Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Review: Things of Earth

Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts. Joe Rigney. Foreword by John Piper. 2015. Crossway. 272 pages.

If you enjoy reading Jonathan Edwards, C.S. Lewis, John Piper, and Doug Wilson, then there's a good chance you'll find The Things of Earth fascinating for it is those four theologians that have influenced the author most--not including the Bible. (A love for Narnia and Middle-Earth would help as well!)

What is it about? Well, it's about the tension between LOVING God and LOVING 'the things of earth.' On the one hand, there are verses that direct us to hate the world, to put the world behind us, and focus solely on Christ. On the other hand, there are verses that direct us to embrace God's creation and enjoy everything that God has blessed us with in this life. Rigney's book is for those that struggle with finding that balance. For those that feel guilty perhaps when they enjoy themselves too much. For those that feel they don't love God enough, or, live out that love enough. Those are just two examples. He probably has a little something to say for every believer.

The book is about God, His creation: its initial goodness, its subsequent fallenness, and His creatures. It's about idolatry and true worship. It's about sin and the Savior who saves us from sin. It's about our relationship with our God.

I think my favorite chapter of all was "The Author and His Story."
Now here’s the amazing thing: how do we know that God is God? How do we know that God is the author, the causer of all things? We know because God reveals it to Moses in a burning bush, at a particular time, in a particular place. In other words, we come to know that God is self-existent and that he is the author because God reveals himself as a character within the story. God is not merely the one in whom we live and move and have our being. He is also the one who speaks to Abraham at Mount Moriah, who leads Israel through the wilderness as a pillar of cloud and fire, and who makes his presence to dwell in the temple in Jerusalem.
This is what the incarnation is all about— the author of the story becoming not just a character, but a human character. In this narrative, God is the storyteller and the main character. He is the bard and the hero. He authors the fairy tale and then comes to kill the dragon and get the girl.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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