A Review Of Joe Rigney. "The Things Of Earth: Treasuring God By Enjoying His Gifts." Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. 272 pp. $14.99. -- By: Jeremy M. Kimble
Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 021:1 (Spring 2016)
Article: A Review Of Joe Rigney. "The Things Of Earth: Treasuring God By Enjoying His Gifts." Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. 272 pp. $14.99.
Author: Jeremy M. Kimble
JBMW 21:1 (Spring 2016) p. 102
A Review Of Joe Rigney.
The Things Of Earth: Treasuring God By Enjoying His Gifts.
Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. 272 pp. $14.99.
Assistant Professor of Theological Studies
A generation has been influenced by voices such as John Piper and David Platt to recognize that God is supreme and glorious, our delight should be rooted in him above all things, and these realities are to result in a lifestyle that aims to sacrifice for the sake of loving others and reaching the nations. This vision has captivated the hearts of many in our day and rightly so. It does, however, lead to some questions upon further reflection. When I get beyond Bible study, prayer, and the gathering of the church, how do I live the rest of my life under this vision? Am I allowed to enjoy things other than God, or is that always constituted as idolatry? How can playing with my kids, loving my spouse, eating delicious food, playing sports, or doing a job be done in such a way as to make much of God? Building on the vision of a God-centered worldview, Joe Rigney sets out to answer these very questions.
Rigney, Assistant Professor Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary, wrote this book “for people who sincerely want to glorify God in all they do but find themselves wrestling with what the God-centered life actually looks like in practice” (20). In other words, what are we to do with the things of earth? Renounce them? Enjoy them? Both? Rigney’s basic thesis runs as follows: “And in and through all these things [of earth], I want to work with you for your joy in the living and personal God who gave you all these things and delivered you from sin and death through the work of his Son and Holy Spirit that you might enjoy him and them, and him in them, forever” (25). With an emphasis on Scripture and many dialogue partners (the main four being Jonathan Edwards, C.S. Lewis, John Piper, and Doug Wilson), the author sets out to show how we can glorify God be enjoying him and his gifts.
Much of Rigney’s reflection is Trinitarian. The author says, “Much of the content of this book might be viewed as an application of the Trinity to various aspects of practical theology and Christian living” (35). The connection to the book’s subject is seen in the relationship between God’s glory, the
JBMW 21:1 (Spring 2016) p. 103
Trinitarian relationship of the Godhead (perichoresis), and the created world (chapters 1-4). The glory of God, says Rigney, is the “Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit knowing, loving, and rejoicing in each other from all eternity” (41). This love God has for himself pours f...
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