Posts Tagged ‘ Jonathan Edwards ’

The Essential Edwards Collection for Half Off!

Here are two videos of Doug Sweeney and Owen Strachan talking about there great new books, The Essential Edwards Collection. For those of you who want to get copies you can get all 5 books for 50% over at wtsbooks between now and aug 2nd! Click here to get yours today!

Also we have read and reviewed three of the books so far:

Edwards on Heaven and Hell by Starchen and Sweeney

Jonathan Edwards, Lover of God by Starchen and Sweeney

Jonathan Edwards, The Good Life by Strachen & Sweeney


Lister on How an Hour a Week Can Save Your Marriage

Own Starchen has posted a great article on his blog by Biola theologian Rob Lister on husbands leading their wives in regular conversation on the state of their marriage.  Here is a little bit of it:

With that in mind, I offer the following as one practical suggestion of something that Christian husbands may wish to consider as a tool to use in a more routine and intentional effort to lead their marriages for the glory of God.  In the simplest terms, this “tool” is a manageable list of questions that I have attempted to consolidate over the years for regular use in our marriage

Click here to read the whole thing. As I have said before, I want to be like Owen when I grow up.

Book Review: Jonathan Edwards, “The Good Life” by Strachen & Sweeney

Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney capture the heart and essence of Jonathan Edwards labor on the subject of: The Good Life. This quick short read (152 pages) is just what the church of Christ was in need of. God has used Edwards in monumental aspects to help inform, convict, and shepherd his flock for the nearly the past 300 years. Whether it was through his preaching, writing, or actions men and women had a better picture of who Jesus Christ is and the work in which He has done, is doing, and will complete.
The specific piece looks at Edwards labors on the idea that, “The Good Life” as God intended it to be is filled with JOYFUL OBEDIENCE to Him, Jesus Christ. Edwards contrast what culture speaks to as a “good life” with that from a biblical perspective in which the “Good Life” is focused solely on the will of God. His will is to us joy through Him. WOW and praise God! This is foreign thinking and takes supernatural power to accomplish.
Strachen & Sweeney unfold the heart of what Edwards saw God promise, desired, and commanded for us to have “The Good Life”. They walk through not only the abstract idea of this lofty pleasure, but also what it would look like practically day to day in the life of the believer.
I recommend this book for anyone, but especially if you have never read Jonathan Edwards this is a must read and a great introduction to him (he is not the easiest to pick up, read, and comprehend). Personally I believe how an individual responds to the question, “What is the Good Life”, will reveal the heart of their desires. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ then a biblical & eternal perspective is what should be saturated within us and spilling into all our conversations!

Be encouraged with the fact that God’s will is for His people to have, “The Good Life” but it’s solely achievable ‘by whom and for whom all things exist, Jesus Christ’ (Colossians 1:16 ’emphasis added’)

Read more on the authors:

Owen Strachen

Doug Sweeney

Grace and Peace,

Book Review; Jonathan Edwards, Lover of God by Starchen and Sweeney


Starchen and Sweeney have Written a fine introduction to the life and thought of Jonathan Edwards. this short book provides a U2 fly over of the highlights of Edwards’ life is a strong showing. Brief but engaging, I found myself looking forward to reading more.

The authors serve the reader well by including application points att he end of each chapter in a winning effort to help you apply what they have drawn out of the life of Edwards. Additionally, the reader is served by a balanced, Truthful treatment of the facts of Edwards’ life. Good bad and ugly are discussed in this biographical sketch. this is not hero worship, nor is it a smearing of Edwards. What Starchan and Sweeney have done is find the middle road of truth and walked that tightrope. At times they have strong words for edwards, such as their discussion of his owning slaves and his interaction with his congregation over issues of salary. At other times they stand in the owe appropriate of contemplating the writings and life of this giant of the faith. Simply put Starchen and Sweeney don’t have any sour grapes, but also don’t pull any punches, either.

Another strength of this work is it gives you a working understanding of Edwards’ thought and life with out being exhaustive. I now know enough about him to be conversant, but I also, as a result of reading this book, want to go and learn more about Edwards.

Lastly, and what I feel is the most important thing that Starchen and Sweeney provide is an additional voice to that of John Piper on Edwards that is decidedly orthodox and evangelical. While we are indebted to piper for introducing so many of us to Edwards, Having another voice on the topic is helpful in expanding the insights we can gleam from the life and thought of Edwards.

Book Review; Edwards on Heaven and Hell by Starchen and Sweeney


Starchen and Sweeney have  done the church a real service by publishing this series of books on Edwards. This volume focus on Edwards preaching and writing on the topics of heaven and hell. What makes this book so helpful is that the authors have read tons of Edwards and arranged it in an easy, approachable way around  the theme.

This is coupled with Starchen’s and Sweeney’s ability to to look at the contemporary scene and what is facing the christian community and the church today and argue successfully as to why it must adopt and Edwardian view, and by extension a biblical view, of eternity. the book is split into the following four parts:

  • the reality of heaven and hell and its disappearance form the life of the church today.
  • the frightening prospect of hell; Edwards on hell.
  • the glorious prospect of heaven; Edwards on heaven.
  • how to live with eternity in view; applying the lessons of Edwards.

I found this book a joy to read and a fantastic introduction to Edwardian though concerning heaven and hell. What I was NOT expecting was the warm pastoral tone of the authors. Also Starchen’s and Sweeney’s ability to go back and forth from Edwards day and our own and to draw out the relevant points for today’s reader is areal strength. Not only was this accomplished but it was done with an eye for detail and with a heart to help the reader apply. One rarely finds such a powerful blend of historical accounting of theology and coupled with apply it today’s challenges. Starchen and Sweeney through Edwards’ voice and their own have increased my awareness of eternity. I am eager to put into practice the lessons learned from this work.

Parenting with Eternity in View

The afterlife is real, and even in an age boasting far greater health care than Edwards’s, nothing is certain. Death can strike at any moment, and does. Christian parents must face this fact, allow it to guide their shepherding, and seize the opportunity to glorify the Lord and prepare their children to meet their Maker. –Stachan and Sweeney, in Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell

Work in its Rightful Place

The eschatological mind-set also refigures our conception of work. All work, as Martin Luther so helpfully emphasized, is God’s work. But our earthly vocations will one day end. We will serve the Lord in heaven, but all our career advances and vocational ambitions will soon lie beside us in the grave. We should esteem work, then, while keeping it in proper perspective, unlike so many in our society who fail on this point, and who destroy their souls in pursuit of economic dreams.-Stachan and Sweeney, in Jonathan Edwards on Heaven and Hell

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