Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Read and Learn -- Life in Between

I don't remember what first caught my attention about the book, Heaven On Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards' Vision of Living In Between by Stephen J. Nichols; but I do remember the Amazon reviewer who said something to the effect of, if you want to know what Edwards had to say about Heaven -- read Edwards. I can't really argue with that. I can say that this author does a very nice job of making Edwards' views of Heaven, and living the journey towards Heaven, accessible and contemporary.

One example that caught my eye was the discussion of Edwards' opinions about justice. In our culture it is easy to think of seeking justice as something for the likes of Gary Haugen and his amazing colleagues at the International Justice Mission, and less so for lawyers like me with a nice comfortable, safe practice in a nice, comfortable American city. Even so, that is a calling for a handful of lawyers -- not for the rest of us. In this book the author used Edwards' own experiences with Native Americans to illustrate Edwards' concept of justice as a necessary part of a Christian worldview. The author takes the New Testament command to care for widows and orphans and translates that into giving a voice to the poor and the powerless. All of a sudden that doesn't sound like something you have to be a lawyer busting white slavers to do.

On a completely different level there is something very encouraging about this book. As it translates an Edwards' sermon series into more contemporary idiom, it becomes clear that Edwards did not spend his life preaching to a congregation overflowing with committed Saints. His congregation was very much like any other, filled with far too many who still don't quite get it.


1 comment:

The Pinkhammer said...

Keeping the disciples in mind and noting how much Jesus called even them people "of little faith," there are probably quite a few committed saints that don't get it in one way or another. In light of this, I am glad that life is a journey. There's a lot of things I don't get either!! : D