Item description for When the Kings Come Marching in: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem by Richard J. Mouw...
Overview Widely respected for his perspectives on faith in the modern world, Richard J. Mouw stands at the forefront of the "Christ and culture" debate. In When the Kings Come Marching In-here revised and updated-Mouw explores the religious transformation of culture as it is powerfully pictured in Isaiah 60.
Widely respected for his perspectives on faith in the modern world, Richard J. Mouw has long stood at the forefront of the Christ and culture debate. In "When the Kings Come Marching In" here revised and updated Mouw explores the religious transformation of culture as it is powerfully pictured in Isaiah 60.
In Isaiah 60 the prophet envisions the future transformation of the city of Jerusalem, a portrayal of the Holy City that bears important similarities to John's vision of the future in Revelation 21 and 22. Mouw examines these and other key passages of the Bible, showing how they provide a proper pattern for cultural involvement in the present.
Mouw identifies and discusses four main features of the Holy City: (1) the wealth of the nations is gathered into the city; (2) the kings of the earth march into the city; (3) people from many nations are drawn to the city; and (4) light pervades the city. In drawing out the implications of these striking features, Mouw treats a number of relevant cultural issues, including Christian attitudes toward the processes and products of commerce, technology, and art; the nature of political authority; race relations; and the scope of the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ.
The volume culminates in an invaluable discussion of how Christians should live in the modern world. Mouw argues that believers must go beyond a narrow understanding of the individual pilgrim's progress to a view of the Christian pilgrimage wherein believers work together toward solving the difficult political, social, and economic problems of our day.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.04" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.38" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date May 8, 2002
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802839967 ISBN13 9780802839961
Availability 0 units.
More About Richard J. Mouw
Richard J. Mouw is Professor of Faith and Public Life and former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. His other books include Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction and Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World.
Richard J. Mouw currently resides in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about When the Kings Come Marching in: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem?
How "When the Kings Come Marching In" informs our understanding of God's work in culture May 20, 2008
Richard Mouw's reading of Isaiah 60 in "When the Kings Come Marching In" is an extremely readable volume that offers valuable insights to the enduring problem of the relationship between Christianity and culture. We may discern three essential ways by which it informs our understanding of God's work in culture both now and in the future.
It reminds us, firstly, of the scope of God's redemption: that it is broad and all-encompassing. Against pietistic, spiritualistic views that "only things with `souls'" matter in salvation - views better seen as "incomplete" rather than blatantly "false" - Mouw affirms God's care for the totality of human culture (21, 120). However sinful they might be, all the "languages, habits, ideas, beliefs, customs, social organizations, inherited artifacts, technical processes, and values" of human civilizations comprise "the fullness of the cosmos for which Christ died" (113). What Christ is reconciling to himself in the present and the future is nothing less than the Imago Dei itself, "parceled out" among and "collectively possessed" by all the peoples of the world (84).
Secondly, "When the Kings Come Marching In" deepens our understanding of the restorative or reformative manner of God's redemptive work in culture. In light the "cheap grace" that simplistic "Christ of Culture" positions can sometimes smack of, as a good Reformed theologian of culture Mouw wisely emphasizes both the "radicality of sin" presently pervading human relations and institutions, as well as on the judgment that pagan culture stands under as a result (68, 31). This judgment, however, is a "purifying," rather than "annihilating" one: what is destroyed are not the "ships of Tarshish" or the "cedars of Lebanon" per se, but their "former function" (29, 30). Once employed for idolatrous, rebellious, or vainglorious ends, "the wealth of the nations" is to be "cleansed" and "healed" through God's work both now and in the future, that they might be "freed for service to the Lord and his people" (32, 30). In this light, the book can help us develop a more holistic appreciation of Christ's tripartite role in culture: as source, judge, and healer (114).
The third and perhaps most important thing we may learn concerns the provisional and even restrained nature of God's redemptive work in culture in the present, and how this informs the Christian's attitude towards participation in cultural activity. Though somewhat surprising given the cultural mandate theme underlying the book, two points that Mouw concludes with presented a challenge to my existing theology of culture (42). Firstly, even as the Christian community "ought to function as a model of, a pointer to, what life will be like in the Eternal City of God" as it "[shares] in "God's restless yearning for the renewal of the cosmos," Mouw takes care to stress that "there is no clear biblical command to Christians to `transform culture' in any general way" (93, 111, 129). Whatever cultural reformation attempted must not be done in any "grandiose or triumphalistic manner," but ought rather to be the secondary, natural corollary of obeying what the Bible does plainly command: to alleviate and identify with the suffering of the afflicted, the same suffering that Christ himself bore when he was rejected and despised "outside the camp" (129, 130, 125).
And this is the second corrective that the closing paragraphs of the book offers. If Mouw's tone seems characterized by a certain reservation towards the unequivocal embrace of cultural engagement, it can be traced to a fidelity towards not only the general witness of Scripture, but also the very genre of Isaiah 60 itself: it is a "fore-telling prophecy," with its third stage of fulfillment (with the first two already accomplished in the Old and New Testaments times) remaining necessarily incomplete during this present evil age (9, 87-88). Contrary to any premature or over-realized eschatological idealism, we see that "God's ownership over the `filling' must be vindicated," but only "at the end of history" (37). Until then, Christians are still called to "diligent activity" and labor, while finding comfort (especially when "efforts are less than completely successful - as they usually are") in the trust that God will fulfill the vision of Isaiah 60 "in his own time" (45, 131). Besides reminding Christians of the fact that they are ultimately citizens of a city that is to come, Mouw's conclusions affirm the need for a humble, patient awareness of divine sovereignty in all cultural activity. Paraphrasing Paul, we might say that we ought continue working in culture with reverent "fear and trembling," for it is God who works and wills in our enculturated lives "according to his good purpose," whether now or in the future (Philippians 2:13).