Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God: Toward an Evangelical Theology of Participation

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9781451487695: Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God: Toward an Evangelical Theology of Participation
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Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God aims to offer a retrieval of Edwards's theology of participation for contemporary evangelical theology. It critically expounds and elucidates the concept of participation in God, or theosis, in Edwards's Trinitarian theology as it relates to around three unions: the three persons of the Trinity, the hypostatic union of the divine and human in Christ, and that of believers with Christ. This volume brings Edwards's rich theological work into conversation with the patristic (Augustine and the Cappadocians) and Reformed traditions (Calvin and, especially, Barth), in order to construct with Edwards a more hopeful, liberating, and truly human version of Christian life. Consideration of the life of God in Edwards thus moves "beyond" in two senses: first, perspectives on participation beyond those of Edwards from Barth, Volf, the Cappadocian Fathers, and others in the tradition, are engaged in order to locate and critique and enhance it; and secondly, in the sense that, as Hastings argues, participation leads, for Edwards and others, into the "beyond" of the beatific vision—the glory of God, which is the hope that, amongst other things, motivates the Christian life.

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From the Author:

This book is written in the hope that its readers will feed deeply on the reality and consequences of the three great unions that enable Christian, human life to be a participation in the life and overflowing love of the triune God: the union of the three Persons of the Trinity, the union of the divine and human natures of Christ, and the remarkable union of of human believers and the church with God. This is the Gospel. God is for us!

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"This lengthy contribution to the Edwardsian production-line of our day covers a wider waterfront. Hastings mines Edwards on the Trinity and incarnation, the Holy Spirit, justification and sanctification, and the structure and temper of the Christian life, exploring how he positioned himself within the Reformed tradition that he aimed to present. Hastings has today's multiple Edwardsian debates at his fingertips; he also brings in Karl Barth to help in his assessments, with illuminating results. The book yields a uniquely comprehensive overview, and is very instructive to work through."
J. I. Packer
Regent College
 
"One of the most interesting developments in recent constructive theology has been the way in which Protestant thinkers have sought to retrieve accounts of human participation in the life of God from historic theologians. One of those whose work has been the subject of such interest is Jonathan Edwards. Ross Hastings takes Edwards's thought and examines it in light of other accounts of participation, from the Cappadocians to Barth, showing how this leitmotif fits with other key aspects of Edwardsian theology, such as the Trinity, incarnation, pneumatology, and the order of salvation. The result is a rich piece of collegial and constructive theology, which makes a contribution to current debates about the shape of Edwards's thought as well as to systematic theology more generally."
Oliver D. Crisp
Fuller Theological Seminary
 
"This carefully researched and scholarly volume is arguably the most sophisticated exposition and assessment of Edwards's doctrine of the Trinity to date. Considerably more than a critical evaluation of Edwards, this immensely significant monograph constitutes a timely retrieval of the doctrine of the personal participation of believers in the life of the triune God--participation whose grammar is incarnational and pneumatological and whose goal is the joyful formation of the people of God as human persons created for relationship. This should be required reading not only for those interested in North America's greatest Christian theologian but for academics and students alike who are concerned to think through not only the place of the doctrine of the Trinity in the interpretation of Christian thought as a whole but also its pastoral implications."
Alan Torrance
The School of Divinity, University of St. Andrews
 

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