JUST FINISHED DANE ORTLUND’S new book, Edwards on The Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God. I am a student of Jonathan Edwards. He has affected me more than any other christian thinker. I have read Ian Murray’s bio once and George Marsden’s twice. I have read all of Edwards’ major theological treatises (except the Nature of True Virtue), some of them several times, and most of his printed sermons. I am not saying this to boast, but rather to put in perspective what I am going to say about Ortlund’s new book.
It is simply the best thing I have read on Jonathan Edwards and his approach to the Christian life. It has something for everyone. A new Christian can read it profitably. The academic specializing in Edwards can also read it with profit. Why? It is more than knowledge. Ortlund’s new book is soul-food. “The best Christian literature, notes Ian Murray, ‘is not written for the mind and intellect alone; it appeals also to the heart, the conscience, and the will. A good book does something to us, something that God put first in the spirit of the author. A book should not simply convey knowledge; it should uplift us, it should make us want to pray, and we should rise from it with an ambition to live nearer to Christ and to serve him better. Books of lasting value are books that feed the soul, and there is a ‘taste’ about them that lives on from one generation to another.”
Dane Ortlund’s prose meets Murray’s specifications. It does something to the reader. It feeds the soul, and I can make no higher recommendation. My favorite chapters were the ones on beauty, temptation, the soul, love, new birth, as well as the conclusion on Edwards’ weaknesses.
Buy this book and read it. You won’t be disappointed.