GOD’S GRAND DESIGN: THE THEOLOGICAL VISION OF JONATHAN EDWARDS, by Sean Michael Lucas

Published on October 19, 2016 by Joshua R Monroe

Crossway, 2011 | 224 pages

Somehow it took me five years to get around to reading this book, but what a gem it is. The literary output of Jonathan Edwards was massive, and his influence in American theology more massive still. Sean Michael Lucas is deeply acquainted with Edwards, and with this rather brief but wonderfully insightful summary of his thought he leaves us in his debt. If you are already familiar with Edwards, then you will appreciate Lucas’s carefully informed overview of his theological vision of the Christian life. If you are new to Edwards, I can’t imagine a better place to begin the journey. Begin here, and find your own theological perception sharpened and your heart delighted.

 

Table of Contents

Part 1: Redemption History

1 God’s Grand Design: The Glory of God
2 God’s End in Creating the World: Creation, Nature, Fall
3 The Great Errand of Christ: Redemption
4 The Summum and Ultimum: Consummation

Part 2: Redemption Applied

5 A Divine and Supernatural Light
6 The Nature of True Religion: Holy Affections
7 The Dark Side of Religious Affections: Self-Deception
8 A Love Life: How the Affections Produce Genuine Virtue
9 Means of Grace: The Ministry of the Word
10 Means of Grace: The Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
11 Means of Grace: Prayer, Personal and Global
12 The Christian Life as a Journey to Heaven
Appendix 1:
 “Where Do I Begin?” An Annotated Bibliography
Appendix 2:
 “A Man Just Like Us”: Jonathan Edwards and Spiritual Formation for Ministerial Candidates

 

Endorsements

Philip Graham Ryken

Jonathan Edwards indisputably is America’s greatest theologian. He is also one of the church’s wisest shepherds of the Christian soul. In this smart, accessible book, pastor-theologian Sean Lucas shows how Edwards can help us read the story of our salvation as part of the bigger story of God’s redemption—what the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have done to rescue us from sin and draw us into the everlasting fellowship of their love.

 

Derek W.H. Thomas

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 Edwardsian 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.

 

Douglas A. Sweeney

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.

 

Fred Zaspel

 

Buy the books

God’s Grand Design: The Theological Vision of Jonathan Edwards

Crossway, 2011 | 224 pages