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3 Stars Out Of 5
Great Book on the Resolutions of Edwards
September 9, 2013
I must say that I do like reading biography, and have enjoyed some really good ones in the Long Line of Godly Man Profile. And I do like Stephen Lawson as an author, his writing style is lucid, engaging and at many times well worth the time spent investing in reading his works. I do especially like his Foundations of Grace, and Pillars of Grace where I was first introduced to his writings.
However, I must say that I was kinda disappointed with this particular writing, I guess it was not the genre I was excepting. I was excepting a more biographical sketch of the life of Jonathan Edwards in this book. But as the book is titled, it specifies about the resolve (or resolutions) of Edwards and it does systematically run through many of his resolutions and how they are seen in his life through his own dairy records.
Lawson categorized the resolutions into different categories and then systematically analyse them, and show how Edwards himself saw the importance of these resolutions and how he implemented or struggled with the implementations of these resolutions.
The strength of this book is for helping Christians see the importance and reasons for discipline in the Christian life, and even relatively unimportant things like rationing of amount of food to eat, was an issue that Edwards looked into. It helps a Christian to visualize and see an example of one life lived solely to be of use by God for His glory.
However, that's all there is to this book, if you're looking more for a biographical book on Edwards, I would encourage you to search elsewhere. But you're interested to look at the resolutions of Edwards, how important they were and what they meant in Edward's life and how was it was manifested in his life, this is THE book to get.
Many theological books I've read recently have either spoke about Jonathan Edwards or have provided a quotation from him. Honestly, prior to hearing of these references I didn't know who he was, what he had said, or anything he did let alone him being an American; although technically what was America back then was still under British rule. Because of my ignorance, I wanted to read more about him and thought this would be a great starting book. I wasn't disappointed by the choice and was inspired by his desire for God...
Now The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards isn't a complete biography, but it is a book which looks at who Jonathan Edwards was as a theologian and author. The introduction and the 1st chapter summarize his historical life for readers like me who may not know who he was within the Puritan culture. The majority of The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards, however, is about who Jonathan Edwards was theologically. This was also an examination of some of his diary entries and examinations of some of his resolutions; all of his 70 resolutions are provided in an appendix at the end of the book. Though I don't know if I agree with everything Edwards thought theologically, most of what I read I felt was quite inspiring. What he must have felt, based on the tone in his writings, was quite deep and passionate; I cannot help but find it uncommonly admirable. To borrow the term from Dr. John Piper, Jonathan Edwards was definitely a Christian Hedonist and he was someone who encouraged others to desire God similarly. I agree with his resolve and hope to God I'll one day grow a passion like Edwards', King David's, and others in similarity. Although this is my first book about Jonathan Edwards, from what I read from Mr. Lawson, I felt this was a very good book.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Reformation Trust Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Reformation Trust Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Praise God for the ministry of Steve Lawson. I first saw him at the Resolved conference in California, and since have enjoyed his sermons and writings. This book is an excellent, very readable look at the life and spiritual pursuits of Jonathan Edwards.