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Reading 'Religious Affections': A Study Guide to Jonathan Edwards' Classic on the Nature of True Christianity (Biehl)

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Table of Contents:

Analytical Outline

SECTION ONE: Introduction, Background, and Central Issues

Session One: Introduction to Jonathan and Sarah Edwards

Session Two: The Context and Occasion of The Religious Affections: The Great Awakening

SECTION TWO: The Religious Affections

Part One: The Nature and Importance of Religious Affections

Session Three: Definition, Nature, Importance, and Scripture Support of Religious Affections

Part Two: Uncertain Signs that Religious Affections are the Work of God in a True Believer

Session Four - Introduction

Sign I: Religious Fervor or Zeal

Sign II: Great Physical Affects on the Body 

Sign III: Fluent, Fervent, and Abundant Religious Talk

Session Five 

Sign IV: That Affections Seem To Be from an External Supernatural Source 

Sign V: That Religious Affections Come with Texts of Scripture in the Mind 

Sign VI: The Presence of Love

Sign VII: The Presence of Many Kinds of Religious Affections Accompanying Each Other

Session Six

Sign VIII: That Joy and Comfort Follow Conviction and Mourning for Sin.

Sign IX: Great Time and Energy Spent in Religious Activity and Worship

Sign X: Abundant Praise to God 

Session Seven - Sign XI: Great Assurance of One's Own Salvation 

Session Eight - Sign XII: That One's Religious Affections and Testimonies Move the Hearts of Saints

PART THREE: Signs that Religious Affections are the Work of God in a True Believer

Session Nine: Qualifications and the Fruit of the Permanent Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Introduction and Necessary Qualifications 

Sign I: Gracious Affections (Religious Affections that Are a Work of God in a True

Believer) Are the Fruit of the Holy Spirit that Dwells Permanently in the Believer

Session Ten - Sign II: Gracious Affections Are Founded Primarily upon the Greatness of God and His Works, Apart from Self-Interest

Session Eleven - Sign III: Gracious Affections Are Founded upon the 'Loveliness' of the Holiness of God and His Works

Session Twelve - Sign IV: Gracious Affections Arise from Divine Illumination.

Session Thirteen - Sign V: Gracious Affections Are Accompanied by the Conviction that the Gospel Is True

Session Fourteen - Sign VI: Gracious Affections Are Accompanied by True Humility.

Session Fifteen

Sign VII: Gracious Affections Accompany a Change of Nature

Sign VIII: Gracious Affections Promote and Are Attended with a Christ-Like Demeanor

Session Sixteen

Sign IX: Gracious Affections 'Soften the Heart'

Sign X: Gracious Affections Have a Beautiful Symmetry and Balance. 

Sign XI: The Higher Gracious Affections Are Raised, the Greater the Desire for Spiritual

Growth, Whereas False Affections Rest Satisfied in Themselves

Session Seventeen - Sign XII: Gracious Affections Generate Christian Practice and Fruit (Part 1) 

Session Eighteen - Sign XII: Gracious Affections Generate Christian Practice and Fruit (Part 2) 

Session Nineteen - Sign XII: Gracious Affections Generate Christian Practice and Fruit (Part 3) 

Session Twenty - Sign XII: Gracious Affections Generate Christian Practice and Fruit (Part 4)



Craig Biehl received his A.B. degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA, Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary. Craig and his wife Angelica live in Pennsylvania where they are happily involved in various ministries and most happy to be redeemed in Christ.



"Have you ever put abook down and thought, 'Wow, that's deep. I wish I had a friend who could walk me through this book and explain it point by point'? Craig Biehl has done precisely that. Furthermore, he has done it for one of the most important books ever written: 'Religious Affections'. No one since the apostles had more insight into authentic godliness than Jonathan Edwards. But his books can be difficult to read. Biehl's study guide helps you to understand the historical situation of Edwards's day. It walks you through Edwards's teachings in easy-to-follow outlines mingled with choice quotes from Edwards. After each section he presents several questions for personal meditation or small group discussion. I regularly assign 'Religious Affections' to my students and heartily recommend Biehl's book as a companion to all who would read,understand, and apply Edwards's masterpiece." --Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"This is a very helpful study guide to one of the most important spiritual texts inall of history. If you read 'ReligiousAffections' with patience, care, and fervent prayer, using this simple textual aid, you will find yourself reflecting on the state of your heart, mind, and soul like never before in your life. I guarantee that you will never be the same." - Douglas A. Sweeney, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"With exacting rigor and care, Jonathan Edwards' Treatise Concerning Religious Affections provides both a diagnosis of the Great Awakening and good medicine for what ails Christian piety. In this unique study guide, Craig Biehl here dispenses twenty manageable and carefully referenced doses drawn from the Treatise for the health of true religion in the church of the Great Physician. " - R. Daniel Knox, Pastor, Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Sewickley, PA

"Few books have the profound depth and insight as Jonathan Edwards's 'The Religious Affections'--which is both good news and bad. The good news is that the book well repays reading and study. The bad news is the book can be rather daunting. Craig Biehl's study guide comes to the rescue. This deft guide by a capable scholar will lead you by the hand (and head and heart) to a clear understanding and deep appreciation for this classic text by Jonathan Edwards." - Stephen J. Nichols, Research Professor of Christianity and Culture, Lancaster Bible College, Author, 'Jonathan Edwards: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought'