uniquely yours, a mission that is meant for you and you alone. God’s mission is eternally significant for us all. His love, initiative, and sacrifice call us into a relationship with him that will last forever. There are sometimes for those of us who live middle-class American lives, the problem is we can sometimes live in our bubbles. These bubbles are safe and cozy, and manageable as well as comfortable. The issue for a Christ following person is that living a life of discipleship is not about safety or predictability, it is instead about risk, it is about crossing boundaries into the unknown. John 3:16 is a beautiful summary of the gospel in only thirty words. “God so loved the world that he and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." In this book it is John 3:16 that Paul Borthwick unpacks the Bible's most famous verse to unveil God's intentional, sacrificial mission for the world. He does so by examining John 3:16, word by word, underlying God’s calling for motivation for mission, the world wide scope of God’s calling, and how we are invited to be in partnership with God. I give Mission 3:16 five out of five stars! Happy Reading!
When I spotted Mission 3:16: God's One-Verse invitation to Love the World, I knew I had to read it for several reasons. First, it combines world missions , a subject I'm passionate about, and John 3:16 a verse everyone knows. Second, Mission 3:16 is the newest book by Paul Borthwick. I have read many of his other books such as A Mind for Missions, Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your Worldview, and How to Be a World-Class Christian. Being familiar with these books, I knew this title would be wonderful and I was not disappointed. Since nearly everyone is familiar with the verse John 3:16 and in some ways it is referenced so often that it feels overdone, you may wonder what more could be said or written about it. Borthwick shows that a great deal can be written about it! He breaks John 3:16 down phrase by phrase and in so doing explodes your common understanding of this verse. The central theme of this exposition of John 3:16 as you can tell from the title is missions. However, even more than missions Borthwick unpacks that God's love should inspire and encourage us go out to love the world and share God's love with others. By the end of the book, you will add John 3:15 to your list of favorite mission verses and realize that you didn't know quite as much as you thought. While Mission 3:16 is thoroughly researched and footnoted, Borthwick has a conversational tone which makes this book very readable and enjoyable. He shares many stories, often from his own experiences, demonstrating how the principles he shares can be lived out. As such, this book is appropriate for a wide audience ranging from college students to adults. I can see it being a great resource for a Sunday School class or Bible study or as background reading for a sermon series. As it is published by Intervarsity Press, I especially can see this book being featured at the upcoming Urbana 21 conference as a Book of the Day. I received a complementary copy from IVP via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback.