June 17, 2012 Book Review

The Glory of God

The Glory of God

Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson, Ed.

Reviewed by: Mark A. Garcia

The Glory of God, edited by Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson. Published by Crossway, 2010. Hardback, 255 pages, list price $23.99. Reviewed by OP pastor Mark A. Garcia.

Crossway's Theology in Community series has been a welcome boon to theological reflection in the evangelical world. Each book in the series is edited by Morgan and Peterson. In this volume, each essay surveys an aspect of the glory of God.

After a brief introduction by the editors, Steven Nichols summarizes the contributions of three contemporary theologians: the dispensationalist Charles C. Ryrie, the Roman Catholic Hans Urs von Balthasar, and the Baptist pastor John Piper. This combination of thinkers is surprising, but Nichols explains persuasively how the glory of God is at or near the center of each theologian's thinking. And since he is often overlooked by Reformed theologians, the attention given to Balthasar's theological aesthetic is especially helpful.

Tremper Longman helpfully sketches the glory of God as an Old Testament motif, covering the vocabulary for "glory" and the ways this motif functions in the Pentateuch, the historical books, the Psalms, the Prophets, and the apocalyptic literature (Daniel). Longman concludes that God's glory is a matter, at least, of his "weighty presence" manifested in judgment and eliciting praise, though the term cannot be reduced to a single, simple definition.

Richard R. Melick, Jr., surveys the glory of God in the Synoptic Gospels, Acts, and the General Epistles, noting how none of these texts actually defines God's glory; instead, each works within the realm of its various manifestations.

Andreas J. Köstenberger provides an insightful analysis of God's glory in John's Gospel and Revelation.

Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., explores the theme of glory in Paul's epistles, including the glory of the gospel, Christ as the "glory-image" of God, the glory of the last Adam who became life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), and, not to be missed, the glorification of believers.

Morgan leads us "Toward a Theology of the Glory of God" by charting the different ways we must account theologically for the Bible's teaching on God's glory. He captures something of the grandeur of God's intrinsic glory and the wonder that he shares his glory.

Bryan Chapell, in "A Pastoral Theology of the Glory of God," gently but clearly affirms the priority of God's glory to all human notions of happiness. Chapell reminds us that the glory of Christ is reflected in his faithful ministers.

In the final essay, "A Missional Theology of the Glory of God," J. Nelson Jennings offers a gripping vision of God's purpose to glorify himself in the restoration of the cosmos, and he warns against misconceptions of the relationship between God's glory and missions.

Refreshingly, the volumes in this series are written not only for pastors and teachers but also for laypersons, and in my view they succeed admirably. This particular entry is an edifying and stimulating read on the chief passion of our faith and life: the glory of God.



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