God's Glory Alone
by David VanDrunen
Paperback: 192 pages
Released: Dec. 1, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
At the heart of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation were five declarations, often referred to as the "solas": sola scriptura, solus Christus, sola gratia, sola fide, and soli Deo gloria. These five statements summarize much of what the Reformation was about.
In God’s Glory Alone, renowned scholar David VanDrunen looks at the historical and biblical roots of the idea that all glory belongs to God alone. He examines the development of this theme in the Reformation, in subsequent Reformed theology and confessions, and in contemporary theologians who continue to be inspired by the conviction that all glory belongs to God.
Then he turns to the biblical story of God's glory, beginning with the pillar of cloud and fire revealed to Israel, continuing through the incarnation, death, and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and culminating in Christ's Second Coming and the glorification of his people. In light of these wonderful biblical themes he concludes by addressing several of today's great cultural challenges and temptations—such as distraction and narcissism—and reflecting on how commitment to God's glory alone fortifies us to live godly lives in this present evil age.
God's Glory Alone is a study on "soli Deo gloria." The author looked briefly at what the reformers and those in the Reformed tradition said on the topic and then looked at the mentions of glory in Scripture. He then discussed why this declaration still matters to our lives today. I appreciate that he didn't make simple things difficult to understand or make difficult things too simple and so lose important tensions found in Scripture. Also, he did a careful study of all of Scripture rather than just picking the verses that support his ideas.
You'll probably find it easier to follow his reasoning if you've read the entire Bible through at least once. He tended to move through Scripture quickly, assuming you're familiar with what he's talking about. I agree with his overall points and could follow his reasoning, but I still paused every few pages to think over what he said because he packed so much in.
I believe the theology presented in this book would be accepted by most conservative Protestant denominations. His main focus was on God's glory and on God's attributes and actions that bring Him glory. He did look at Scripture that teaches that God will glorify believers. He pointed out that even our glorification is God's doing, not ours, so this ultimately glorifies God. To quote him (page 106), "Soli Deo gloria is about God and how he glorifies himself, but one magnificent way God glorifies himself is through glorifying us and enabling us to glorify him through faith, worship, and whole-hearted service to him and our neighbors."
I'd highly recommend this book to those interested in a deeper look at this theological theme.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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