On Super Bowl Sunday, an organization that sponsors debates between Christians and atheists will not be given the opportunity it planned to spark a nationwide discussion on Jesus Christ, for Fox Broadcasting Company has rejected its commercial featuring John 3:16.

The Alabama-based Fixed Point Foundation organizes debates at universities and conferences around the world between Christian scholars and leading atheists, including Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, as part of its mission to “fortify the minds of Christians” and “challenge the faith of skeptics.”

Last year, Fixed Point decided to stir up debate in another way, by filming a “LookUp 316” commercial for the Super Bowl’s expected 100 million television viewers.

“If I had 30 seconds to say anything I wanted to an audience of millions, what would I say?” writes Larry Taunton, executive director of Fixed Point, in a blog post explaining the Super Bowl ad. “I put this question to my friends. As we considered the question thoughtfully, we concluded that we would want to deliver a message of hope.”

He continues, “A year and a tremendous amount of work later, we are close to airing a commercial that advertises no products, asks for no money, promotes no political platform and doesn’t even mention the sponsoring organization. It has a simple, yet direct message: Hope. The ‘hope’ on offer in this commercial centers around the message of John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only son.'”

But now, The Birmingham News reports, the network broadcasting the Super Bowl has rejected the Fixed Point ad.

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