Friday, November 4, 2011

"God's Grand Design: The Theological Vision of Jonathan Edwards" Book Review

Confession: I love Jonathan Edwards. I can hardly find more challenging, invigorating and overall Spirit-anointed reading than Mr. Edwards. Last year, on the brink of exhaustion and frustration in ministry, it was the wise words of Jonathan Edwards that helped me focus on God's supremacy and kept me going through that difficult time. So the review that follows is probably biased from the beginning. That said, Edwards was one of the most brilliant theological minds in the past 500 years. Now, Edwards own theological thinking is systematized (somewhat) and presented in Dr. Sean Michael Lucas' book God's Grand Design: The Theological Vision of Jonathan Edwards.

God's Grand Design basically breaks down into two sections. Section one deals with Edwards' own redemptive history of sorts and section two deals with the ramification that redemptive history had on Edwards' own practical ministry. The chapters in the second section deal with things such as Edwards' view of the ministry of the Word, prayer, Heaven, and the Lord's Supper/Baptism. These chapters spell out how Edwards' theological vision worked out in his ministry.

The book quotes Edwards extensively and Lucas does a good job of keeping the pace of each chapter going. In other words, no chapter feels too long or too short. That said, Lucas does not do a good job of discussing how we might appropriate Edwards' thinking to the church today. I wish he would have spent more time applying Edwards to today.

All said, however, God's Grand Design is a very good book and a solid introduction into the theological thinking of Jonathan Edwards. It is a good read and has many excellent quotes. Of course, as in all of Edwards' writings, God takes center stage and Lucas does a great job of letting Edwards give us a beautiful vision of God. That alone should inspire worship and lead us to appreciate our great God even more.

*I was provided a free review copy in exchange for a review. I was not under obligation to give this book a positive review.*

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