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God's Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (With the Complete Text of The End for Which God Created the World) Paperback – January 6, 2006
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"One studies the time and backgrounds of some men in order to understand them. Others have such rare greatness that one studies them in order to understand their times. . . . Jonathan Edwards was such an original."
—Paul Ramsey, Editor of Edwards's ethical writings in the Yale critical edition
"No man is more relevant to the present condition of Christianity than Jonathan Edwards."
"The western church . . . much of it drifting, enculturated, and infected with cheap grace . . . desperately needs to hear Edwards's challenge."
—Charles Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
"[Edwards] speaks with an insight into science and psychology so much ahead of his time that our own can hardly be said to have caught up with him."
—Perry Miller, Former Harvard Historian
"One of the most holy, humble and heavenly minded men that the world has seen since the apostolic age."
—Ashbel Green, 1829, Former President of the College of New Jersey
". . . the profoundest reasoner, and the greatest divine . . . that America ever produced."
—Samuel Davies, 1759
"[Edwards] was a man who put faithfulness to the Word of God before every other consideration."
—Iain H. Murray, author, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography and Evangelical Holiness; Founding Trustee, Banner of Truth Trust
"The disappearance of Edwards's [God-entranced] perspective in American Christian history has been a tragedy."
—Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame; editor, Protestantism after 500 Years
"Edwards's book, The End for Which God Created the World [is] . . . unsurpassed in terms of its theological grandeur."
—David Brand, Author, Edwards Scholar
From the Back Cover
"One studies the time and backgrounds of some men in order to understand them. Others have such rare greatness that one studies them in order to understand their times . Jonathan Edwards was such an original." Paul Ramsey, editor of Edwardss ethical writings in the Yale critical edition
"No man is more relevant to the present condition of Christianity than Jonathan Edwards." D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"The western church much of it drifting, enculturated, and infected with cheap grace desperately needs to hear Edwardss challenge." Charles Colson
"[Edwards] speaks with an insight into science and psychology so much ahead of his time that our own can hardly be said to have caught up with him." Perry Miller, former Harvard historian
"One of the most holy, humble and heavenly minded men that the world has seen since the apostolic age." Ashbel Green, 1829, former president of the College of New Jersey
" the profoundest reasoner, and the greatest divine that America ever produced." Samuel Davies, 1759
"[Edwards] was a man who put faithfulness to the Word of God before every other consideration." Iain Murray, Edwardss biographer
"The disappearance of Edwardss [God-entranced] perspective in American Christian history has been a tragedy." Mark Noll, Wheaton College historian
Edwardss book, The End for Which God Created the World [is] unsurpassed in terms of its theological grandeur." David Brand
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Top customer reviews
Pastor John Piper has devoted his years of ministry to exploring the implications of this stunning truth for life and ministry. Understanding that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him has made all the difference for John Piper-and can transform your life as well.
Here Piper passionately demonstrates the relevance of Edwards's ideals for the personal and public lives of Christians today through his own book-length introduction to Edwards's The End for Which God Created the World. This book also contains the complete essay supplemented by almost a hundred of Piper's insightful explanatory notes. The result is a powerful and persuasive presentation of the things that matter most in the Christian life.
Second, after priming the pump, he gives us Edwards himself, The End For Which God Created the World. In doing so, he has done us a number of huge favors. He has rescued this work from the intimidating The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1, with its tiny print, double columns, narrow margins, and hundreds of pages of text. It is so nice to have a margin wide enough to write notes in! Not only that, but Piper has adjusted the format to make it easier to follow, adding paragraph headings, explanatory footnotes, definitions to obsolete words, punctuation where helpful, etc. And lastly, he has done the work that Adler describes in How to Read a Book, of mapping out our course for us ahead of time, explaining what Edwards is up to in each section of the work: philosophical definitions in the introduction, arguing from reason in chapter 1, and from Scripture in chapter 2. Piper highlights the most important sections, if you can't quite make it through the most difficult parts, and lets you know which parts you really MUST read.
And then Edwards himself paints a picture of the glory of God from his brilliant and God besotted mind. I thought I know some things about the glory of God before I read this book. I realized I didn't know much at all. Reading Edwards is like hauling theological timber. It is difficult, sometimes painful work, but the result is a solid theological foundation upon which to build the rest of your structure. Reading Edwards is like seeing for the first time.
One of the best books I have ever read.
One thing that stood out to me early in the book is Edwards' simple yet profound interpretation of a few verses I had seen a million times before, but had never considered in the context of this question. Edwards cites verses like Isaiah 48:12 and Revelation 22:13, where God calls himself the first and the last, and interprets this to mean that God is not only the first cause but also the last end or purpose of all creation. He similarly cites verses such as Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:16, and Hebrews 2:10, where all things are said to be from God, for God, and to God, to show that all things proceed from God as their creator and flow back to God as their ultimate end or reason for existence, and that all glory will ultimate flow back to God, so that the glory of God is the last end and final consummation of the existence of the world.
In fact, I've never seen so much scriptural support for any belief as Edwards provides for his claim that God makes himself his purpose in the creation of the world. Many times in the book Edwards lists off a half dozen passages and then says something like, "but places to this purpose are too numerous to be particularly recited; see them in the margin," and if you follow the footnote you're presented with a list of two or three dozen passages that are similar to the five or six already given.
I have been blessed by this book. I will never think about God's purposes and intentions in quite the same way again, nor will I read or understand many passages of scripture in the same way. I'm overwhelmed by how great God is and how insignificant I am in the scheme of things, and yet how significant I am to God in fulfilling his own purposes because I have the capacity (albeit only as the Holy Spirit works in me) to recognize God for who he is, to take my delight in him, and enjoy him forever, thereby giving him the honor, praise, and glory he alone is due. As Piper has said elsewhere many times, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him," and, "the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever."
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