The writers and chief actors of the Old Testament expressed a deep longing for the presence of God. This longing is symbolized through history in the Garden of Eden, the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle that housed it, the temple, and the ruins of the temple.
In response to this longing, God shares his ultimate mission, in which his people play a part: the expansion of Eden _ the temple of God’s presence – to all peoples throughout the earth.
The temple has always been a source of rich scholarship and theological reflection – but what does it mean for the church’s ongoing mission in the world? Beale and Kim build a bridge from the world of biblical theology to our modern–day life. They help us to see clearly that the themes of Eden, the temple, God’s glorious presence, new creation, and the mission of the church are ultimately facets of the same reality.
Hence, from Eden to the New Jerusalem, God’s people are his temple on the earth, the first–fruits of the new creation. God has always desired to dwell among us; now the church needs to follow its calling to extend the borders of God’s kingdom and take his presence to the ends of the earth.
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