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The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards (A Long Line of Godly Men Profile) Hardcover – December 10, 2008
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The growing embrace of Reformed thought in the past quarter of a century has been very encouraging to those of us who delight in this most biblical expression of Christianity. And the remarkable writings of Jonathan Edwards have, by the grace of God, played no little part in this expansion of Reformed theology. This new volume by Steve Lawson helps to locate the root of Edwards thinking in his close walk with God. It serves as a powerful reminder to those of us who delight in Reformed truth that Reformed orthodoxy and Reformed piety belong together, and that to focus on the former at the expense of the latter is not only un-Edwardsean, but also un-biblical.--Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Tired of going at the Christian life in piecemeal fashion? Tired of half-hearted pursuits? Then you've come to the right book. Here Steven Lawson artfully points you to Jonathan Edwards, a model for pursuing holiness, humility, and love, and for the forsaking of sin; all driven by a relentless passion to glorify God and enjoy him forever. When Edwards wrote his Resolutions, he likely had no idea how much they would impact his life. Beware, they'll do the same for you.--Stephen J. Nichols, President of Reformation Bible College, Chief Academic Officer, and Teaching Fellow for Ligonier Ministries
The pursuit of a regimented godliness is not unique to Christianity, but it is rare. Unlike popular versions of the Christian faith, Jonathan Edwards did not seek the disciplines of godliness for utilitarian ends, the self-help preoccupation of Western Christianity. He saw conformity to Christ as a means, the only means, to glorify God. Steve Lawson has done a wonderful service, producing in a tactful and pastoral manner Edwards pious resolutions, thereby helping us understand the inner life, the spiritual struggles and goals, of perhaps America's greatest intellect.--Dr. John D. Hannah, Research Professor of Theological Studies, and Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary
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Level – Easy, Medium length
The first chapter is a short biographical stretch of the man many consider to be the greatest American Theologian of all time. The rest of the chapters are devoted to Edwards’ construction of his ‘Resolution.’ Unfortunately, as Edwards didn’t order or systematize his Resolutions, the book seems to jump around a bit as Lawson attempts to categorize the list. However, the book does an excellent job of spelling many of the resolutions and giving us the story or reasons behind them. Many of the most interesting parts of the chapters has to do with how the Resolutions affected Edwards’ life.
In the appendix of the book, you can read the entire Resolutions.
The best use of this book is to view it not as a biography, but as a commentary on Edwards’ Resolutions. The strength of the book isn’t so much it’s info on the life of Edwards, but instead it’s interaction with the Resolutions and different points of his life, or how his resolutions affected his life.
I personally found some of his attempts overwhelming, bordering on unnecessary. Obviously, Edwards is much more pious and disciplined than me and most people. However, his limited the amount of food he’d eat so as not to waste time or enjoy food too much just seemed extreme and unhealthy.
This book is well written and will challenge you. Lawson does a good job of posing questions at the end of each chapter. Anyone interested in spiritual disciplines or Jonathan Edwards needs to put this book on their reading list.
In The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Steven Lawson examines the 70 resolutions that were written by Edwards as an 18 and 19 year old while serving in his first pastorate. Throughout his life, Edwards examined himself and his spiritual progress by reviewing these resolutions weekly.
Dr. Lawson gives us a brief biography followed by a thorough review of the resolutions and their major themes. The goal of the book, in the words of the author, is to "challenge a new generation of believers to pursue holiness in their daily lives." It is certainly convicting and inspiring, and if there is ever a book other than the Bible that will challenge one to pursue holiness, this is it.
The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards is the second book in Dr. Lawson's series: A Long Line of Godly Men. It would be a great addition to any library, and it is highly recommended to anyone interested in Puritan theology or in their own personal sanctification.
However, I must say that I was kinda disappointed with this particular writing, I guess it was not the genre I was expecting. I was expecting a more biographical sketch of the life of Jonathan Edwards in this book. But as the book is titled, it specifies about the resolve (or resolutions) of Edwards and it does systematically run through many of his resolutions and how they are seen in his life through his own dairy records.
Lawson categorized the resolutions into different categories and then systematically analyse them, and show how Edwards himself saw the importance of these resolutions and how he implemented or struggled with the implementations of these resolutions.
The strength of this book is for helping Christians see the importance and reasons for discipline in the Christian life, and even relatively unimportant things like rationing of amount of food to eat, was an issue that Edwards looked into. It helps a Christian to visualize and see an example of one life lived solely to be of use by God for His glory.
However, that's all there is to this book, if you're looking more for a biographical book on Edwards, I would encourage you to search elsewhere. But you're interested to look at the resolutions of Edwards, how important they were and what they meant in Edward's life and how was it was manifested in his life, this is THE book to get.