The Home of God
A Brief Story of Everything
We live in the midst of a crisis of home. It is evident in the massive uprooting and migration of millions across the globe, in the anxious nationalism awaiting immigrants in their destinations, in the unhoused populations in wealthy cities, in the fractured households of families, and in the worldwide destruction of habitats and international struggles for dominance. It is evident, perhaps more quietly but just as truly, in the aching sense that there is nowhere we truly belong.
In this moment, the Christian faith has been disappointingly inept in its response. We need a better witness to the God who created, loves, and reconciles this world, who comes to dwell among us.
This book tells the "story of everything" in which God creates the world as the home for humans and for God in communion with God's creatures. The authors render the story of creation, redemption, and consummation through the lens of God's homemaking work and show the theological fruit of telling the story this way. The result is a vision that can inspire creative Christian living in our various homes today in faithfulness to God's ongoing work.
Prelude: The Arrows of Our Longing
Overture: A Story of Home
Part 1: Exodus
1. Out of the House of Bondage
2. Life in God's Household
Part 2: The Word of Life
3. God Coming Home
4. Life and Light
Part 3: The Spirit of Life
5. Coming Home
6. Life in the Household
Part 4: The Fullness of Life
7. The Transition
9. The New Jerusalem
Postlude: The Choice
"Most modern Christians imagine that the gospel is about God rescuing 'souls' from this world to go and live with him somewhere else. The Bible, however, insists that God wants to come and make his home with us--and that he has launched this project through Jesus and the Spirit. The present book, a shining example of systematic theologians actually reading the Bible instead of plundering it for texts to redeploy within other narratives, argues its case through detailed, suggestive exegesis of three central biblical texts (Exodus, John, and Revelation). The result is a vision that is neither Augustine's spiritualized focus on God alone nor Hegel's dangerous elision of God and the world but a rich vision of rescued and restored human beings living with joyful purpose within a gloriously renewed creation. A remarkable book!"
N. T. Wright, former Bishop of Durham; research professor of New Testament and early Christianity, St. Andrews; senior research fellow, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
"The Home of God is a powerful intervention into the troubled ways we think about life in places and spaces--national, civic, and ecclesial. Like two highly skilled physicians, Volf and McAnnally-Linz diagnose our sickness and offer a compelling theological vision for how to think about and create home. At heart, this is a beautiful theological reflection on the significance of home that steers away from both the idolatry and the apathy that afflict so much thinking about home. I doubt this book will ever go out of print."
Willie James Jennings, Yale University
"What if the story of God were about a yearning to belong, to find rest, and to be at peace with God, each other, and the broader creation? This book offers a capacious gospel in which God's desire to make a home for and with us should be met with our gracious response to find intimacy and rest with God and others."
Keri Day, Princeton Theological Seminary
"This innovative and imaginative book offers a fresh way of reading and proclaiming the full scope of the biblical narrative--the big picture of faith--in terms of seeing the unifying thread as God's desire to be at home in what God has made, so that the creation may be at home in the divine life. It is an enriching, inspiring, nourishing study, written with energy and clarity."
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
"It is a treat to read the Bible with these systematic theologians! Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz have discovered the 'red thread' in the story of the biblical writings: the ever-deeper coming of God to the world. The goal in the Old and New Testament writings is for the world to become a 'home of God.' The indwelling of God is the future of the earth, indeed of the whole cosmos. This is the exact opposite of the modern destruction of the earth and of life. This is the 'ecology' of God."
Jürgen Moltmann, University of Tübingen
"Volf and McAnnally-Linz have provided an engaging summation of key elements of Christian faith. Grounded in scriptural interpretation, their reflections on God and Jesus shape a capacious vision of creation, society, and church. In recounting 'a story of everything,' their work will become a valuable resource for students, scholars, and preachers."
David Fergusson, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
"Centered on readings of Exodus and John, Volf and McAnnally-Linz's book gives us a 'story of everything' as the story of God's making God's home on earth. It is an unusual kind of systematic theology but a compelling one. It is scripturally rich and imaginatively engaging, learned and fresh--it will be widely appreciated."
Karen Kilby, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Durham
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