“The way to grow in assurance is to kill sin, seek God’s grace, and exercise it as much as you can. Assurance comes not by looking inward, but by action, by looking to Christ and living out of what you see.” ~ from Joe Rigney’s Introduction
Due to the shallowness of much modern Christian worship and life, we can often think of the display of intense religious emotions as a hypocritical outward show. And we are right to be suspicious, since “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). Nevertheless, emotions are a gift from God and are part of what God redeems.
When the First Great Awakening was breaking out in New England in the 1700s, pastor Jonathan Edwards approved of it and prayed for great revival. However, as a man who suffered from depression and melancholy, Edwards also warned people of the dangers of relying alone on such intense emotions.
The center of the Christian religion is not our emotions, but Christ and His goodness. This classic will inspire you to consider both your life and your emotions and to follow Christ in love.
“The essence of all true religion lies in holy love; and in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion.” ~ Jonathan Edwards
THE CHRISTIAN HERITAGE SERIES: The authors in the Christian Heritage Series paid a high price for the words you see before you. Not all paid with blood, but each spent his life fighting for the truth. This faithful sacrifice has become a rich inheritance for the Church in our day, even though it is often neglected. The Christian Heritage Series aims to put these important theological classics on every Christian’s bookshelf in colorful, well-crafted, and affordable volumes, with introductions written by those that love the books and their heritage.
AUTHOR: Jonathan Edwards
INTRODUCTION: Joe Rigney
PAGE COUNT: 479 pages
ISBN 10: 1947644548
PUB. DATE: March 24, 2020 (first published in 1745)
Religious Affections: By Jonathan Edwards | Introduction by Joe Rigney
Although I was warned in the introduction that this book was potentially very wounding for an immature Christian, I entered into the work with confidence. I finished it a few days later, feeling as though I had escaped with my life. Edwards will wreck you with his very astute observations that even the most devote religious feelings can be counterfeited by Satan, but he will feed you steadily with God's word, and soon you will be thirsting for Grace as in a dry and thirsty land. This is not a how-to book, it is a serious reflection on man's inability to truly repent without God's grace. It is also remarkably easy to read for a book of its age, and a very worthy entry in the Christian Heritage series.
While the cover was nicely illustrated, the book itself is a very good look at what the order of our affections should be, and why they are necessary. This helps in understanding our emotions and what role they were designed to play in our lives.
I really appreciate this book.
I've long thought that Religious Affections should be required reading for ministers, perhaps especially those who work with teens especially. I worry that so much of what excites us in church today would not move Edwards at all. This is a great edition of a vital work. get it!
This is a great edition of a classic. High recommend.
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