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Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought Paperback – May 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (May 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830838511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830838516
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Douglas Sweeney has written an admirable 'Jonathan Edwards for Christians.' It is at once authoritative and addressed to the practical concerns of evangelicals in the pews." (George Marsden, author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life and A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards)

"Doug Sweeney gives us a nourishing and tasty introduction to the real Edwards, and focuses in this brief but substantial volume on Edwards' ministry of the Word. He provides a fascinating entrée to the life and career of Edwards, and then zeroes in on Edwards' multifaceted understanding of Scripture. Sweeney gives us enough detail to stimulate new insights into Edwards, Scripture and its Author. But his writing is not so technical that the general reader would not be abundantly rewarded by perusing this slim but informative and illuminating volume." (Gerald McDermott, professor of religion, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia)

"I love this book! Doug Sweeney not only demonstrates the central role of Scripture in the theology and pastoral ministry of Jonathan Edwards but also provides us with a vibrant portrayal of his life and the many brilliant insights that have rightly contributed to his global reputation. Combining clarity and ease of style with a remarkable breadth of research, Sweeney has given us a treatment of Edwards that may well prove to be the standard against which all future contributions are judged. I highly recommend it!" (Sam Storms, Ph.D., senior pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

"Doug Sweeney has written a fine introduction to Jonathan Edwards' life and theology. Accessible and accurate, this introduction is a good place to start in trying to understand Edwards as a man, a Christian, a theologian and a pastor." (Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.)

"Strangely, it has taken nearly three centuries for us to realize the obvious: that Jonathan Edwards had a lifelong love affair with the Bible. Doug Sweeney has been at the forefront of elucidating Edwards the exegete and the biblical foundations of his theology. In this new work, Sweeney shows the vital, reflective and informed connections between Edwards' Biblicism and his calling as a 'faithful minister of the Word.' Even more, Sweeney points out the extent to which Edwards' more formal theological formulations arose directly out of his local pastoral experience. This study will be a blessing to pastors, preachers and spiritual leaders, who can learn from Edwards' faith, thought and experience." (Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema, executive director, Jonathan Edwards Center, and adjunct assistant professor of American religious history, Yale University)

"A lively, intimate portrait of a man many have found distant and intimidating. Douglas Sweeney reveals Jonathan Edwards to be the flesh-and-blood Christian we should have suspected he was, in a way that neither patronizes nor idealizes him. As importantly, we have here for the first time an account of Edwards' life that rightly places the Bible at the center of his intellectual and pastoral genius." (Robert E. Brown, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University, and author of Jonathan Edwards and the Bible)

"With the exception of George Marsden and Kenneth Minkema, it is hard to find someone more knowledgeable about Jonathan Edwards than Douglas Sweeney. In focusing his book on Edwards as minister, Sweeney offers academic and clerical readers a treasure trove of insight and elegant prose. If not Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, the inclusion of seven 'theses' for discussion at the end is a stroke of genius and will certainly enhance the reading experience for church groups of all levels. For anyone interested in getting to know America's greatest theologian in greater detail, this masterful analysis is must-reading." (Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University)

Review

"I love this book! Doug Sweeney not only demonstrates the central role of Scripture in the theology and pastoral ministry of Jonathan Edwards but also provides us with a vibrant portrayal of his life and the many brilliant insights that have rightly contributed to his global reputation. Combining clarity and ease of style with a remarkable breadth of research, Sweeney has given us a treatment of Edwards that may well prove to be the standard against which all future contributions are judged. I highly recommend it!"

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About this time was when much of his Resolutions were written.
PastoralMusings
Just last month J. Todd Billings and Robert Letham each published a book on this topic, both of which were reviewed by The Gospel Coalition.
Bradley L Kautz
Douglas A. Sweeney's new book "Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word" is one of my favorites so far.
Kristopher Estep

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kristopher Estep on July 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I guess I first heard of Jonathan Edwards in history class. You know, as the man who preached the "most famous sermon in history, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". If I'm not mistaken, the book also painted Edwards in a fairly negative light, as a "fire and brimstone" preacher who always was angry and breathed wrath at every turn. I'm sure this is how many people view Edwards, because for many the only encounter they have had with him is in history class and when reading that particular sermon.

