Read Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards\\\'s \"Religious Affections\" Download PDF EPUB ebook
Download Read Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards\'s "Religious Affections" Download PDF EPUB ebo...
A couple of years ago I plowed through Edwards' Religious Affections and what greatly edified and encouraged by his words. It is frustrating to know that such a work is available to believers and because of the writers complex style many will never benefit from this treasure.
Thank you Dr. Storms for this labor of love. What a wonderful gesture of putting the cookies where the kids can reach them. Signs of the Spirit is a should read for anyone struggling in a world of post modern evangelicalism and the empty life of man centered worship.
The author did a terrific job in furnishing a first-rate companion to Religious Affections. One of the more helpful chronological outlines of Jonathan Edwards is included as an appendix.
Sam Storms, Signs of the Spirit, An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections (Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway Books, 2007)
Even among books on theological subjects, this volume is just a bit odd. It is not a commentary on the work by Jonathan Edwards cited in the title. And, since Edwards' work was written in English, it is certainly not a translation. Like some renderings of the Bible, Storms' book is a paraphrase of Edwards' work, in modern English.
This effort is, or should be, immensely appreciated by our modern Christian lay faithful (I'm assuming a seminary trained person would be held responsible for reading Edwards' original words) as it answers a question which has puzzled me ever since I began attending congregational and synod-wide meetings. As I've put it, the question is `How do you tell the difference between someone who is truly imbued with the Holy Spirit, and a loose cannon?' My personal experience is as that of a loose cannon, so I'm not sure I can answer that question from my own experience.
Storms, a pastor and part-time professor of theology at Wheaton College in Illinois, has done us the service of making available to us an important piece of evidence showing what made Jonathan Edwards the foremost American theologian, and on the short list of the most important American thinkers. Our problem with Edwards may be that he preached and advocated a form of Calvinism which was very close to the strict, conservative, pre-destination oriented doctrines of John Calvin and the other early Swiss reformers. He did this at a time when his own New England Congregationalist pastors, several of whom were his cousins, were tending toward the Armenian variety of Reformed theology, (softened the doctrine of predestination by claiming that humans could reject election, which was also conditional on faith in the sacrifice and Lordship of Jesus Christ).
Religious Affections was especially topical, as it was written in 1746, following the two great rounds of religious enthusiasm which sprang up in 1735 and 1741--42, sparked by the preaching of Edwards himself (See Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God) and George Whitefield, a travelling English Anglican revivalist preacher touring New England. The question at that time, amid the great number of people responding enthusiastically to this `fire and brimstone' preaching was, `who was really among the elect'? The question was especially acute in that Edwards' opponents were advocates of a very cerebral approach to belief.
While Edwards' theology was conservative Calvinism, he rebuilt the underpinning of predestination theology on the epistemology of John Locke (1632--1704) and the physics of Isaac Newton, both of which were radically new, totally beyond the ken of Calvin (1509--1564). This makes Edwards' theology far more modern than his Reformer antecedents. To the modern physics, Edwards adds an appreciation for the role of `affection' which went further than his contemporaries.
My first reaction to Edwards' discussion is that he seems to dismiss as not relevant virtually all the signs, twelve in all, we might take as symptoms of `affection' such as the fact that affections `are intense or are raised high in the heart of the person' or `when the affections of the heart have a great influence on the body'. The problem becomes more acute when we read his positive signs of `authentic affections'. Such as `The first objective ground of gracious affections is the transcendently excellent and amiable nature of divine things as they are in themselves, and not any conceived relation they bear to self, or self-interest.' Things get a lot clearer when we get to the later (of twelve) authentic signs, as `When genuine, gracious affections are experienced in high degree, it serves only to intensify one's longing for more. False affections, on the other hand, rest satisfied in themselves.'
