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Ordinary Splendor: Living in God’s Creation

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ISBN: 9781683596776

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Living in a created world

2024 Christianity Today Book Award Finalist - Theology (popular)

The Christian life is grounded in God’s act of creation—so an awareness of God’s purposes in creation is deeply practical for all believers, not just those who are involved in debates over faith and science. In Ordinary Splendor: Living in God’s Creation, Lydia Jaeger presents the doctrine of creation in all its practical necessity. She unfolds the majesty of God’s creative work and explores how it shapes and informs everything—from our relationships and the way we pray to how we think about human dignity.

Through her engagement with theologians, Greek mythology, philosophers, and other creation stories from the ancient Near East, Jaeger offers a rich reading of biblical creation passages that provides wisdom for our daily lives.

Praise for Ordinary Splendor

Here is a doctrine of creation that focuses—rightly in my opinion—less on origins than on ongoings, namely, the practical consequences of our createdness for everyday human existence. Jaeger argues convincingly that human flourishing, in every aspect of our lives, depends entirely on living in dependence on God, and along the grain of the created order. Ordinary Splendor confirms Calvin’s belief that there is no knowledge of what it is to be human without knowledge of God the Creator.

—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

This book, on how taking the biblical teaching on creation seriously will enrich our lives, is a delight to read. Behind the friendly and engaging style—full of good sense and clear Christian commitment—lies a great deal of deep and careful reflection. You will enjoy Professor Jaeger’s company as she leads you to a fuller love for your Creator and for his creation.

—C. John Collins, Covenant Theological Seminary

Jaeger guides us beyond simply understanding the distinctions between world views that a biblical doctrine of creation marks out. With clarity and elegance, she moves the heart to appreciate the real-life implications that belief in a transcendent Creator-God entails. As much as I have studied and taught on this topic, every chapter contains some nuance I had never before considered.

—John W. Hilber, McMaster Divinity College

Lydia Jaeger moves seamlessly between thought and practice, ancient and contemporary issues, biblical conviction and cultural engagement, in this timeless yet also quite timely work on the gracious gift that God has given to us and what kind of life that demands of us. I continue to learn from Professor Jaeger, and I’m always impressed with her balance of biblical certainty and grace. This book is no exception.

—Geoffrey H. Fulkerson, Dordt University

  • Recognizing God as the Absolute Origin
  • Accepting Existence as a Gift
  • Inhabiting an Existing Order
  • Understanding Human Dignity
  • Entering into God’s Blessing
  • Obeying God’s Commandment
  • Accepting Your Limits
  • Distinguishing between Woman and Man
  • Embracing a Fully Human Sexuality
  • Entering into God’s Rest
  • Title: Ordinary Splendor: Living in God's Creation
  • Author: Lydia Jaeger
  • Translator: Jonathan Vaughan
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Pages: 136
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683596998

Lydia Jaeger is lecturer and academic dean at Nogent Bible Institute (IBN) in Nogent-sur-Marne, France, and author of What the Heavens Declare and Einstein, Polanyi, and the Laws of Nature.

Reviews

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  1. Aaron Lee

    Aaron Lee

    7/25/2023

    What does creation have to do with Christians? In Ordinary Splendor, Lydia Jaeger presents the doctrine of creation and what it means to live it out. Grounded in the Bible At just under 200 pages, this book is curious about what it means to live in a created world. Starting at Genesis 1:1, Jaeger explores what it means to be created and to have a creator. This book is not a defense for the doctrine of creation -- pitting faith against science. However, Jaeger is not afraid to interact with theologians, Greek, mythology, philosophers, and other creation stories from the ancient near east. She stays grounded in the Bible, showing the beauty of our God. Order and Structure I was most interested to see that our God is one of order and structure. This has profound effects on how we view our own knowledge and intelligence. And while our knowledge is derivative in nature, this is what gives us the possibility of actually knowing the true world. Hunan intelligence and nature are both created by God. This should give us confidence as we set out to explore the world. It’s remarkable how much can be learned from studying the doctrine of creation so closely. Jaeger speaks on human dignity, entering into God’s blessing, and accepting your limits. Of course, Jaeger also speaks on distinguishing between women and men, and embracing a fully human sexuality. God Cares About his Creation I was most challenged with the chapter on accepting your limits. Localization in space and time is an example of a God-given limit. No amount of technical progress can free us from the human condition. We have one life to live. But Christians have hope — the limit of death is done away with at the cross. The book calls us to enter into God’s rest. Jaeger assures us that God cares about our human condition in its entirety. Reading this book will help you see that God does care about his creation. Moreover, he cares to redeem his creation. I received a media copy of Ordinary Splendor and this is my honest review.
  2. Joel Whitson

    Joel Whitson

    5/8/2023

    Jaeger provides a rather helpful, yet accessible book regarding the doctrine of creation. What sets this work apart from many others is the particular content. She does not seek to develop a doctrine of creation, argue over creational timeliness, or the particulars of Eden (even though some of these are handled here). Instead, Jaeger sets out to develop a helpful guide as to how our understanding of the created universe shapes the rest of the life we live. The implications of Genesis dictate how we consider nature, rest, dignity, and ourselves. Littered throughout the work are small sections devoted to lengthy external quotes or questions that dig deeper. Whether these pages are lyrics to French pop songs, quotes from Calvin, or inquiries regarding Edenic vegetarianism they are a nice break. I do not, however, read them at the moment. Find a good time to flip back to them during the chapter, but don't break your flow of thought for them. The primary concern with Jaeger is a rather small one. While the book, as a whole, is great there are a few pages that lean into social trinitarian dogma. Though it is not explicit whether or not Jaeger supports this system of thought it is implicit in her writing. The language of human relationships is taken back into the trinitarian model. But, as I noted above this is rather small, only a few pages. This thought does not pervade the entire work. What Jaeger does is write an applicable and understandable work regarding human life and creation. The student/professional theologian may, at times, find the book unengaging. But this is not because Jaeger fails in any capacity. She instead reaches her goal, she writes a book that the laity can pick up and enjoy. She teaches us to accept our limits. She helps show why rest is a blessing and not just a command. But most importantly she demonstrates that life itself is a gift we have received. Because of this, we should be thankful day in and day out. *I received a media copy to review. This is my honest review
Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!

$9.74

Print list price: $18.99
Regular price: $12.99
Save $3.25 (25%)