At the center of this plan is the Person of Christ Jesus, in whose face, Paul says, we behold “the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:6), the same knowledge that Habakkuk prophesied would fill the earth, “as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). It is impossible, of course, to write a single book that can begin to capture even a few aspects of the knowledge of the glory of God seen in the face of Christ, and I certainly have not attempted this here. My goal has been to recruit any and all who are hungry to become students of this knowledge by providing a starting place for reading and holding together many of the biblical references to glory so that it takes on greater definition. The definition we give to glory will determine where we expect to encounter it. I believe a limited definition of glory has prevented many believers from recognizing the glory around them. An ecclesiastical definition, in particular, confines our expectations to glory in the Church, whether in the ancient traditions with their pomp and ceremony, or in contemporary worship focused on experiencing the Presence of God. But Isaiah says that the whole earth is filled with His glory (see Isaiah 6:3). That statement demands a definition that creates an expectation to see and know the expression of God’s glory everywhere.
I doubt there is a greater word than glory, except God Himself, for it holds together the entirety of the grand expression of His nature He is unfolding through time. As I have studied glory, I have found that divisions and categories I had previously held began to change as the inherent unity and interrelatedness of all that God is and does became more apparent to me. Ultimately, I expect that as the knowledge of the glory of God covers the earth, categories like “sacred” and “secular” will be erased and things like “natural” and “supernatural” will become less polarized in our thinking. Every aspect of our lives will take on the synergy that flows when our lives are reflecting and expressing the glory of God. As you will find in the coming pages, most chapters in this book set out to address a particular facet of glory, and what I hope you will see is that every facet is deeply connected and related with every other aspect. We cannot understand the parts apart from each other or apart from the whole. Glory demands that we learn how to hold them all together.