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God's Glory Alone---The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life: What the Reformers Taught...and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series) Paperback – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
David VanDrunen (JD, Northwestern University School of Law; PhD Loyola University Chicago) is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California. He is the author of Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture and Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law.
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Glory to God alone – Soli Deo Gloria - reminds us that God is the supreme end of all things.
VanDrunen begins the book by showing how this sola is the result of the others. There is nothing we can do to supplement the work of God and Christ. He then samples contemporary writers on the subject and Reformed writers between the Reformation and the twenty-first century.
Then he does something that surprised me. The glory of God is first about Himself, VanDrunen says. Humans and their actions should not be the principal focus of the book, so he writes about God and His glorification of Himself. He explores the larger story of Scripture. “God glorifies himself in his created order generally and in his special acts of judgment and salvation in the world.” He reviews God's special deeds in history, such as the cloud, the tabernacle, the temple, and the Incarnation. He hopes this emphasis on God's glorification will be the focus of future teaching on the subject.
In the second half of the book, VanDrunen looks at how Christians are to glorify God in all they do, by faith, by worship, and by works of service. He explores what it means to glorify God in this era, paying particular attention to modern technology, narcissism, and the nature of this passing age. He argues for focused attention, a deeper understanding, self denial, and other virtues.
VanDrunen emphasized an aspect of God's glory that I hadn't really considered before. God glorifies Himself and one way He does that is by glorifying us. That allows us to then glorify Him through faith, worship, and service. It amazes me that God chose to glorify Himself through humans, first His Son and then through His chosen people.
I recommend this book to those who are unsure of the concept that glory belongs to God alone. You will learn how God has displayed His glory and how we are to give God glory. It is an informative book and one that encourages a God-glorifying life. A selected bibliography is included, as are Scripture and subject indexes.
Food for thought:
“We can glorify God in many ways, but Scripture indicates that nothing we do delights God more than calling upon his name with sincere hearts and declaring that all glory belongs to him.”
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
He starts off slow and dry in the first section on Reformation thinking about the glory of God, and it was a difficult slog to get past. The second section, dealing with how scripture describes God's glory has both more meat and provides more of what "the Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life" is shown to be in the Bible itself. The third section again does not seem to add a whole lot of insight to what has already been published on this topic.
Overall, there is nothing really "wrong" about this book. It just doesn't seem to provide much added value to a lot of other resources already available. Instead of the first section, reading about what the reformers had to say about God's glory, go to the original texts and read the reformers themselves. For the rest: well, focus on the second section and then use the scriptures VanDrunen has referenced to work through for yourself how best to apply understanding of God's glory in your own life.
In this text we are looking at the last of the 5 statements, that being Sola Deo glorias or "God's Glory Alone." it takes us through an in depth look at the Glory of God and how it is manifested through the Old and New Testament. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the discussion of how often God's name is tied with the term Glory. Quoting from Page 45, "He is the Glory of Israel, I Samuel 15:29, The King of glory, Psalm 24:8, and the God of glory Psalm 29:3. When Stephen recounts the great deeds of God before the Sanhedrin, he begins by borrowing this latter Old Testament divine title, 'Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham.' Acts 7:2"
Glory is not just an trait of God's Character but it is such a part of His essence that it is used as His Name often. So, with that in mind it would do us well to research, understand and then apply the lessons we learn about the Glory of God Alone to our lives. It will give us a more full understanding of our reason for serving the Lord Jesus Christ and bringing Him the honor and glory He so richly deserves.
The three main sections of the book will take you on the journey of:
The Glory of God in Reformed Theology
The Glory of God in Scripture
Living for God's Glory today
This book explores theology but then finishes with three chapters on how to apply to lessons that are taught to you every day life.
When you finish you will have a better understanding of how to live for God's Glory each day of your life and thus be an example to everyone around you of what God can do in our lives and in our world.
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