The Things of Earth [eBook]
Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts
God’s world is full of good things. Ice-cold lemonade. The laughter of children. College football. Scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. A late night with old friends around a blazing campfire. God certainly knows how to give good gifts to his children. But where is the line when it comes to enjoying all the pleasurable things our world affords? In The Things of Earth, professor Joe Rigney offers perplexed Christians a breath of fresh air by lifting the burden of false standards and impossible expectations related to the Christian life—freeing readers to gratefully embrace every good thing we receive from the hand of God. Helping us avoid our tendency to forget the Giver on the one hand and neglect his gifts on the other, this much-needed book reminds us that God’s blessings should drive us to worship and that a passion for God’s glory can be as wide as the world itself.
Joe Rigney (MA, Bethlehem College and Seminary) is assistant professor of theology and Christian worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the author of Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles.
“If there is an evangelical Christian alive today who has thought and written more biblically, more deeply, more creatively, or more practically about the proper enjoyment of creation and culture, I don’t know who it is . . . This book has been very helpful to me. I mean that personally. I think I will be a better father and husband and friend and leader because of it.”
—John Piper, Founder, desiringGod.org; Chancellor, Bethlehem College and Seminary
“We are probably familiar with the proverb about the overly pious fellow, the one who is so heavenly minded he is no earthly good. And we have seen the opposite so many times that we don’t even need a proverb for it—the carnal thinker who is so earthly minded he is no heavenly good. And no earthly good either, as it turns out. The hardest thing to achieve on this subject is balance, but it is a difficult feat that Rigney has accomplished. Buy this book. Make it one of your earthly possessions. Read it to find out what that is supposed to mean.”
—Douglas Wilson, Senior Fellow of Theology, New St. Andrews College; Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho
“Reading this will be a sweet moment of profound liberation for many. With wisdom and verve, Rigney shows how we can worship our creator through the enjoyment of his creation. This is going to make a lot of Christians happier in Christ—and more attractively Christlike.”
—Michael Reeves, Director of Union and Senior Lecturer, Wales Evangelical School of Theology; author, Delighting in the Trinity, The Unquenchable Flame and Rejoicing in Christ
“This book makes me want to watch the Olympics while eating a pumpkin crunch cake, rejoicing in the God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. But part of me is a little wary of the indulgent pecan crunchiness and astonishing athletic feats. What if my heart gets lost in these things? If you’re familiar with that hesitation, this book is for you. We were made to take in all the fullness of the intergalactic glory of the triune God. This book is a trustworthy guide to help your gaze follow along the scattered beams up to the sun.”
—Gloria Furman, Pastor’s wife, Redeemer Church of Dubai; mother of four; author, Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full
“I am always amazed at how God reveals his character to his children. This book has radically changed the way I view the Giver of every good and perfect gift. What’s more, it has helped me to really enjoy him through the many blessings he has lavished on me.”
—Shane Everett, singer/songwriter, Shane and Shane
“It is not easy to understand how I can love God with all my heart, but also love the world he has made. God’s Word encourages us to love the creation (Psalm 19), but also to love not the world (1 John 2:15–17). Rigney is really helpful to those wrestling with this kind of question, and he helps us with a lively and engaging style. This book clarifies and builds upon John Piper’s Christian Hedonism. I heartily recommend it.”
—John M. Frame, J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando