Published on May 26, 2016 by Joshua Centanni

Zondervan, 2015 | 186 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

About the Author

David VanDrunen is Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California. He is the author of Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture and Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought.


This book is part of The Five Solas Series that investigates the solas of the Reformation. VanDrunen explores the majestic theme of soli Deo gloria. He demonstrates how this theme is pervasive in the teaching of the Reformers and critical in Scripture. The glory of God is a rich theological topic with a host of practical implications. This book shows how soli Deo gloria refers to far, far more than just our responsibility to glorify God in all that we do. Glory is an eternal attribute of God and he brings glory to himself through what he does. In grace, God redeems sinners to share in his glory. Our glorification and a fuller revelation of the glory of God awaits in the future age, but we are to live for God and the glory of his name now.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Soli Deo Gloria Among the Reformation Solas
Chapter 2 The Glorious God, Glorified Through Us: Soli Deo Gloria in Reformed Theology
Chapter 3 In the Cloud: God’s Glory Made Visible
Chapter 4 The Brightness of His Father’s Glory: The Glory of God Incarnate
Chapter 5 The Glory of Christ in the Glorification of His People
Chapter 6 Prayer and Worship in an Age of Distraction
Chapter 7 The Fear of the Lord in an Age of Narcissism
Chapter 8 Glorifying God in an Age That is Passing

Chapter 1
Soli Deo Gloria Among the Reformation Solas

The Reformers never used the exact phrases of the “five solas of the Reformation” but these phrases do represent their theological concerns. Soli Deo gloria is the glue that holds the other four together. Since salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, it follows that it is to the glory of God alone. Scripture alone is our final authority, and this protects the glory of God. Christianity—and even our own salvation—is not ultimately about us, but about God. Luther argued that the theology of glory comes through suffering, through the theology of the cross. Some want to use reason to ascend to heaven and see God’s glory, but the only way to behold it is through his revelation at the cross. We cannot come to know God through speculation. The knowledge of God and salvation are only found at the cross of Christ.

Even though redeemed human beings experience glorification, that state redounds to the glory of the God who so richly blesses them. John Calvin marvellously declared that all of creation exists to display the glory of God. God’s glory shines in the original creation and in God’s image bearers. It will be even more greatly revealed in the new heavens and new earth. Christ specially reveals the glory of God. Soli Deo gloria is often used today to refer to our need to do everything to the glory of God. Each facet of our lives should reflect the moral character and glory of the Lord. The theme of God’s glory is very important for biblical theology.

Chapter 2
The Glorious God, Glorified Through Us: Soli Deo Gloria in Reformed Theology

It is true that we are to do everything to the glory of God, but soli Deo gloria refers to more than this. In Scripture God’s glory describes God himself and it is revealed through what he does in creation and redemptive history. Theologians during the period of Reformed orthodoxy noted that the biblical data shows that glory is first and foremost about God, and it is God’s glory that…

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God's Glory Alone

Zondervan, 2015 | 186 pages

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