I know it’s early but I predict that this book will end up on my top ten favorite list of 2015. Ortlund does an excellent job of showing how Edward’s theology of Beauty (capitalization intentional) was the common thread and current of not only his prolific writing and preaching ministry but also the private life of Edward’s soul. Many times I had to stop reading and put the book down to bask in the mind-expanding worship of Edward’s insight into the beauty of God (and Ortland’s just as skillful explanation of Edward’s insight). Mark has already written a great review of this book so instead of giving another summary I’ll instead leave a few quotes to tempt you to read this book yourself.
“The point of this book is not mainly to encourage us to imitate Edward’s life externally. The point is to encourage us all to draw nourishment from the same rich soil of divine beauty that made Edward’s own life so abundantly fruitful.”
“Sinners are beautified as they behold the beauty of God in Jesus Christ. That is Edward’s theology of the Christian life in a single sentence.”
“[Edwards] says that holiness ‘comprehends’ all other virtues; ‘there is no other true virtue’ outside holiness. Holiness is not one virtue standing alongside others – love, joy, peace, patience, and all the rest (Gal 5:22-23). Each of these virtues itself a particular manifestation of holiness.”
“By nature, we are sinners in the hands of an angry God. But by grace, we are saints in the hands of a beautiful God.”
“The real question is not whether we obey God. The question beneath that question is, ‘What do we love'”
“The full and free exercise of love, to God and to other saints, is what makes heaven heaven.”