The Revelation of God in All of Reality
How do we know and speak about God and God's relation to the world? Does God reveal himself through his creation?
In Everyday Glory, widely respected theologian Gerald McDermott recaptures a Christian vision of reality that has been lost for most of the last century: that all the world is full of divine signs that are openings into God's glory. Bringing together insights from some of the tradition's greatest thinkers--Jonathan Edwards, John Henry Newman, and Karl Barth--McDermott resurrects a robust theology of creation for Protestants. He argues that contemporary Christianity must chart a course between "natural" and "revealed" varieties of theological reasoning and shows how and where meaning can be found outside the church and special revelation in various realms of creation, including nature, science, law, history, animals, sex, and sports.
1. Recovering a Lost Vision
2. The Bible: A World of Types, Keys to Types in All the Worlds
3. Nature: Sermons in Stones
4. Science: The Wonder of the Universe
5. Law: The Moral Argument
6. History: Images of God in the Histories of Peoples
7. Animals: The Zoological World Bursting with Signs
8. Sex: The Language of the Body
9. Sports: Its Agonies and Ecstasies
10. World Religions: So Similar and Yet So Different
11. A New World: Believing Is Seeing
Appendix: Theological Objections--Luther and Barth
"Gerald McDermott's Everyday Glory is an invigorating book in which the reader is challenged to reject the disenchantment of modernity in order to see how God actively reveals himself in the created world."
Bruce Ashford, provost and professor of theology and culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Jonathan Edwards said that the moon symbolizes the waxing and waning history of the church, the prophets and apostles of the early church, and the Virgin Mary who reflects the light of her Sun. 'How quaint,' we're tempted to say. 'Why spend time with such speculations when the world is falling apart?' McDermott believes that this reaction shows how impoverished the Christian imagination has become. In his richly suggestive new book, McDermott calls our attention afresh to the types of the kingdom that teem around us, in nature, science, history, sex, and sports. Read this book, and learn to see the world through new eyes."
Peter Leithart, president, Theopolis Institute
"The 'natural' world McDermott describes is the world I want to inhabit--and sometimes do. Profound faith is required of those who want to live there constantly, far more faith than most moderns are able to muster every day. But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear its wondrous beauty, it is gleaming with an eternal weight of glory that exceeds our paltry efforts to reproduce, abstract, or counteract it. It enchants the bodily senses--and awakens the spiritual senses--with its still too elusive satisfactions."
Douglas A. Sweeney, distinguished professor of church history and the history of Christian thought and director of the Jonathan Edwards Center, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
"McDermott is part of an influential generation of ressourcement figures who are enlivening Protestant evangelicalism. One of the most important living scholars of Jonathan Edwards, McDermott takes his beauty-saturated theology of creation and demonstrates that the Edwardsean vision has a remarkable and polyphonous harmony with a dazzling, unexpected array of pre- and post-Reformation voices: Augustine, Ephrem the Syrian, John of Damascus, Bonaventure, Aquinas, and Calvin along with Edward Pusey and John Henry Newman. With the dexterity of a poet, McDermott argues that the Triune God has written himself into the wonder of creation, a love song to Christ's ecclesial Bride. We should search then not only for the allegorical or typological riches of the Scriptures but also for the typology of creation. The result is a fleshy, incarnational eschatology that calls the Christian to dive with abandon into the mediating mystery of this 'whole sensible world . . . written by the finger of God.'"
Matthew S. C. Olver, assistant professor of liturgics, Nashotah House Theological Seminary
"McDermott reminds believers that there is a depth of meaning to Scripture and creation beyond what we can see in the text and the visible world. By unlocking this meaning through the spiritual interpretation of types, believers begin to discover how every tree and leaf proclaim the greatness of God and God's purposes. We desperately need to recover this unified vision of 'everyday glory' as a balm against the secular materialism of our modern age and its stepchild of biblical literalism."
Dale Coulter, associate professor of historical theology, Regent University
Sam Storms's "Best Book of 2018" (Enjoying God blog)
"An excellent book. . . . A fascinating (and largely persuasive) case for the notion of general revelation, that gracious work of God by which he has declared or made known his own glory in 'the heavens' and in 'the sky above' (Ps. 19:1). . . . In this wide-ranging book, McDermott explores the reality and truth about types or images of divine things in the Bible, in Nature, in Science, in Law, in History, in Animals, in Sex, in World Religions, and even in Sports! . . . I strongly urge everyone to get and read and absorb this book. If you do, you will never see the world as a whole and its many parts the same way again."
Enjoying God blog
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