Tired of failure?
Frustrated by a confined life?
Starving in the midst of plenty?
In the gospel of John, Jesus talks with people whose struggles we can relate to. They aren’t always straightforward chats, yet they are beautifully applicable to the messiness of life, even life today.
The early believers were facing a world in turmoil and needed a theology to strengthen their souls and steady their nerves. In our similar times of turbulence, we too need to know that the abundant life under the opened heaven John describes is not just conceivable—it’s a promise.
This is a delicious exposition of John’s Gospel! Dr. Johnson makes the writings of John contemporary with his alert references throughout the commentary to modern life—a fresh incarnation of The Incarnation.
John Johnson’s lucid reading of the fourth gospel is not good—instead, it’s breathtakingly beautiful and important. In an age of bored intellectualism wherein the Bible has been treated as though its a dusty textbook or antiquated legal treatise, Under an Open Heaven actually seeks to accomplish for its reader what the Bible seeks to accomplish with its reader: namely, to draw us all into the wild, powerful, graceful arms of Jesus. I can’t recommend this book enough. Words simply fail me.
Here is a pastor, preacher and professor writing about Jesus in the Gospel according to John. You will hear Christ in this book. He will call you, encourage you and challenge you to follow him. And along the way will learn a lot about John’s gospel.
In this excellent work, Under an Open Heaven, Dr. John E. Johnson presents traditional insights from the gospel of John in fresh new ways. The author persuasively directs our attention to the authentic Jesus rather than the Jesus of our preconceived notions. He escorts us into the conversations of the persons who stand alongside the Son of God in the fourth gospel… I highly recommend this work for those who are willing to read it at the risk of not only being informed, but also transformed.
John combines the seasoning of decades of pastoral leadership with the honing of seminary classrooms worldwide to his explorations of the profound depths of John’s Gospel. The combination of the messiness of life and the depths of the academy gives place for the wrestlings with the ironies of John. For those who want to know Jesus in real life, Under An Open Heaven will be a delight.
John Johnson’s writing it that of well-read, urbane pastor-scholar with poetic sensibilities… Johnson is a penetrating expositor and theologian as his account of Jesus’ revelation to the skeptic Nathanael that he is Jacob’s ladder (the Christian’s Bethel) so clearly demonstrates. One is reminded of some of the writings of Frederic Beuchner. Under an Open Heaven promises to be a well-wrought, beautiful book and a fresh entrance into John’s Gospel.
John Johnson’s insights are always intelligent and often paradigm-shifting for the reader. His unique take on the book of John, exploring it as a series of conversations, opens up new and unexpected Gospel treasures. Dr. Johnson brings compassion, careful reading of scripture and a pastor’s heart to this book. Highly recommended.
For over 33 years, I have been both a pastor and professor. Recently I shifted from being a pastor and professor to being a writer and a professor. Having completed the first two books, Under an Open Heaven and Missing Voices, I am now focused on a third, Reframing Leadership.
My wife, Heather, and I live on the west side of Portland with our daughter Kate. Our son, Nate, is serving with YWAM in Australia.
We occasionally head for the wilderness in northeast Washington, near the Canadian border, where we have a cabin, kayak, and I escape to write.
Swimming, biking, teaching abroad, and reading fill up much of the other space.