God's glory

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Crossway had me fill out an Author Questionnaire on God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology, and one of the things they asked me do was summarize the book in 500 words. I thought back to this today as I wrote up a 500 word summary of another book for another Author Questionnaire for Crossway.

God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgmentweighed in around 280,000 words. This next one is a short synthesis of the Bible’s big story, the symbolism used to summarize and interpret that story, and the patterns that emerge across it. It’s provisionally entitled What Is Biblical Theology?, and it weighs less that 25,000 words.

So here’s my attempt to summarize God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, a 280,000 word book that came to about 600 pages, in about 500 words:

Exodus 34:6–7 is determinative for the thesis of this book. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God proclaimed his name and declared himself to be merciful and just. This experience of the glory of God profoundly shaped the first biblical author on record, establishing God’s glory in justice and mercy as the center of his theology, with justice highlighting mercy. Subsequent biblical authors learned and embraced this from Moses.

The wide angle story of the Old Testament is one of salvation through judgment. Adam sinned and was judged with exile from the garden and God’s presence, but the words of judgment brought a glimmer of hope: the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. Like Adam, Israel (having been saved through the judgment of Egypt) sinned and was exiled from the land and God’s presence. The judgment at the exile had been preceded by promises of the salvation that would come through and after judgment, as the prophets pointed to a new exodus and return from exile. God acted for the sake of his own name. He showed justice, making his mercy precious, displaying his goodness and showing his glory. Israel experienced a partial, physical return from exile, but

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