Global Missiology English, Vol 2, No 14 (2017)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large

Review of God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth

Kreitzer R. Mark


This very thought provoking book opens up for laymen the biblical theology of the Temple as God’s dwelling place with man from its beginning in the Garden to its completion and fulfillment in a new heavens and earth. However, as I will point out later, this doesn’t mean I agree with every detail that Professor Greg Beale, PhD and Pastor Mitchell Kim, PhD attempt to establish. This volume came out of a sermon series by Dr. Mitchell Kim that sought to popularize and apply the deep biblical theology of Greg Beale’s The Temple and Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God  (IVP, 2004).  It substantiates the awesome insights that a principle-based, type-fulfillment interpretation of the Temple can bring to biblical theology of mission. It clearly demonstrates that the main story line of Scripture is toward the healing and restoration of a “very good” creation, now broken and cursed because of human rebellion. Grace does not seek to escape from creation but to restore and renew creation, as Isaiah with its echoes in Paul, Peter, and John’s writings, state (see Is 65:17, 66:22; 1 Cor 5:17; 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:5). 

The original walled garden, Beale and Kim thoroughly demonstrate, was a representative, typological palace-temple for God’s presence. Adam’s sin resulted God’s ban upon him and all his relations from entering into the holiest place from which the fountain of water arose and the tree of life, representing life, wisdom and healing, stood. The banishment from the presence of God, his water and tree of life, however, will be completely restored in a step by step process through the redemption of Jesus. Beale and Kim show that the typological temples begin first with the Garden-temple, move to tents of worship set up by the patriarchs, which lead to the moveable tabernacle build by Moses, and then on to the two permanent Temples of Israel. Each is replaced by the next until the presence of God in Christ by the Spirit comes to fulfill all the pictures of the OT temples. The final consummation Temple is the renewed heavens and earth in which the resurrected Christ as the God-with-us (Immanuel) dwells with His people.