Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who is Jonathan Edwards anyway?


The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards

By:  Dr. Steven Lawson

From:  Reformation Trust Product
Pages:  168
Publish Date:  December 1st, 2008
Rating:  4.5 stars

              Who is Jonathan Edwards?  Ever hear of his name or read anything he wrote?  There is much written about this man from the past.  We can learn the basic facts such as where was he born, siblings, pastorates, marital status, etc…  How about going further into the life of Jonathan Edwards to the man, to know the heart of this man of God?  What if you were told he wrote something called “Resolutions,” and there were seventy of them!  We think we are doing good to make one and really stick to it, but seventy!  You may think he was striving to be a perfectionist; however, nothing is further from the truth than to accuse Mr. Edwards of straining to be a perfect Christian. 

                Jonathan Edwards lived a short life compared to how long mankind on average lives today.  He wrote many things while he lived, and as Christ followers we should be grateful for this faithful witness.  Though this particular book is not extremely long, it is challenging none the less.  Lest we think Edwards was out of touch with himself, society and the Church, we need only read his journal entries to gain a glimpse of the inner workings of the Spirit of God on his heart as well as in his life.

                In nine chapters, the author takes the seventy resolutions of Edwards and puts them into groups that have the same theme.  At the end of the book there are the seventy resolutions for one and all to read for themselves.  In between the preface and the appendix, readers will glean bits and pieces of the heart, mind and soul of Jonathan Edwards.  There are included at the end of each chapter “Notes” that list the author’s sources used in expounding the themes presented.  In Hebrews 12:1, we read the following:  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.   And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (NIV).  If any particular Scripture could be stamped to encompass Edwards’ life, I believe this is the one.  As I read I could not get this thought out of my mind--that we have had many who have been, are and one day will be, a cloud of witnesses.  There are Biblical examples of witnesses and there are examples throughout America’s History, some are even happening today though we may not as yet know about them.  Who will be counted among the witnesses tomorrow?  Will I?  Will you?

Note:  I received a complimentary copy of this book of The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards from Ligonier Ministries.