The smile of God thrills the soul. Shining Like the Sun examines all the key passages in the Bible that tell of favorable encounters with God and how they produce life-changing, stirring results, both internally and externally.
This is the first sustained, whole-Bible treatment on the theme of meeting God face to face. Starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation, the author systematically covers the major events in salvation history, all of which reveal the beauty of encountering God’s grace in abundance.
From Genesis to Revelation, both the Old and New Testaments repeatedly speak of the divine face and its paradoxical accessibility and hiddenness to humans. Despite the prevalence of this important biblical theme, it is not well known or understood by most Christians. In Shining Like the Sun, Wenkel draws attention to the consistent biblical teaching that those who encounter God face-to-face are transformed in powerful ways. These face-to face encounters with God often affect the human body such that the human is able to share in and manifest God’s glory and presence. Wenkel’s argument is clearly argued and accessible for those wanting to go deeper in their understanding of this important biblical teaching. Wenkel proves himself to be a helpful guide for those seeking to grow in their knowledge of biblical theology and seek to be edified and transformed in the process.
—Joshua W. Jipp, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
David Wenkel's study of biblical stories about people encountering God face to face provides a wonderful survey of an underappreciated biblical theme. Wenkel engages in an exemplary display of biblical theology by tracing the pattern of encounter stories across the various biblical corpora. He shows what they meant and what they mean for us today. His writing is well researched, clear, and engaging. I think a market for such a book exists among those interested in biblical theology and among those who want to preach on biblical materials about beholding God up close and personal.
—Michael Bird, Lecturer in Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
This is an excellent thought provoking monograph—a must-read by anyone serious about biblical theology and pastoral practice. Shining Like the Sun explores narratives such as Moses’ shining face and Jesus’ transfiguration and the implications and relationship to the image of God. The theologically inquisitive and expert alike will gain much from reading this trailblazing work.
—John B. Song, Professor of Bible and Worldview, Belhaven University
“The embodiment of shame and attempt to cover the body with leaves is just a small window into how sin later affects Adam and Eve’s family. The important conclusion here is that their bodies reflect their relationship with God and they had to hide from his face.” (Page 16)
“One conclusion to underscore is that their purity before God was expressed through their bodies. They were free from the knowledge of sin and this meant that they embodied holiness.” (Page 13)
“The one simple truth that this book focuses on is that those who meet God face to face are changed.” (Page 1)
“The previous chapter was foundational and focused on the ‘book of origins,’ or the first four chapters of Genesis. People are made in the image of God and this image consists of a unity of soul and body, material and immaterial. This is why people have the capacity to physically reflect the glory and holiness of God when they meet him face to face.” (Page 22)
“As we consider Jacob’s wrestling match with God at the river Jabbok, we see for the first time that meeting God face to face is not something that can be done without walking away changed.” (Page 24)
David H. Wenkel (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is an adjunct professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute.