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“Useful men are some of the greatest blessings of a people. To have many such is more for a people’s happiness than almost anything, unless it be God’s own gracious, spiritual presence amongst them; they are precious gifts of heaven.”
Certainly one of the most useful men in evangelical history was the man who preached those words, pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards. Commemorating his 300th birthday, general editors John Piper and Justin Taylor chose ten essays that highlight different aspects of Edwards’s life and legacy and show how his teachings are just as relevant today as they were three centuries ago.
Even within the church, many people know little more about Edwards than what is printed in American history textbooks—most often, excerpts from his best-known sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” They unjustly envision Edwards preaching only fire and brimstone to frightened listeners. But he knew and preached God’s heaven as much as Satan’s hell. He was a humble and joyful servant, striving to glorify God in his personal life and public ministry.
This book’s contributors investigate the character and teachings of the man who preached from a deep concern for the unsaved and a passionate desire for God. Studying the life and works of this dynamic Great Awakening figure will rouse slumbering Christians, prompting them to view the world through Edwards’s God-centered lens.
John Piper is senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the head of Desiring God. He has written numerous books on topics that include personal holiness, missions and historical figures.
Justin Taylor is Study Bible project director and associate publisher at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books, including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center.