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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kindness and Severity of God, March 25, 2006
This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
Jonathan Edwards is still considered by many to be the greatest theologian America has ever produced. He is also a preacher that does not mince words, does not tell anecdotes, does not try to connect with the audience. In short, he sees himself in God's service, commissioned to spread His Word accurately and clearly, and I might add, eloquently.

Edwards had a chance to practice what he preached after he wrote this book, and was kicked-out of his church. He refused to serve communion to those he considered to be non-believers. His biography (another book) reveals his long-suffering and forbearance with what seemed like grossly unfair treatment he received. I was really impressed with his evenness during this very trying period.

'Charity and its Fruits' is a series of sermons Edwards did on the 'Love Chapter' of 1st Corrinthians 13, while pastoring Northampton Church in Northampton, Massachusetts. He goes through each phrase and winnows it down to what it really means for you and me. He is unsparing in his expositions, giving you both the good news and the bad news, what you need to seek after, and what you need to wrestle with, alternating between being encouraging and being convicting. In the process, it is, in my view, as eloquent as anything you will read, short of the Scriptures themselves. The last chapter, which is about heaven, is easily some of the best prose I've ever been privileged to read; and it is all spiritual, with almost no physical references.

Brace yourself, but do yourself a favor, and read the book.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Musat read for every Calvanist!, November 7, 2001
This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
Today one may hear a professing christian say that they "love Jesus'. Yet, Jesus said that our love for Him would be evident in the way we treat our neighbors. Even our enemies. This book will challenge every child of God to examine the way he or she lives in light of the great commandment, as well as Paul's teaching on 1 Cor 13. For, this book is a collection of sermons on the thirteenth chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, often called the "love chapter". After reading this book, the reader may not go about flippintly using the word "love". For, in Edwards' sermons the reader learns the true meaning of the word often translated "charity" or "love". Especially to be savoured is the final sermon called "Heaven, a world of love".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convicting. Moving., June 29, 2007
By 
Brian G Hedges (South Bend, Indiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
Jonathan Edwards preached this series of discourses on I Corinthians 13 in 1738 to his congregation in Northampton. These sermons, sixteen lectures in all, give great insight into the regular pastoral preaching of Edwards and show how gifted he was as an expositor of Scripture. They are full of both doctrinal propositions and practical instruction. They explain the text and also apply it. Edwards' aim was to show how Christian love is manifested in the heart and life of a true believer. His sermons follow the typical Puritan style of preaching, giving "doctrine" and application.

The first lecture seeks to prove that "all the virtue that is saving, and that distinguishes true Christians from others, is summed up in Christian love." In this sermon, Edwards' familiarity with the breadth of Scripture is plainly evident. The second and third sermons seek to more fully expound the first three verses of I Corinthians 13 in which Edwards explains how love is more excellent than the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit and that anything which is suffered in the way of duty is vain if not permeated with love.

Lectures four through fourteen focus on the fifteen characteristics of love as described in verses four through seven of I Corinthians 13. Edwards' pastoral concerns are most evident here as he labors to show how love will be longsuffering, kind, unselfish, etc. Edwards' penetrating application lays bare the human heart in ways that I have rarely seen in other sermons.

The final two sermons deal with the last paragraph of I Corinthians 13 and are more theological in nature as Edwards contends that the Holy Spirit will forever be given to the saints in love and that Heaven will be a world full of love. Edwards' view of heaven and hell are described with poignant detail in this last sermon, which is one of the most beautiful and insightful treatises on heaven that I have ever read. Like all of Edwards' writings, Charity and Its Fruits is full of theological acumen, philosophical insight, and pastoral concern.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love is Where it's At!, December 23, 2010
This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
This book is my favorite off all time! It's chapters are made up of sermons on an expository series that Edwards preached on 1 Corinthians 13. When I read these sermons I get to sit under the teaching of a man who knew God so well that he was able to describe these attributes, or fruits, of love with great mastery. It's easy to read and totally applicable. The final sermon ends with heaven as the place of love and it's description makes me yearn for heaven all the more!

God is love, the Gospel is the highest act of love and our greatest commandment is to love God and one another...don't these seem like fine reasons to dive into this book?

"If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, not sentimental platitudes, December 20, 2008
This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
Dr. Edwards, the greatest American theologian, did not mince words. These are not the feel-good sentimental platitudes intended to leave us feeling good. These are sermons designed to convey the truth of an authentic love that has the power to change hearts and cultures. The truth does not always make us feel good, sometimes it stings. But the sting is that of an iodine that cleanses the impure infection of the world's thinking and leads to true healing. These are some of the most profound and moving sermons ever penned on the 13th chapter of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. Be ready for truth and be ready for the costly but effectual grace that Bonhoeffer would later so clearly lay out in his great work, The Cost of Discipleship. This is a love that will cost you your life and gain you everything in return.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for every (angry / hopeful) Christian, August 7, 2005
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This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
This book is amazing and truly inspired of the Holy Spirit. Mr. Edwards ability to decompose scripture and address every aspect of arguments as to what the scripture means and does not mean is a Godsend. If you have struggled with the verse "In your anger, do not sin.", this book will help you unpack that verse....what is righteous anger (and what are all the forms unrighteous anger takes) and what is a godly (and what are ungodly) response(s). The "old English" takes a bit of getting into, but the absolute structure of the logic and interpretation found there is worth the minimal effort of getting into the "swing" of it. The absolute prize at the end is the chapter on the "society of heaven" -- how it will make you yearn for heaven and as the Lord's prayer says to desire "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven". I think that chapter alone would be a great comfort to someone who has lost a believing loved one. Buy it, read it, share it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
I would highly recommend this book to all. Jonathan Edwards is a brilliant theologian and his works can be very beneficial to his readers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Jonathan Edwards, August 6, 2009
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This review is from: Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life (Paperback)
Jonathan Edwards writings are far more comprehensive, and brilliant, than "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". This is instructive and helpful for all Christians.
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Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life
Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life by Jonathan & Darlene Edwards (Paperback - November 1, 1969)
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