John 3:16  -     By: Nancy Moser
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John 3:16

Tyndale House / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expected. After the loss of his wife, Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son Billy. As a football hero at the University of Nebraska, Billy has a promising life ahead of him. As Billy's coach begins encroaching on Roman's relationship with his son--especially when he brings God into Billy's life--Roman starts to fear he'll lose Billy forever. Nothing could prepare Roman for what is about to happen. Roman isn't the only one whose life has been turned upside down. He's one of five people whose lives are about to intersect on a bright, fall day, when one of them will hold up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16. This simple act of faith will have the power to change lives forever.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 350
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 141432054X
ISBN-13: 9781414320540
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expected. After the loss of his wife, Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son Billy. As a football hero at the University of Nebraska, Billy has a promising life ahead of him. As Billy's coach begins encroaching on Roman's relationship with his son—especially when he brings God into Billy's life—Roman starts to fear he'll lose Billy forever. Nothing could prepare Roman for what is about to happen. Roman isn't the only one whose life has been turned upside down. He's one of five people whose lives are about to intersect on a bright, fall day, when one of them will hold up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16. This simple act of faith will have the power to change lives forever.

ChristianBookPreviews

According to the theory of six degrees of separation, every person on earth is connected to every other person through overlapping relationships. For the characters of Nancy Moser's John 3:16, the connections run even closer.

John 3:16 presents the stories of five characters. We meet Maya Morano, a corporate-climber, unable to have children, and under pressure from the family she already has. Her employer is Roman Paulson, a father who lives vicariously through his son, while his own life is pervaded with bitterness and grief. Nearby is Peter McLean, a young man guiltily trading his conservative upbringing for a more uninhibited lifestyle, and Lianne Skala, Peter's girlfriend, who hides pain behind body piercings and a facade of fierce independence. And then there's Velvet Cotton, who's just trying to forget a past that won't stop pursuing her.

The five stories are more closely intertwined than the characters realize, and Moser carries this theme with skill throughout the novel. Simple actions gain unexpected significance as the lives of Maya, Roman, Peter, Lianna, and Velvet converge. On that day, all five arrive at a football stadium burdened with questions, and one reveals the answer that will change their lives: 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 eternal life.” Perhaps the most well-known verse in the Bible, John 3:16 presents a powerful message that leaves no one unaffected. For Roman, the words have stood as a barrier between himself and his son, a believer. For Peter, they represent the gospel he knows and hasn't reflected. Other characters react to the verse with shame, astonishment, and revelation.

John 3:16 is an easily read novel, full of dialogue and people with personalities that keep the reader interested. The story is simple and the characters are relatable; it is a bird's eye view of everyday occurrences and a gospel message.

Occasionally, I felt the scenarios felt too coincidental, or the character development too symmetrical, but perhaps the novel’s weaknesses are necessary ones. As the stories unfold with mounting conflicts, characters such as Roman, Lianne, and Velvet must continually wonder, Are the things happening to me coincidence or providence? And as God draws the characters closer together and closer to him, we see that the individual stories, indeed, mirror each other.

I don't usually like books with too many plot lines at once, solely because if I really like a character, I want to hear about him or her, and the other characters become less important in my mind. In other words, a few of the plotlines are sure to bore me. But Moser overcomes this barrier by weaving each story to the others. One might say it is the same story told from five perspectives: everyone is chasing something different, but they ultimately need the same thing. They all need the simple message of John 3:16.

I enjoyed John 3:16 and would recommend it to young adults and church libraries. Maya and Velvet deal with regret concerning pregnancy and Lianne and Peter are involved in an impure relationship, but situations are contrasted with biblical perspectives. The content is realistic but in no means explicit and is appropriate for most ages. -- Hannah Beers, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

With a large cast whose lives weave together throughout the book, the Christy Award–winning Moser (Time Lottery) turns the mere act of holding up a sign at a football game into a transforming catalyst for her many characters. Tragedy in a football-crazed Midwestern town leaves grave doubts in Roman Paulson's mind about God's existence. Bitterness, greed and ambition for his son to play football have driven him to push others, and God, away. The tragedy also upsets the lives of several college students, whose decisions are openly discussed with believable dialogue and strong action. Moser uses sensitive and vivid descriptions of how characters might experience grief and lays out the plot's dilemmas expertly. College-age students will enjoy the book for the recognizable binds the characters get into, and cheer when they find ways to redeem poor decisions. The football setting is only window dressing: readers expecting strong riffs on football culture only get a shined-up plasticized coach and a few players saying nice things. However, plenty of plot twists and just that touch of sport setting make this a fitting read for autumn. (Oct.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. maciemollysdad
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Awesome Book With An Amazing Message!!
    August 26, 2013
    maciemollysdad
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What an awesome book!! I love how Nancy Moser had multiple characters with multiple story lines that intertwined with each other. It was also awesome how everything went back to their realization that John 3:16 really is the key to what God went through with sacrificing his only son so that we have an chance to live an eternal life with him. I look forward to reading many more books by Nancy Moser in the future.
  2. Ruth
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 7, 2009
    Ruth
    What an incredible book, I could not put it down and finished it in one day. Nancy Moser is a great writer
  3. Jackie S.
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 28, 2009
    Jackie S.
    What a fantastic book....wish I could give it more than 5 stars! I can't urge everyone enough to READ it....I loved it. Nancy's best yet I say!!
  4. Tassie
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 2, 2009
    Tassie
    This book was absolutely wonderful! I read this book in just a few days. I found myself not wanting to put it down. This story is a MUST READ!....
  5. Jim Ruberg
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 4, 2008
    Jim Ruberg
    I loved the story line of this book and I think it would make a great Christian movie. It causes people to think about God and how He sent His Son to save the world. The Gospel is clearly presented with people coming to know the Savior. Anyone reading this book can easily identify with the characters; from people who don't believe in God, to believers who have sinned, to Christians who have kept the faith. The power of one verse of Scripture, John 3:16, is a constant reminder through out the book. This book contains tragedy, excitement, and miracles. It shows how the faith of one individual can have an enormous impact on others, even after he's dead and gone. It's a powerful book with a message that hits the target of the human heart.
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