"John's gospel is about life — expanded life, abundant life, and ultimately eternal life — but not in the typical manner that these words have been understood religiously. I see a new paradigm arising in Christianity and I try to speak to that paradigm and to ground it in the tradition by breaking open the Fourth Gospel to a new interpretive process. I found the Fourth Gospel a book to be lived as much as it was a volume to be mastered.

"To get to this place, however, given the way in which the Bible is understood in the religious culture of our world, will not be a simple task. So much superstition has been laid on the texts of the Bible and so many of the fears of men and women have been invested in this book as people seek a certainty in the Bible, which neither life nor religion can ever provide, that genuine biblical knowledge is hard to attain. Both of these must be set aside before biblical understanding can be gained. This setting aside, however, is not easily accomplished. It will cause traditionally religious people to feel threatened, attacked and even angry and they will resist these pages with a vengeance, that will even express itself in the character assassination of those whom they perceive have done this to them. Meanwhile, those people, who have long ago dismissed most traditional religious categories as irrelevant to their lives, are not motivated to enter a study that is this complex, because they do not think the conclusions they might reach will be worth the effort. Both of these groups I want to urge to persevere and journey with me as I seek to lay the groundwork for a new way to look at Christianity and a new way to read the gospel of John."