5559. Riches are the least important thing in the world, the smallest gift, that God could give a person. What can compare to God’s Word? Yes, what can compare to the blessings and beauty around us, or compare to the blessings of feeling and sensing? Nevertheless, we strive diligently toward wealth! In no fashion are riches any good. That is why our Lord God gives riches to crude jack—es, and blesses them with nothing else (p. 165).
2433. The world neither acknowledges nor believes in the hidden treasures of God; it cannot be disputed that an obedient maid, a true diligent servant, and a child-bearing wife are far above a praying monk, who does not see beyond his grub; each, however, under the command and control of God (p. 111).
2506. The joy of a religious spouse. The greatest joy is to have a religious spouse, one to whom you can entrust everything and depend upon, with whom you can raise children, and so. God puts a lot into a marriage, without the parties giving much thought to it in advance. Katie, you have a religious husband, you are an empress! Thank God for it! But only good and God-fearing people reach such a level. (p. 45-46).
5598. In regard to how a faithful soul should talk with Christ, Martin Luther said: I am your sins, You are my salvation. Therefore I am joyful and without worry. For my sins have no power over Your redemption, now will Your salvation allow me to remain a sinner long. Praise be to God! Amen! (p. 376).
This week my latest book has been released: Making All Things New: Inaugurated Eschatology for the Life of the Church. I teamed up with my good friend Ben Gladd, who is a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Together we have tried to explain how the “already/not-yet” dynamic of our redemption in Christ should shape the way we think about the life and ministry of the church. Eschatology is not merely what happens at the end of history. God’s kingdom breaking into this world through Jesus Christ has inaugurated a new creation, a reality that should shape pastoral leadership and be reflected in the life and ministry of the church. Viewed another way, this book is an attempt to flesh out in practical terms the theological vision of G.K. Beale, who was kind enough to write an introductory chapter.
While the main audience for this book is pastors, church leaders, and college/seminary students, anyone who wants to understand how eschatology shapes ecclessiology will benefit from reading it.
Here are some of the endorsements:
“For those who think that biblical theology (especially the teaching about inaugurated and consummated eschatology) doesn’t relate to daily life and ministry, Gladd and Harmon demonstrate that eschatology permeates every aspect of ministry, from prayer to preaching to missions. The book is filled with practical suggestions, but what makes it unique and powerful is that the practical implications are rooted in what the Scriptures teach about eschatology. Readers will be instructed, edified, and encouraged.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“It’s long been repeated that Christians live in the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet.’ We stand in the middle of an old world dying and a new creation already born in our midst through Jesus Christ. How does this sense of living between the ages shape our conception of the church, pastoring, and ministry? In this book two younger scholars, with the assistance of Greg Beale, show what it means to be end-time people. They offer some great theological reflections and practical advice on how to lead people who are waiting with patience and purpose for the day when God is all in all.”
Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
“Here is where ecclesiology and eschatology meet. Although end-times teaching is woven into the fabric of God’s Word, what this teaching says about the church is seldom considered by pastors. A careful look at Scripture shows that the church is a profoundly eschatological community. Gladd and Harmon offer skillful guidance on how a biblical understanding of the end times is crucial to the church’s ministry and to its very identity for today. By looking at the entirety of the biblical witness, they demonstrate that God’s eschatological design for the church is both a future hope and a present reality.”
Daniel M. Gurtner, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary
“In what amounts to a carefully guided tour of biblical theology for the church, Gladd and Harmon offer a biblically thick description of Scripture’s redemptive narrative. Writing in careful scholarly detail yet in an accessible manner that never loses sight of the big picture, Gladd and Harmon exhort the church and its pastoral leadership to be the end-time people of God, encouraging them to recognize their place within Scripture’s redemptive storyline. A very helpful combination of scholarly precision and pastoral sensitivity.”
Darian Lockett, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“Making All Things New is a clear and helpful guide that will enable all Christians to understand why inaugurated eschatology is not just something for the seminary classroom but a doctrine to be lived out and rejoiced in. Gladd and Harmon have done us a great service by demonstrating in a compelling way why eschatology matters in the life of the church. Anyone who is serious about understanding one of the most important aspects of the New Testament ought to read and apply this book.”
Chris Bruno, author of The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses
“Gladd and Harmon apply to pastoral ministry the inaugurated eschatology they learned from Greg Beale. The book repeatedly moves from sound exegesis to theology to application.”
Andy Naselli, assistant professor of New Testament and biblical theology, Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis
“What a marvelous book! Gladd and Harmon team up to explore the interface between inaugurated eschatology and pastoral ministry. This book will serve as an excellent resource not only for those training for ministry but for those slogging it out in ministry and looking to reinvigorate their understanding of ministry as an end-time event among God’s people. Gladd and Harmon have achieved the rare feat of writing a book that is both substantive and useful, insightful and practical, scholarly and churchly–a model of what I would call ‘ecclesial theology.’ I recommend it highly!”
Todd Wilson, senior pastor, Calvary Memorial Church
1340. Theology thrives in use and practice, not in speculation. In summary, every household and worldly craft which is not put into practice, but remains only learned in theory, will be lost and amount to nothing. When one in a trade calculates how much business he would like to do that year, he is only speculating and is in the thinking and estimating stage, and when it comes to actuality, things are quite different. Just like in these days as it generally happens, for example, as I well know and have experienced. (p. 407).
3339. It is a wonder that people are so self-confident and presumptuous.Especially considering that we have more than sufficient reason to be humble. In no hour are we safe from death. Even the development of the grains, upon which we depend on for nourishment, does not lie in our hands. Likewise, the sun and the air, which sustains us, are not in our power , nor the day nor sleep, not to mention spiritual matters; for example, private and public sins, by which we are tortured. But our hearts are hard as steel, and none of it bothers us. (p. 245).
3339. Ambition. He talked a lot about the ambitious and pretentious, as he read from a letter sent to him by a writer aspiring to wisdom. He said ironically: When the stomach is ready to burst it is time to get rid of it through writing and praying–and then he pronounced: Arrogance is the sin of the snake. (p. 420).
As part of our One Book series at Christ’s Covenant Church, I had the privilege of preaching an overview sermon on Isaiah. Sometimes called the “fifth gospel” by some in the early church, Isaiah gives a breathtaking view of God’s plan for human history, centered on the promise of a Spirit-anointed Davidic king and Suffering Servant who obeys where Israel failed, suffers for his people’s sin, rises from the dead, inaugurates a new covenant, creates a servant people, and transforms creation itself.
If you want to see a beautiful and compelling picture of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to listen to the audio.
P.S. I also preached Judges earlier in this series; you can find that post and sermon audio here.
3339. We know as little about eternal life as a child in its mother’s womb knows about its future (p. 420).