This book is written to explore the qualities of a healthy, biblical faith. Much of Jonathan Edwards’s work on the nature and inclination of our affections is obscured by difficult language and culturally distant descriptions. The same is true regarding his work describing the object of our affection. Granted, there has been a good deal of secondary work done unpacking these ideas, but very little of it is accessible for the average Christian reader. Our primary command is to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. In considering the nature of our affections and the ideas of beauty that engage them, this book is written to develop the most foundational dynamic of our faith. In other words, we will look at both our love (affection) and our God (beauty). Something is broken about us; why else would we find Netflix more entertaining than worship? This is actually good news, because it means there is something more to our faith than we have yet experienced. This book is written to begin the healing process by looking at a biblical view of a renewed heart and rightly ordered affections.
Edwards, Beauty and Younger Evangelicals is a book about what matters most. For those courageous enough to think deeply about what it means to have a relationship with the living God, Boyd’s book is a joy. A unique study of Edwards’ great work, Religious Affections, the book challenges readers to consider Edwards’ timeless insights on knowing and experiencing the beauty of Christ as revealed in the Scriptures. Through keen awareness of the cultural world inhabited by both Edwards and younger evangelicals, the book offers a compelling case for appropriating Edwards’ insights for the contemporary church. Moving beyond concepts, the reader is provided a hands-on tool for building the bridge from the past to the present. — S. DONALD FORTSON, III DMIN, PHD, Professor of Church History and Practical Theology, Director, DMin Program, Reformed Theological Seminary Charlotte
If you have a heart for today’s youth to develop a mature Christian faith, this book is for you! Adam Boyd has given his life to minister to young people, and he has identified a vital narrative of today’s youth: the need for authenticity. It means an authentic faith that connects biblical belief with the experience of Christ’s beauty and the heartfelt affections for the matters of the Gospel. Using the brilliant work and thinking of Jonathan Edwards, one of the most influential Christian thinkers of the past three centuries, Adam offers both a solid foundation for how to address this contemporary yearning, and a practical and detailed action plan. — J. MAURER, PHD, President of Montreat College
Few things are as exciting as reading theology. It is a subject that gets at all the juiciest questions about life. And few theologians are as exciting to read as the American Puritan Jonathan Edwards (1703-58). If I were to guess, what you have heard about Edwards is probably at best a caricature and at worst simply untrue. For, Edwards is an uncommon thinker whose answers to questions in theology can be as juicy as the questions themselves. To be sure, a lot of what he wrote is hard to understand. But don’t let that stop you. A welcome contribution to the ever-growing library of work on Edwards, Boyd takes up the critical subject of Edwards and Beauty and makes it understandable. Targeting the religious affections of teenagers, Boyd hits the bull’s eye with Jonathan Edwards, Beauty, and Younger Evangelicals. — MARK HAMILTON, PHD, Author of A Treatise on Jonathan Edwards, Continuous Creation, and Christology and New England Dogmatics: A Systematic Collection of Questions and Answers in Divinity by Maltby Gelston (1766-1865)
If you are a Jonathan Edwards’ scholar—what a time to be alive! The Puritan pastor-theologian from the eighteenth century continues to prove to be one of the most compelling thinkers in all of Colonial American history, even the Western world for that matter. Like Da Vinci and other verifiable geniuses, Edwards contributed to Western thought as a true polymath. That is to say, just as Da Vinci was artist, architect, and inventor, so also Edwards was a pastor, theologian, missionary, and philosopher. In this book, Adam Newcomb Boyd provides another compelling deep dive into the thought life of Edwards. Beginning exegetically, Boyd surveys the Bible’s general teaching on the affections, the deep longings and repulsions of the soul. After that, he considers one of Edwards’ theological masterpieces, Religious Affections. Next, he places Edwards in his historical and philosophical context, comparing and contrasting him to Locke and Newton among others. Finally in the concluding sections, Boyd makes pastoral and ministerial application from all that has preceded. I continue to be grateful for the publishing ventures of JESociety, and for Boyd’s newest contribution to our burgeoning field. — MATTHEW EVERHARD, DMIN, Senior Pastor, Gospel Fellowship Presbyterian Church and author of A Theology of Joy: Jonathan Edwards and Eternal Happiness in the Holy Trinity