Blog Posts on Jonathan Edwards

Books Don’t Change People, Paragraphs Do

John Piper
Books Don’t Change People, Paragraphs Do

I have often said, “Books don’t change people, paragraphs do — sometimes sentences.”

This may not be fair to books, since paragraphs find their way to us through books, and they often gain their peculiar power because of the context they have in the book. But the point remains: One sentence or paragraph may lodge itself so powerfully in our mind that its effect is enormous when all else is forgotten.

It might be useful to illustrate this with two books by Jonathan... Continue Reading

The Seedbed of Big-God Preaching

John Piper
The Seedbed of Big-God Preaching

In December, 1744, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon foreshadowing The End for Which God Created the World, which he completed eleven years later, three years before he died. It’s title was “Approaching the End of God’s Grand Design.”

It is the kind of sermon that draws me back again and again to Edwards to rescue me from the spiritual strangle hold of small things. It’s this kind of seeing that makes the seedbed of Big-God Theology and Big-God Preaching. You can read it ... Continue Reading

Four Things We Can Learn from Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Parnell
Four Things We Can Learn from Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards wasn't always "Jonathan Edwards," Sean Lucas reminds us.

In the closing appendix of his book, God's Grand Design, Lucas explains that in many ways Edwards was "a man just like us." Sinner as he was, Edwards struggled and grew and learned, all desperate for God's grace (like you and me). Much of this process is seen in his early years as he prepared for ministry. And we can find some deep lessons to glean in this season of his life, especially... Continue Reading

Meet Jonathan Edwards

Tony Reinke

Spiders, hedonism, revivals, and the mysteries of the trinity — Jonathan Edwards's mind was rich and his writings are prolific. Digestible overviews of his life and writings are always appreciated.

During the recent conversation between John Piper and Douglas Wilson, mention was made of moderator Joe Rigney's trip to New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho in March of 2010. Joe is Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary where he... Continue Reading

Encouragement for Old Sinners to Come to Christ

John Piper
Encouragement for Old Sinners to Come to Christ

If you are old and fear that Christ will not accept you for having sinned away the better part of your life, let Jonathan Edwards compel you. This is from a sermon titled “No Obstacle to the Pardon of the Returning Sinner,” based on Psalm 25:11, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.”

I am afraid God will not accept of me, when I offer him only mine old age.

To this I would answer

Hath God said anywhere, that he will not accept old... Continue Reading

Edwards's Resolutions in Seven Categories

Jonathan Parnell

Back in 1723 Jonathan Edwards chartered a list of resolutions for his life. 70 of them. And he read them once a week.

Matt Perman writes:

[Edwards] shows us that a well lived life doesn't just happen; it requires intentionality. And intentionality manifests itself in certain "mechanisms" that help us maintain our intentionality. Edwards' resolutions are one example of such a "mechanism."

So Edwards is a good example not just of a life that is lived well, but also of... Continue Reading

To See His Supernova God, Put Your Eye to Edwards' Telescope

John Piper
To See His Supernova God, Put Your Eye to Edwards' Telescope

I stand in awe of Michael McClymond and Gerald McDermott’s massive The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford University Press, 2011). Edwards is worthy of this scope of treatment.

But may I register a disagreement with one way this book is being commended.

Alistair McGrath said that it is “unquestionably the best starting place for anyone wanting to grapple with the ideas of America’s greatest theologian.”

And Kenneth Minkema said, “This volume... Continue Reading

Where Do We Find Jesus in the Old Testament?

Joe Rigney
Where Do We Find Jesus in the Old Testament?

For me, one of the most exciting elements of Scripture is its use of typology. Put simply,

[Typology is] the idea that persons (e.g., Moses), events (e.g., the exodus), and institutions (e.g., the temple) can — in the plan of God — prefigure a later stage in that plan and provide the conceptuality necessary for understanding the divine intent (e.g., the coming of Christ to be the new Moses, to effect the new exodus, and to be the new temple) (Graham Cole, He Who... Continue Reading

What Is the River of History?

Joe Rigney
What Is the River of History?

Edwards writes:

God’s providence may not unfitly be compared to a large and long river, having innumerable branches beginning in different regions, and at a great distance one from another, and all conspiring to one common issue. After their very diverse and contrary courses which they hold for a while, yet all gathering more and more together the nearer they come to their common end, and all at length discharging themselves at one mouth into the same ocean.

The different streams... Continue Reading

Indulge My Effusive Overflow for a Dead Friend

John Piper
Indulge My Effusive Overflow for a Dead Friend

I read Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Christ’s Agony.” Stunning. I could not stop till I was done. So penetrating. So full of wine from the crushing and wringing of these grape-texts. So many questions posed. Such answers!

It is simply amazing to me that almost all of Edwards’ published works are available online, or in multiple Kindle editions (for $.99 or $1.99, the one I have).

May God touch you as deeply as he has me—and more—as you linger in the kind of... Continue Reading