In fact, I was less impressed with these criteria than I was with some of Edwards early comments on the very nature of worship, such as `We are not to pray as if our petitions inform God of what he doesn't know or change his mind or prevail on him to bestow mercy that he was otherwise disinclined to give. Rather we pray "to affect our own hearts with the things we express, and so prepare us to receive the blessings we ask." In fact, virtually all external expressions of worship "can be of no further use, than as they have some tendency to affect our own hearts, or the hearts of others."Consider, for example, the singing of praises to God, which seem to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only that such is our nature and frame, that these things have a tendency to move our affections.' I have yet to see the nature and purpose of prayer so well stated as this.
The author has stated that this book, in spite of its difficulty in the original, has been a manual for many contemporary evangelical preachers, and I can hope that with this paraphrase, it will find even greater use. I compared parts of Storm's text to Edwards' original and I have come to be especially grateful for his contribution, as Edwards genius is not in great English prose. You may wish to read the original, but finish and digest the paraphrase before jumping into Edwards' fire with him. My experience is that it is not easy to locate Edwards' source for Storm's paraphrase.
I really love this ebook. It has great theological content and it is very readable. However, I found many spelling and formatting errors a bit distracting. Something happened while Amazon made this text into Kindle format...
For example: "The mere fact that certain religios affections are characterized byu love is no proof that the Holy Script is their author". That's 3 errors in one sentence alone! I'm wondering if this is common for Kindle books?
Maybe I should have just bought the book at Crossway's site which comes with the PDF-- which has perfect spelling. For this otherwise great ebook, minus a star for spelling.
I have heard exceedingly remarkable things of Jonathan Edwards. From grade school, I have heard people refer to Edward's Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and to Edwards' profound understanding of scripture, but I had never ventured to look into his teachings for myself. This book has made me understand why so many theologically learned people study and desire to emulate this man. Now, I share their sentiments.
The book is, as the title says, and interpretation. The first section of the book consists of Sam Storms paraphrasing and dumbing down The Religious Affections. Storms' language is in no way simple. I have come to appreciate Storms' rewriting of Edwards after seeing that 18th Century English was not as fluid as the language is today. Despite the attempt to simplify the language, the teachings are still dense and, in my opinion, revolutionary for the unlearned Christian. I found myself often spending upwards of ten minutes on some pages to contemplate the presented arguments, comparing the characteristics of true and false believers to the evidences which I have seen in my own life (an activity that was both humbling and encouraging).
Reading the first section without reading the walkthrough of Edwards' Personal Narrative will leave readers judgmental and overly critical of their fellow Christians. The personal narratives speaks of Edwards' journey to faith. The very first chapters recount Edwards' life before he displayed gracious affections and what Edwards thought of this time. The first section of the book will mess with the reader's head, but the latter section will deal with his heart. Edwards is portrayed as a humble man who is incredibly learned and seeks to know God, a God who Edwards claims he knows infinitely nothing about considering how infinitely much there is to know.
I am no theologian. In fact, I used to think that those who knew as much about theology as Storms and Edwards do were missing the true point of Christianity. This book helped me to break this paradigm and to understand that these great men of faith were no more than that: mere men. The language is understandable but worldview shattering. The message is troubling to the mind but comforting for the heart. The message in this book is terribly practical and essential for believers today. Please do read it.
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30 Jun 2007 ... A thoughtful and accessible interpretation of Jonathan Edwards's immensely relevant and enriching work Religious Affections.
Anecdotes of the Rev. George Whitefield, MA - Facts Of Faith
". The Profitable Visit. George Whitefield and Charles Wesley are names that should be blended together. Wesley the poet, and Whitefield the orator. Mr. Whitefield ever honored Charles Wesley as his spiritual father, and the love existing between them was like that of Jonathan and David. When. Mr. Whitefield was at ...
Introduction to the Study of American Literature (1914) | Plymouth ...
Miss Scudder remarks of her similar undertaking for English literature, any such volume as ours must serve merely as an introduction to far wider reading. ...... Jonathan Ed wards ners. s. "Sin. 1742. Present Revival of Religion in 1743. in the Hands of an Angry ;quot; Edwards s "Concerning the. New.
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