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Jonathon Edwards!!! Empty Jonathon Edwards!!!

Post  AndrewA on Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:43 pm

I wrote this for a scholarship essay. The topic is write a book reccomendation for a peer. I really do reccomend this work to those who have the time and patience to read it.

A Dissertation concerning the End for which God Created the World is a particularly notable work by the 18th century Puritan Jonathon Edwards that philosophically and exegetically discusses the “ultimate end” of God for the creation of the world. The majority of Americans, due to high school US history curriculum, know Edwards as the fire-and-brimstone preacher who wrote “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Although Edwards certainly believed in Hell and warned the people of Southampton of its terrors with his solemn, organized rhetoric, Edwards was one of the greatest intellectuals in American history and contributed directly to the Great Awakening and indirectly to the commencement of the modern missions movement. American evangelicals would greatly benefit from studying men like Jonathon Edwards to realize the benefits of avoiding, as Mark Noll puts it, “the scandal of the evangelical mind.”

The first chapter of the dissertation discusses what the ultimate end of God would be through reason and logic. Setting the Bible aside, he makes the philosophical argument that “the disposition to communicate himself, diffuse his own fullness, was what moved him to create the World.” Through reason, he deducts that creation of the World had to be a God-centered action. He then refutes various objections for those who are skeptical of the idea of God making himself the chief end of creation. Chapter two then proves how this philosophical view is also biblical. He discusses over 150 passages, organizing the scriptures in his logical outline format. He even mentions the Greek and Hebrew to explain what the original interpretation of the texts would be for words like “glory.” In the last section (chapter II; section VII) of the dissertation, Edwards concludes, “the communication of God’s joy and happiness consists chiefly in communicating to the creature that happiness and joy which consists in rejoicing in God, and in his glorious excellency; for in such joy God’s own happiness principally exists.”

This work is relevant to all Christian readers today, because of its focus on a God-centered soteriology and the joy that comes with the knowledge of God. The western church has often placed man at the center of God’s work. This is seen at evangelism crusades where salvation from hell is through the raise of a hand, weekly church attendance, and tithing. These well-intentioned clergy and laymen tragically forget to mention God’s holiness and glory, and passages like Matthew 16:24-28. The view that God’s happiness consists in providing to “the creature” joy and happiness in himself is essential to correctly understanding the personal Christian life. God wants us to be happy, not in material goods or other aspects of the world, but in God. Theologian and pastor, John Piper, explains this idea in further detail in his books (it is the primary topic of Desiring God.) Jonathon Edward’s A Dissertation concerning the End for which God Created the World, despite being a somewhat difficult read, contains great truths to learn and apply to life.

Last edited by AndrewA on Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Jonathon Edwards!!! Empty Re: Jonathon Edwards!!!

Post  Christian on Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:21 pm


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