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Learn to Delight in God and in His Good Gifts
Pumpkin crunch cake. Game night with friends. Jazz music. Baseball. These are good gifts―and potential threats to the worship of God.
At the heart of the Christian life is a tension between the supremacy of God over all things and the enjoyment of all things for his sake. In this short book, Joe Rigney offers a biblical vision for enjoying God in everything and enjoying everything in God. God's gifts are invitations to know and enjoy him more deeply, and as this truth is impressed upon our hearts, we will discover that the things of earth grow strangely bright in the light of his glory and grace.
“Many of us are illiterate when it comes to reading anything other than a book. Joe follows Scripture’s example by teaching us how to read the world, the creation, and the gifts of God under the authority of the word of God. This is an important book and I hope you’ll read it.”
―Abigail Dodds, author, (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ
“God’s passion for his glory and our ache to be truly happy are not at odds but rather one life-changing pursuit. And so too with God himself and the world he made―not at odds but rather God means for us to enjoy him in everything, and everything in him. It sounds so simple, but in our finitude and fallenness, we are so prone to get tripped up over this. For years, Joe Rigney has handled this dilemma as well as anyone I’m aware of, and now he does it with even more focus and accessibility. I’ve eagerly awaited this short book with its life-changing vision, and I could hardly be more excited that it’s finally here.”
―David Mathis, Senior Teacher and Executive Editor, desiringGod.org; Pastor, Cities Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota; author, Habits of Grace
“Since Constantine entered Rome in October of AD 312 and ended Christian persecution, the faithful have struggled with their embrace of God and their love for the world. Instead of gladiator games, it’s UFC. Instead of pagan celebrations, it’s Netflix binging and secularized holidays. How can Christians in the twenty-first century enjoy the world without sacrificing their primary obligation to love the Lord? Joe Rigney provides remarkably timely advice on enjoying God’s creation, while still putting God above his creation.”
―Erick-Woods Erickson, Editor, The Resurgent
“The path to wisdom and joy involves asking the right questions in the right way, with help from reliable sherpas when the going gets tough. My friend Joe Rigney is one such sherpa, who asks questions like, How does the single-minded pursuit of God’s glory fit with a sincere enjoyment of created things? And then he humbly writes books, big and small, as an answer. Rigney’s Bible-saturated imagination and down-to-earth wit, along with his ridiculously good prose, make Strangely Bright a special created thing that leads us deeper into the heart of the Creator.”
―Jonathan Parnell, Lead Pastor, Cities Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota; author, Mercy for Today and Never Settle for Normal
About the Author
Joe Rigney (PhD, University of Chester) is president of Bethlehem College & Seminary and a teacher for desiringGod.org. He is a husband, father of three, and a pastor at Cities Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also the author of a number of books, including The Things of Earth; Strangely Bright; and More Than a Battle: How to Experience Victory, Freedom, and Healing from Lust.
Assistant Professor of Theology and Literature, Bethlehem College and Seminary; author, The Things of Earth and Live Like a Narnian