The new book, in process for 40 years, now cataloged, revised, refined, and expanded; every reference checked and rechecked and rechecked again over the last two years of covid; literally thousands of hours of work invested—it’s DONE!
I have great hopes that this book will be a powerful stimulus to faith and holiness among the people of God. It is a reference work with a highly devotional and pietistic thread. It is a very hard book to describe.
Part prayer guide,
Part examination of God’s character.
I think of it as God playing Jazz with His own name as He discloses Himself to His people. Maybe an analogy will help. Depending on the context, we all introduce ourselves differently when people ask us two basic questions:
1) What is your name? or What are you?
2) What do you do?
Depending on who I am talking to or the situation I might answer those questions with things like:
My name is Marty.
My name is pastor Marty.
I’m the church planting prof.
I am the counselor.
I am a mentor.
I am a friend, a brother, a Dad, a PopPop (Grandfather), a church planter, a Bible teacher, a writer, a researcher, an historian, a blogger, a creative, a former athlete, a former runner, a cyclist, a rock climber, a hiker, a husband, an extravert/introvert, a persuader, a Philly sports fan, a University of Maryland graduate, a cradle-Catholic, a Christian, a born-again Christian, Reformed Theologian, a Calvinist, a Happy Calvinist, a no-axe-to-grind Calvinist, a father, even a “bull rider” and a poet.
I think part of the reason we are so adept at describing ourselves in so many different ways is that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are imitating our God.
God delights to describe Himself to His people. He wants us to know Him. He uses four primary names in the Old Testament, Yahweh (LORD), Elohim (GOD, Adonai (Lord), and Ruach (Spirit). In the New Testament there are six primary names, Thĕŏs (God), Iēsŏus (Jesus), Pnĕuma (Spirit), Christŏs (Christ), and Patēr (Father) and also, in context, Son (huiŏs). But then God starts playing Jazz.
Combining these names in both testaments in a multitude of variations, like a Jazz pianist vamping and improvising and extending melodies, stretching and expanding the tune in creative, complex and beautiful forms to create something new and revealing about who He is. And then there are multiple hundreds of names and terms and metaphors that use none of these names, but are used in the Scripture to define and describe our magnificent God. That’s what this book is about. It helps you to study these names by book, by era, by testament, by comparison, by contrast, by author. It enables you to trace the thread of God’s revelation from Old to New Testament.
God is Jealous for His name. He guards His name because it is precious to Him and because it is a one of His primary ways of communicating who He is. Do you want to know God? Study His names. This is a tool to help you do that. I hope you will get a copy today.