That's why I'm so grateful for the abundance of books available on Edwards and his family. Douglas A. Sweeney's new book "Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word" is one of my favorites so far.

In the book Sweeney takes the reader on a quick but thorough tour of Edwards' life with each chapter taking on a different role.

Before the Introduction there is a timetable of significant events in his life, an overview of the Edwards' family members, and a map of Edward's world in New England.

Chapter One: Study to Shew Thyself Approved; Covers the beginning of Edwards' life and education.

Chapter Two: Preach the Word; Takes a look at Edwards' love of preaching, the Puritan preparation and delivery of sermons, and Puritan church life.

Chapter Three: Search the Scriptures: Explores Edwards' love and passion for God's word.

Chapter Four: Try the Spirits; Discusses the role of Spiritualism in Edwards' ministry and the Great Awakening.

Chapter Five: With All Thy Mind; This chapter provides a quick overview of some of Edwards' more well known writings: The Freedom of the Will, Original Sin, and The Two Dissertations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Cozart on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the last couple of years, several short introductions/brief biographies pertaining to Jonathan Edwards have been published. The impetus behind the publications appears to be a concerted effort to make Edwards more accessible to the average reader, even targeted groups of average readers. Such is the case with Douglas A. Sweeney's new book, Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought. As he states in the Preface, "I have written [this book] with Christians at the forefront of my mind" (17). Thus, this book is intended for Christians who desire to know more about the man so often deemed "America's greatest theologian." More than simply a biography, however, Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word, is an intimate look at the lifelong love affair that Jonathan Edwards had with the Bible, a relationship that would permeate every aspect of his life, writings, and ministry.

Sweeney begins the book by examining the place of the Bible in eighteenth century colonial American life. He concludes that the society into which Edwards was born, "may have been the most biblically oriented and literate society in the world" (28), a society thoroughly saturated with the Bible every moment of the day, especially on Sundays. After a brief introduction to Edwards's world, Sweeney moves to a discussion of Edwards's early life in the first chapter, "Study to Shew Thyself Approved." This chapter details Edwards's early experience with the Bible and experimental religion, discussing especially the education Edwards received at home under his father Timothy, and during his collegiate years at Yale. This chapter also includes a discussion of Edwards's conversion to Christianity, his first pastorate in New York City, and some of his earliest writings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Davis on November 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word by Douglas A Sweeney, IVP Academic 2009

This review first appeared on [...] and is used with permission.

The number of books produced on Jonathan Edwards in the last twenty years would fill a small library. New works on his writings, personal life, even the types of ink he used, are still coming into print, threatening to swamp bookstores and libraries. Yet this volume deserves to be purchased, read and passed along to those who are followers of Edwards and especially those yet unacquainted.

To those who know Edwards well, there is little new here. Nonetheless, the lively writing, Sweeney's particular focus on Edwards' ministry of the Word of God, and the overall affection of Sweeney's treatment will warm the heart of any Edwards groupie. It is even possible that Sweeny may introduce a new slant to one's thinking or present a heretofore undiscovered fact.

To those who have somehow entirely missed the Edwards Academic Onslaught and remain uninitiated into its hallowed halls this may well be the best general introduction to the man, his life, times and thought. Why so?

Dr. Sweeney presumes nothing and teaches much. The opening chapters are highly engaging, largely biographical and very accessible. The depth and difficulty increases as the books develops. But herein lies the genius of the work. Sweeney tells his readers all they need to know in order to understand even the deepest of concepts (2/3 of the way through the book Sweeney spends six pages on Edwards' Freedom of the Will - a most challenging work - made user-friendly by Sweeney's deft analysis and explanation).
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