Strangely Bright: Can You Love God and Enjoy This World?

By Joe Rigney

... Show All

Strangely Bright: Can You Love God and Enjoy This World?

By Joe Rigney

... Show All

Learn to Delight in God and in His Good Gifts

At the heart of the Christian life lies the tension of the single-minded pursuit of the glory of God and the deep enjoyment of the things that God has made. How can Christians enjoy the good things of earth? Whether it’s a delicious meal or a game night with friends, listening to jazz or watching baseball, earthly joys often seem to compete with a deep love for God. Scripture supports both the enjoyment of the Creator and the enjoyment of the creation, revealing that this tension in the Christian life is also found in the Bible. In this accessible book, Joe Rigney displays how Christians can delight in God and enjoy his good gifts.

Read Chapter 1


Joe Rigney

Joe Rigney (PhD, University of Chester) is assistant professor of theology and literature at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also a pastor at Cities Church and the author of Live Like a Narnian and The Things of Earth. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three sons.

Product Details

Title: Strangely Bright
Subtitle: Can You Love God and Enjoy This World?
Published: August 25, 2020
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6935-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6935-7
Category: Christian Living
Retail Price: $14.99
Binding: Paperback
Trim: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Page Count: 128

Table of Contents


1. What the Heavens Declare
2. Pleasures in the Garden
3. Enjoying the Gifts When Jesus Is Better
4. Anchor Points
5. Denying Ourselves and Sharing Our Riches
6. When the Things of Earth Are Lost
7. Treasure in the Field

General Index
Scripture Index


“Many of us are illiterate when it comes to reading anything other than a book. Joe follows Scripture’s example by teaching us how to read the world, the creation, and the gifts of God under the authority of the word of God. This is an important book and I hope you’ll read it.”
Abigail Dodds, author, (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ

“God’s passion for his glory and our ache to be truly happy are not at odds but rather one life-changing pursuit. And so too with God himself and the world he made—not at odds but rather God means for us to enjoy him in everything, and everything in him. It sounds so simple, but in our finitude and fallenness, we are so prone to get tripped up over this. For years, Joe Rigney has handled this dilemma as well as anyone I’m aware of, and now he does it with even more focus and accessibility. I’ve eagerly awaited this short book with its life-changing vision, and I could hardly be more excited that it’s finally here.”
David Mathis, Senior Teacher and Executive Editor,; Pastor, Cities Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota; author, Habits of Grace

“Since Constantine entered Rome in October of AD 312 and ended Christian persecution, the faithful have struggled with their embrace of God and their love for the world. Instead of gladiator games, it’s UFC. Instead of pagan celebrations, it’s Netflix binging and secularized holidays. How can Christians in the twenty-first century enjoy the world without sacrificing their primary obligation to love the Lord? Joe Rigney provides remarkably timely advice on enjoying God’s creation, while still putting God above his creation.”
Erick-Woods Erickson, Editor, The Resurgent

“The path to wisdom and joy involves asking the right questions in the right way, with help from reliable sherpas when the going gets tough. My friend Joe Rigney is one such sherpa, who asks questions like, How does the single-minded pursuit of God’s glory fit with a sincere enjoyment of created things? And then he humbly writes books, big and small, as an answer. Rigney’s Bible-saturated imagination and down-to-earth wit, along with his ridiculously good prose, make Strangely Bright a special created thing that leads us deeper into the heart of the Creator.”
Jonathan Parnell, Lead Pastor, Cities Church, Saint Paul, Minnesota; author, Mercy for Today and Never Settle for Normal