Horton, Michael S.
Jonathan Edwards is widely hailed as the greatest theologian in American history. In Edwards on the Christian Life, Dane Ortlund invites us to explore the great eighteenth-century pastor’s central passion: God’s resplendent beauty. Whether the topic was the nature of love, the preeminence of Scripture, or the glory of the natural world, the concept of beauty stood at the heart of Edwards’s theology and permeated his portrait of the Christian life. Clear and engaging, this accessible volume will inspire you to embrace Edwards’s magnificent vision of what it means to be a Christian: enjoying and reflecting of the beauty of God in all things.
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Dane C. Ortlund (PhD, Wheaton College) is senior vice president for Bible publishing at Crossway. He serves as an editor for the Knowing the Bible series and the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series, and is the author of several of books, including Edwards on the Christian Life and Mark: A 12-Week Study. He lives with his wife, Stacey, and their four kids in Wheaton, Illinois.
“In his theological concern for the beautiful and the beauty of God, Jonathan Edwards stands at the end of a long theological tradition that reaches back to Augustine and beyond, even to the Scriptures themselves. In the last two centuries, however, this area of theological inquiry seems to have dropped off the radar for Christian theologians and practitioners, which may explain why students of Edwards’s corpus of writings have not tackled the subject. Ortlund’s study nicely fills this lacuna, for he rightly shows, from a multitude of angles, that beauty is the fulcrum of Edwards’s thinking. A joy to read and to ponder!” — Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Jonathan Edwards is widely known as a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher. Serious students, like Dane Ortlund, have long known he was much more. In this book Ortlund puts his careful research to good purpose as he demonstrates convincingly that the center of Edwards’s concern was always and supremely beauty—in God, from God, and for God. Grateful readers will find this book highly informative on Edwards and deeply encouraging for the Christian life today.” — Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
“No one has taught me more about the dynamics of Christian living than has Jonathan Edwards. And no one has more clearly articulated the role of beauty in Edwards’s understanding of the Christian life than has Dane Ortlund. If you’re unfamiliar with Edwards, or if you wonder how beauty could possibly have any lasting effect in your growth as a Christian, this book is for you.” — Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
“What a delight to see a book on Edwards’s conception of the Christian life. And how beautiful it is that it depicts the Christian life as ordered by and to the beauty of God. This book will help strengthen the fertilization of today’s churches by Edwards’s vision of God’s triune beauty.” — Gerald R. McDermott, Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion, Roanoke College; co-author, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards
“‘The supreme value of reading Edwards is that we are ushered into a universe brimming with beauty,’ writes Ortlund. I couldn’t agree more. And one would be hard-pressed to find a more engaging introduction to this universe for the church. Even the final chapter, on ways in which we should not follow Edwards, offers crucial Christian wisdom. Ortlund’s criticisms of Edwards hit the mark—and deserve consideration by Edwards’s growing number of fans. I plan to use them with my seminary students in years to come. Please peruse this beautiful book. It’s good for the soul.” — Douglas A. Sweeney, Professor of Church History, Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Edwards is profound, and this book breaks down the complexity into manageable portions around the theme of beauty, thus engaging readers in a fresh vision of the importance of Edwards’s theology to contemporary living.” — Josh Moody, Senior Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent