Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought

Jonathan Edwards and the Ministry of the Word: A Model of Faith and Thought

by Douglas A. Sweeney
     
 
Jonathan Edwards has been recognized as the most influential evangelical theologian of all time. Before his death at the age of fifty-four, he had sparked a new movement of Reformed evangelicals who played a major role in fueling the rise of modern missions, preaching revivals far and wide, and wielding the cutting edge of American theology. He has never gone out of

Overview

Jonathan Edwards has been recognized as the most influential evangelical theologian of all time. Before his death at the age of fifty-four, he had sparked a new movement of Reformed evangelicals who played a major role in fueling the rise of modern missions, preaching revivals far and wide, and wielding the cutting edge of American theology. He has never gone out of print, and Christians today continue to flock to seminars and conferences on him.

In this biography of the great preacher and teacher, historian Douglas Sweeney locates for us the core and key to Edwards' enduring impact. Sweeney finds that Edwards' profound and meticulous study of the Bible securely anchored his powerful preaching, his lively theological passions and his discerning pastoral work. Beyond introducing you to Edwards' life and times, this book will provide you with a model of Christian faith, thought and ministry.

Editorial Reviews

George Marsden
"Douglas Sweeney has written an admirable 'Jonathan Edwards for Christians.' It is at once authoritative and addressed to the practical concerns of evangelicals in the pews."
Gerald McDermott
"Doug Sweeney gives us a nourishing and tasty introduction to the real Edwards, and focuses in this brief but substantial volume on Edwards'
ministry of the Word. He provides a fascinating entrée to the life and career of Edwards, and then zeroes in on Edwards' multifaceted understanding of Scripture. Sweeney gives us enough detail to stimulate new insights into Edwards, Scripture and its Author. But his writing is not so technical that the general reader would not be abundantly rewarded by perusing this slim but informative and illuminating volume."
Sam Storms
"I love this book! Doug Sweeney not only demonstrates the central role of Scripture in the theology and pastoral ministry of Jonathan Edwards but also provides us with a vibrant portrayal of his life and the many brilliant insights that have rightly contributed to his global reputation. Combining clarity and ease of style with a remarkable breadth of research, Sweeney has given us a treatment of Edwards that may well prove to be the standard against which all future contributions are judged. I highly recommend it!"
Mark Dever
"Doug Sweeney has written a fine introduction to Jonathan Edwards' life and theology. Accessible and accurate, this introduction is a good place to start in trying to understand Edwards as a man, a Christian, a theologian and a pastor."
Doctor - Kenneth P. Minkema
"Strangely, it has taken nearly three centuries for us to realize the obvious: that Jonathan Edwards had a lifelong love affair with the Bible. Doug Sweeney has been at the forefront of elucidating Edwards the exegete and the biblical foundations of his theology. In this new work, Sweeney shows the vital, reflective and informed connections between Edwards' Biblicism and his calling as a 'faithful minister of the Word.' Even more, Sweeney points out the extent to which Edwards' more formal theological formulations arose directly out of his local pastoral experience. This study will be a blessing to pastors,preachers and spiritual leaders, who can learn from Edwards' faith, thought and experience."
Robert E. Brown
"A lively, intimate portrait of a man many have found distant and intimidating. Douglas Sweeney reveals Jonathan Edwards to be the flesh-and-blood Christian we should have suspected he was, in a way that neither patronizes nor idealizes him. As importantly, we have here for the first time an account of Edwards' life that rightly places the Bible at the center of his intellectual and pastoral genius."
Harry S. Stout
"With the exception of George Marsden and Kenneth Minkema, it is hard to find someone more knowledgeable about Jonathan Edwards than Douglas Sweeney. In focusing his book on Edwards as minister, Sweeney offers academic and clerical readers a treasure trove of insight and elegant prose. If not Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, the inclusion of seven 'theses' for discussion at the end is a stroke of genius and will certainly enhance the reading experience for church groups of all levels. For anyone interested in getting to know America's greatest theologian in greater detail, this masterful analysis is must-reading."
Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema
"Strangely, it has taken nearly three centuries for us to realize the obvious: that Jonathan Edwards had a lifelong love affair with the Bible. Doug Sweeney has been at the forefront of elucidating Edwards the exegete and the biblical foundations of his theology. In this new work, Sweeney shows the vital, reflective and informed connections between Edwards' Biblicism and his calling as a 'faithful minister of the Word.' Even more, Sweeney points out the extent to which Edwards' more formal theological formulations arose directly out of his local pastoral experience. This study will be a blessing to pastors,
preachers and spiritual leaders, who can learn from Edwards' faith, thought and experience."
Brian K. Sholl
"Sweeney deftly weaves considerations of Edwards's spiritual development, his study and preaching of Scripture, and his intellectual efforts into an elegant telling of Edwards's life. . . This book will not disappoint the non-Christian or Christian reader who wants an authoritative and spiritually oriented reflection on an enduring figure in American religious history."
R. Ward
"Sweeney presents an image of Edwards as a boldly evangelical and pious Protestant intellectual who fruitfully combined powerful preaching and intellectual rigor that changed his world and continues to influence the world today. Highly recommended."
John Jaeger
