The Essential Jonathan Edwards

Owen Strachan and Douglas Sweeney: An Introduction to the Life and Teaching of America’s Greatest Theologian

The Essential Jonathan Edwards
An Introduction to the Life and Teaching of America’s Greatest Theologian
(Moody Publishers, 2018)

WHO: Owen Strachan, associate professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and director for the Center on Public Theology at MBTS, and Douglas Sweeney, chair of the church history and history of Christian thought department and director of the Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

THEY SAY: “A man who wore a white starchy wig, ministerial garb, and preached ninety-minute stem-winder sermons on a weekly basis is far more widely read than when he lived.”

THE BIG IDEA: In studying Jonathan Edwards, today’s pastors not only will discover the major themes of his sermons, they also will see God through Edwards’ eyes.

THE PROGRESSION:
This one volume resource on Edwards gives a walking tour of the man’s life. It starts with Part 1, “Lover of God.” The chapters in this section detail Edwards’ life, from his beginnings as a child in Connecticut through his years as a pastor and scholar.
Part 2, “Beauty,” takes an in-depth look at the seven attributes Edward identified that demonstrate God’s excellency or beauty.
“The Good Life” is Part 3, which examines how the foundation of the good life is God.
Part 4, “True Christianity,” discusses nominal Christianity, true Christianity and Edwards’ response to both.
The book concludes with Part 5, “Heaven and Hell,” an illuminating look at the afterlife.

“When a Christian lives with eternity in mind, shaping life in view of it, death truly does lose its sting. We see this in the example of Jonathan Edwards.”

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