Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

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    Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

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Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden

Posted by Orrin Woodward on July 19, 2011

It is early Sunday morning and my thoughts are upon God’s love and his sovereign works.  Recently, I read the best spiritual biography of my life, Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden.  Edwards, an 18th century pastor, theologian, and philosopher, was, in my opinion, America’s greatest Christian philosopher.  Reading this book was a humbling, but yet an uplifting and encouraging spiritual exercise.  Marsden is simply a master of his craft. The way he delved into Edward’s writings, placing them within the intellectual currents of the 18th century, resulted in a masterpiece of biographical literature.  No one, neither Christian nor non-Christian, can walk away from a thorough reading of this book and be the same person. I cannot recommend this book enough! But rather than describe the book point by point, I will let Marsden speak for himself as he sums up Edward’s philosophy:

“Edwards thus addressed one of the greatest mysteries facing traditional theism in the post-Newtonian universe: how can the creator of such an unimaginably vast universe be in intimate communication with the creatures so infinitely inferior to himself? How can it be that God hears their prayers and responds by caring not only about their eternal souls but even about the details of their temporal lives? To answer such questions one would have to face more starkly than is usually done the immensity of the distance between God and humans and between God’s ways and our understandings. At the same time, Edwards insisted, if God is meaningfully related to us, God must be intimately involved with the governance of all the universe in its detail. Further, God must be governing it in some way that also grants the maximum possible autonomy to created beings. Whether Edwards, or anyone else, adequately explains how this mystery may be resolved is a matter of some debate.

Yet Edward’s solution – a post-Newtonian statement of classic Augustinian themes – can be breathtaking. God’s trinitarian essence is love. God’s purpose in creating a universe in which sin is permitted must be to communicate that love to creatures. The highest or most beautiful love is sacrificial love for the undeserving. Those – ultimately the vast majority of humans – who are given eyes to see that ineffable beauty will be enthralled by it. They will see the beauty of a universe in which unsentimental love triumphs over real evil. They will not be able to view Christ’s love dispassionately but rather will respond to it with their deepest affections. Truly seeing such good, they will have no choice but to love it. Glimpsing such love, they will be drawn away from preoccupations with the gratifications of their most immediate sensations. They will be drawn from their self-centered universes. Seeing the beauty of redemptive love of Christ as the true center of reality, they will love God and all that he has created.”

God Bless, Orrin Woodward

One Response to “Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden”

  1. […] children and grandchildren that will carry the weight of a Cicero, Xenophon, Thomas Jefferson or Jonathan Edwards and so on.  It’s time to start your journey into the world of the 21st century – welcome to […]

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