"Writing in clear and nontechnical language, Sweeney makes the story of Edwards's life an engrossing one."
Bill Schweitzer
"Sweeney hits an unmitigated home run. If I had only one recent book to give to seminarians to read about Edwards' work, it would be this one."
Library Journal
Many high-quality books have been written on Jonathan Edwards, and one wonders if there is need for another. However, Sweeney (director, Carl F.H. Henry Ctr. for Theological Understanding, Trinity Evangelical Divinity Sch.; The American Evangelical Story) focuses on a particular subject that has not received much attention. As he writes in the preface, he considers Edwards "a model of Christian faith, thought, and ministry"; thus, his target audience is Christian ministers, students, and others who wish to learn about this central figure in Evangelical history. Sweeney devotes most of the book to a consideration of Edwards's life and work, but he also includes a couple of chapters on his biblical and theological thought. He concludes by discussing the ongoing legacy of Edwards and what the reader can learn from him. Writing in clear and nontechnical language, Sweeney makes the story of Edwards's life an engrossing one. VERDICT Ministers and students might well find this a helpful book. However, for the larger community of readers, this slim volume will not seem a satisfactory treatment of Jonathan Edwards.—John Jaeger, Dallas Baptist Univ. Lib., TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780830838516
Publisher:
InterVarsity Press
Publication date:
05/22/2009
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema
"Strangely, it has taken nearly three centuries for us to realize the obvious: that Jonathan Edwards had a lifelong love affair with the Bible. Doug Sweeney has been at the forefront of elucidating Edwards the exegete and the biblical foundations of his theology. In this new work, Sweeney shows the vital, reflective and informed connections between Edwards' Biblicism and his calling as a 'faithful minister of the Word.' Even more, Sweeney points out the extent to which Edwards' more formal theological formulations arose directly out of his local pastoral experience. This study will be a blessing to pastors,
preachers and spiritual leaders, who can learn from Edwards' faith, thought and experience."
Dr. Kenneth P. Minkema, executive director, Jonathan Edwards Center, and adjunct assistant professor of American religious history, Yale University
George Marsden
"Douglas Sweeney has written an admirable 'Jonathan Edwards for Christians.' It is at once authoritative and addressed to the practical concerns of evangelicals in the pews."
George Marsden, author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life and A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards
Mark Dever
"Doug Sweeney has written a fine introduction to Jonathan Edwards' life and theology. Accessible and accurate, this introduction is a good place to start in trying to understand Edwards as a man, a Christian, a theologian and a pastor."
Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
Harry S. Stout
"With the exception of George Marsden and Kenneth Minkema, it is hard to find someone more knowledgeable about Jonathan Edwards than Douglas Sweeney. In focusing his book on Edwards as minister, Sweeney offers academic and clerical readers a treasure trove of insight and elegant prose. If not Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, the inclusion of seven 'theses' for discussion at the end is a stroke of genius and will certainly enhance the reading experience for church groups of all levels. For anyone interested in getting to know America's greatest theologian in greater detail, this masterful analysis is must-reading."
Harry S. Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History, Yale University
Robert E. Brown
"A lively, intimate portrait of a man many have found distant and intimidating. Douglas Sweeney reveals Jonathan Edwards to be the flesh-and-blood Christian we should have suspected he was, in a way that neither patronizes nor idealizes him. As importantly, we have here for the first time an account of Edwards' life that rightly places the Bible at the center of his intellectual and pastoral genius."
Robert E. Brown, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University, and author of Jonathan Edwards and the Bible
Gerald McDermott
"Doug Sweeney gives us a nourishing and tasty introduction to the real Edwards, and focuses in this brief but substantial volume on Edwards'
ministry of the Word. He provides a fascinating entrée to the life and career of Edwards, and then zeroes in on Edwards' multifaceted understanding of Scripture. Sweeney gives us enough detail to stimulate new insights into Edwards,Scripture and its Author.But his writing is not so technical that the general reader would not be abundantly rewarded by perusing this slim but informative and illuminating volume."
Gerald McDermott, professor of religion, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia
Sam Storms
"I love this book! Doug Sweeney not only demonstrates the central role of Scripture in the theology and pastoral ministry of Jonathan Edwards but also provides us with a vibrant portrayal of his life and the many brilliant insights that have rightly contributed to his global reputation. Combining clarity and ease of style with a remarkable breadth of research, Sweeney has given us a treatment of Edwards that may well prove to be the standard against which all future contributions are judged. I highly recommend it!"
Sam Storms, Ph.D., senior pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Meet the Author

Douglas A. Sweeney is professor of church history and the history of Christian thought and director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

He has written numerous books and articles about religious history and Jonathan Edwards. He is the coeditor of The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader(Yale University Press) and Nathaniel Taylor, New Haven Theology, and the Legacy of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford University Press).

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