Some books are worth reading again and again. John Piper’s excellent work is such a book. God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards is composed of two parts. Part One is a Personal Encounter with Jonathan Edwards. Part Two is a republication of Jonathan Edwards magisterial work, The End for Which God Created the World.
The Personal Encounter with Edwards includes the rationale behind Piper’s book, a brief but powerful biography of the Puritan divine, a survey of Edwards’s inner life as it relates the life of the mind, and the relationship between Edwards and culture.
Central to the thought of Part One is the Piper’s assertion (that he credits to the hard work of Edwards) is this: “the exhibition of God’s glory and the deepest joy of human souls are one thing.” Or to state it another way, “God’s passion for his own glory and his passion for my joy are not at odds.” Piper builds on this reality by presenting fifteen critical implications that he has drawn for Edwards’s life and writing. The final Edwardsean insight is in reality that thesis of Part Two, namely – that “God created the world to exhibit the fullness of his glory in the God-centered joy of his people.”
Part Two, then, is the complete text from Edwards book, The End for Which God Created the World. The complex argument may be summarized in one critical sentence: “Hence it will follow, that the moral rectitude of the disposition, inclination, or affection of God CHIEFLY consists in a regard to HIMSELF, infinitely above his regard to all other beings; in other words, his holiness consists in this.” Readers should struggle through the text to see the weight of biblical evidence that Edwards provides. It is a humbling, earth-shattering, Christ-exalting stick of dynamite. I first read this tremendous book over fifteen years ago in seminary at Starbucks – in one sitting. It continues to affect me the same way it did so many years ago. Readers will be struck with the depth of insight that emerges from the pen of the Puritan divine. But readers will mostly be in awe at the glory which belongs to God and God alone!
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36, ESV)