Jesus said we should focus our minds and hearts on God above all else. No small task! Is there someone we can turn to for help? "Wisdom tells us to sit at the feet of our elders rather than the latest ministry fad," notes author Kyle Strobel. And is there a better elder to guide us than Jonathan Edwards?
In Edwards, the eighteenth-century Puritan pastor and theologian, we find deep thought balanced with deep passion. Through his writings and practices, Edwards provides us with the tools—the "means of grace"—that make us receptive to God's work in our lives as we learn to abide in Christ. Here we find a well-rounded account of being formed for the glory of God.
We read Augustine, Calvin, Edwards and a host of other great theologians as if they wrote theology only to inform us, failing to realize that they wrote their works, as they preached their sermons, to form us, too. We thus do them an injustice if we see their books as providing us with nothing more than information. Kyle Strobel addresses this essential problem in the way he wrote about Jonathan Edwards. Formed for the Glory of God is not a practical book about Edwards's spiritual practices, nor is it a theoretical book about Edwards's theology. It is both at the same time, which is just as Edwards would want it. Strobel thus writes about Edwards as Edwards himself wrote. His attention to Edwards's theology of glory and beauty and love informs and shapes his exploration of Edwards's spiritual practices, which in both cases orient us toward God. This book did more than teach me; it awakened longing for God. It introduces Jonathan Edwards as the luminous, pastoral, passionate and deeply Christian man that he was. I heartily commend it to you.
--Gerald L. Sittser, professor of theology, Whitworth University, and author of Water from a Deep Well
We sometimes imagine that spiritual formation--the Spirit's work of conforming us to the image of God's Son--is something accomplished on our own. But in reality, God has graciously given us the gift of teachers and the community of saints. These wise guides can lead us and help us, through their teaching and example, pointing us to Christ. We could not ask for a more profound guide than the great theologian Jonathan Edwards. In these pages his gifted interpreter Kyle Strobel shows us a better way--a way less traveled--for how to live the Christian life bound to the Son in love. A feast awaits all those with eyes to see.
--Justin Taylor, managing editor, ESV Study Bible, and coeditor (with John Piper), A God-Entranced Vision of All Things
If you are among those either unacquainted with Jonathan Edwards or simply afraid to read him, this book is for you. As best I can tell, what Kyle Strobel has done here is largely unprecedented in Edwardsean studies. With Edwards as tour guide, he has taken us on a journey, both deeply theological and eminently practical, into what it means to live Christianly. If biblical spirituality is something you cherish and long for, you can do no better than join Strobel, together with Edwards, in this profoundly life-changing exploration. Highly recommended!
--Sam Storms, Ph.D., lead pastor, Bridgeway Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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