This book presents Jonathan Edwards’s theology, exploring both the grand framework of redemption history and the application of God’s redemptive work in the believer’s life.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Sean Michael Lucas (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is the senior minister at the First Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and associate professor of church history at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He previously taught at Covenant Theological Seminary for five years, serving as the chief academic officer.
What People are Saying About This
“Those of us trundling through the complete works of Jonathan Edwards in the recent Yale edition are grateful for experts like Sean Lucas who, with a single lucid paragraph, are able to unravel the most complex of Edwardian thought. The study of Edwards has become something of a ‘rite of passage’ in recent days and some of us have some catching up to do. Dr. Lucas, a well-respected Edwards scholar in his own right, has given us a comprehensive summary of Edwards’s understanding of the Christian life that does for Edwards what Sinclair Ferguson did for John Owen. An essential and most welcome companion to any serious study of Edwards.”
—Derek W. H. Thomas, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Minister of Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS
“This is an edifying book on a most edifying person, one who became the most important pastor in all of American history. By focusing our attention on what mattered most to Edwards—authentic Christian living that derives from God’s grace and reflects God’s glory—Sean Lucas has written a book that can draw you nearer to God, even make you a better person. Good theology, well presented, leads to passionate, godly piety. Edwards and Lucas know this well. I pray that you will know it too.”
—Douglas A. Sweeney, distinguished professor of church history and the history of Christian thought; director, Jonathan Edwards Center, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“Sean Michael Lucas analyzes the ways that Jonathan Edwards understood the Christian life as both inconceivably vast and intensely personal and practical, demonstrating that there is still much to be learned from America's greatest philosopher-theologian. From his Introduction to the two invaluable Appendices, Lucas offers an eminently useful volume that reminds one of much of Edwards's own writing—technical yet accessible, scholarly yet pastoral.”
—Richard A. Bailey, Associate Professor of History, Canisius College; author, Race and Redemption in Puritan New England
“It is good for the church—and the heart—to see Sean Lucas, a modern pastor-theologian, working with such depth and clarity in the corpus of Jonathan Edwards, America's preeminent pastor-theologian. Lucas shows a mastery of the vast secondary and primary sources on and by Edwards, yet writes to be understood and to bless the church. If there is a better way to honor the New Light minister, I am not aware of it.”
—Owen Strachan, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; coauthor, The Grand Design; coeditor, Designed for Joy
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
God's Grand Design is an outstanding introduction to the theology that mid 18th century Congregational pastor, Jonathan Edwards wrestled with and taught over his career. The value of this short book (about 190 pages), is that it introduces the reader to the often complex development of Edwards' teaching and demonstrates its value and worthiness, even to people in the early 21st century. Lucas, a PCA pastor and seminary lecturer on the works of Edwards, is well equipped for this task, for he is able to critique and summarize Edwards, while using secondary sources to place him in context. While not a work a spiritual devotion, because so much of Edwards writing speaks to the heart of a Christian, Lucas writing does a fine job of letting the original text encourage today's Christian to greater heights of spiritual maturity and understanding. Much of Edwards teaching was centered on the role of God's sovereignty over his creation, and for the Christian, the growth of affection and love towards Christ driving greater and greater maturity and expectation of Christ's rule. Like many day to day pastors, Edwards had the complex task of relating the work of universal redemption and God's rule to individual listeners, in his case the individuals at his small, New England churches (at that time the edge of the Christian world). Lucas divides his work into two sections: Redemption History and Redemption Applied, and ties Edwards teaching together, in as close to a short, systematic way, as I think is likely. Lucas' writing on how Edwards wanted to help people understand and deal with false and genuine religious affections leading to false and genuine religious virtues is especially valuable. He barely, but in an interesting way, touch on how Edwards was beginning to confront the coming challenge from Enlightened Deism and the Biblical Higher Criticism that came in the generation or so, after Edwards death in his mid 50's. For the general reader, the challenge will be early on in this book, to reorient their mind towards how an 18th century pastor / scholar handled with some weighty, but very common spiritual concerns. Once that transition is made, however, the reader should get a lot of value from this work and even find it has some serious devotional value, to consider their own life in Christ. As an introduction to the theology and teaching of Edwards, this book is highly recommended.