"Useful men are some of the greatest blessings of a people. To have many such is more for a people's happiness than almost anything, unless it be God's own gracious, spiritual presence amongst them; they are precious gifts of heaven."
Certainly one of the most useful men in evangelical history was the man who preached those words, pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards. Commemorating his 300th birthday, general editors John Piper and Justin Taylor chose ten essays that highlight different aspects of Edwards's life and legacy and show how his teachings are just as relevant today as they were three centuries ago.
Even within the church, many people know little more about Edwards than what is printed in American history textbooks-most often, excerpts from his best-known sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." They unjustly envision Edwards preaching only fire and brimstone to frightened listeners. But he knew and preached God's heaven as much as Satan's hell. He was a humble and joyful servant, striving to glorify God in his personal life and public ministry.
This book's contributors investigate the character and teachings of the man who preached from a deep concern for the unsaved and a passionate desire for God. Studying the life and works of this dynamic Great Awakening figure will rouse slumbering Christians, prompting them to view the world through Edwards's God-centered lens.
Table of Contents:
Part One: The Life and Legacy of Edwards
1. A God-Entranced Vision of All Things: Why We need Jonathan Edwards 300 Years Later – John Piper
2. Jonathan Edwards: His Life and Legacy – Stephen J. Nichols
3. Sarah Edwards: Jonathan’s Home and Haven – Noel Piper
Part Two: Lessons from Edwards’s Life and Thought
4. The Glory of God and the Reviving of Religion: A Study in the Mind of Jonathan Edwards
5. Pursuing a Passion for God Through Spiritual Disciplines: Learning from Jonathan Edwards – Donald S. Whitney
6. How Jonathan Edwards Got Fired, and Why It’s Important for Us Today – Mark Dever
7. Trusting the Theology of a Slave Owner – Sherard Burns
Part Three: Expositions of Edwards’s Major Theological Works
8. The Great Christian Doctrine (Original Sin) – Paul Helm
9. The Will: Fettered Yet Free (Freedom of the Will) – Sam Storms
10. Godly Emotions (Religious Affections) – Mark R. Talbot
Appendix 1: A Divine and Supernatural Light – An Edwardsean Sermon – John Piper
Appendix 2: Reading Jonathan Edwards: Objections and Recommendations – Justin Taylor
John Piper (born January 11, 1946) is an evangelical Calvinist Christian preacher and author, currently serving as Pastor for Preaching and Vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.