He gave . . . teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God. (Ephesians 4:11–13)
When you look heavenward on a clear night, you can see glory. But look through a strong telescope, and your mouth may drop.
That’s what sitting under a gifted teacher can be like. God gave teachers to the church so that saints like us will see more glory than we would have on our own. He appoints them to study the cosmos of the Scriptures, look deeper into the galaxies of God’s revelation, see more glory than the rest of us fellow heirs would perceive with the naked eye of our own soul, and then labor to help us see it too.
God gives some teachers extraordinary gifts to aid an extraordinary number of saints. One of those teachers is Jonathan Edwards.
See the Whole Universe
If all you know of Edwards is that he wrote the famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” then take special note of this observation by John Piper: “Identifying Jonathan Edwards with ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’ is like identifying Jesus with the woes against Chorazin and Bethsaida” (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13).
The woes and wrath are real. But they are just one constellation in the biblical cosmos of God’s glory. There is a universe more to see!
When Edwards looked through the lens of Scripture, he saw galaxies of God’s glory that drop the jaw and captivate the soul. He peered further than perhaps anyone else into the mysteries of God’s sovereignty and the nature of the Trinity, and he left for us unparalleled explanations of God’s purpose for creation, the nature of love, the justice of hell, and the crucial importance of the truth that “God is glorified not only by his glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.” Sound familiar?
Be Captivated by Glory
But oh, that explanation doesn’t come close to doing Edwards justice! Reading Edwards really is like looking through a high-powered telescope, into the night sky of Scripture, ablaze with the glory of God. You simply need to come take a look for yourself!
That’s why we’ve put together a free ebook titled Captive to Glory. It will give you a guided view through Edwards’s telescope and help you see some of the stunning glory he saw. And your guide will be John Piper, who has spent his entire adult life gazing through this telescope.
So come! Come, take a look! You will be amazed, and, I pray, captivated by what you see.
Captive to Glory is available free of charge in three electronic formats: MOBI (for Kindle), and EPUB (for Nook, Sony Reader, iBooks, and more), and PDF. If you’d prefer a printed copy, an on-demand print is available as a service, at the lowest cost possible, with no royalty to Desiring God.