All posts by Matt

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to my wife Kate, and a father to my two sons Jonathan and Jacob. I serve as Professor of New Testament Studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary.

Making All Things New: Inaugurated Eschatology for the Life of the Church

513ZDo37-HL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_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.

You can order a print copy here, or the Kindle version here.

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

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how theology best thrives:

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).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther reminds us how little in life we truly control:

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).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther reminds us how little we know about eternal life:

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).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Sermon Audio – Isaiah

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.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther reminds us what a blessing it is to have the Word of God:

534. How exquisite it is to have God’s Word on all things, for we can place complete confidence in Him, even though His guidance is not sought. Those who do not have God’s Word fall into despair and abandon hope because they do not have a heavenly mission. They are driven solely by the empty vanity of their hearts. Therefore praise Psalms 119:21 of the Word of God and say: “Cursed are those who stray from the commands.” In other words, without the Word God, there are no blessings, for “all the plants my heavenly Father did not plant will be torn out,” Matthew 15:13  (p. 460)

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther reminds us that we will never reach a complete and exhaustive understanding of Christ:

6597. No one, whether he be an apostle or prophet, and much less myself or others like me can learn all there is to know about Christ in this life, nor know and understand who and what He was. For He is the true, eternal and all-powerful God who took on mortal form, showed the highest obedience, and humility, until His death. That is why He said: “I am gentle and humble in heart [Matthew 11:29].” Now I cannot begin to describe my state of mind when I am very happy or sad; how, then could I ever describe the high conept and ideology of Christ?  (p. 460)

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther delights in God’s wealth and laments our discontent:

5224. What a rich God is our God! He gives enough, but we do not appreciate it. He gave Adam the entire world. He was not satisfied with it; he was concerned with that one tree, and had to ask why God had forbidden it. That is the way it is today. God has given us enough to learn in his revealed Word. But we don’t bother with it, and search for His hidden will, and still cannot experience Him. Therefore, it will serve us right if that is the reason for our downfall.  (p. 162)

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.

Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther illustrates God’s sovereignty over the nations:

1810. God treats kings the way children do a card game. While they are playing, they hold the cards in their hands; afterwards, they throw them in the corner, or under a bench, or on the rubbish pile. That is exactly how God handles those in power. As long as they are in power, He thinks of them as useful, but as soon as they go too far, He knocks them off their throne and lets them lie there, like the King of Denmark, and so on.  (p. 187)

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.