This book is part of the Crossways Short Classics series, which introduces readers to some great heroes of the faith who wrote many sermons, essays, lectures and other short pieces that are well worth reading. Jonathan Edwards was one of those heroes, and he was immensely productive — the Yale University Press edition of his collected works contains twenty-six volumes.
This short book (about 100 pages) is an exposition of 1 Corinthians 13:
“Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there are tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
If your contact with Edwards has been limited to his famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, this book may surprise you, because it is almost all about love. The love that we will both give and receive in heaven. Love is that “great fruit of the Spirit” which will remain when all the other fruits are no longer needed. It will flow like a fountain from the Father, Son and Spirit. This love is holy and perfect.
Love in heaven will::
- Always be mutual
- Never be interrupted or damped by jealousy
- Will not be hindered in its’ expression by anything internal or external
- Be expressed with decency and wisdom
- Unite all the saints in close and dear relationships
- Allow all believers to share in property and ownership of one another
- Conspire always to promote more love
- Continue forever
In consequence of this heavenly, perfected love:
- Behavior toward God and one another will be perfect
- There will be perfect peace and joy
- There will be no contention and strife
It’s hard to wrap our human minds around this agape love, and it is something that as Christians, we hope for. There is also a section about hell, where everything is hate. God hates the inhabitants there, and they hate Him and one another. There is no union, or friendliness or peace. Edwards warns those who refuse to repent, that this will be their final destination.
A brief biography of Jonathan Edwards in included.
VERDICT: 3 STARS. I found it a bit repetitious, and I disagree with Edwards’ belief that some saints will experience more love in heaven because they are holier.
For more about the Puritans see:
An Introduction to John Owen by Crawford Gribben–Book Review
Beyond Stateliest Marble by Douglas Wilson — Book Review
The Lutheran Ladies recieved a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.
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