16 July 2008

Everything Starts with God

Finally got a hold, at the Notre Dame bookstore, of the Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards. I expect it to be somewhat humanistic-intellectual (i.e. effectively factoring God out of the historical circumstances of Edwards' life and spiritual experiences, and human history in general), but I am still drawn to it. The best line so far comes from Marsden. After explaining the intellectual and cultural currents of the day, he concludes:

To put the matter most simply, Edwards countered the intellectual trends of his day by emphasizing that human understanding of everything must start with the God of Christianity. (p. 22)

The antidote, it seems to me, to the intellectual trends of all times.

On another note, I'm immersed in Augustine this week, of whom the resources at the ND library are vast. Up till now all I knew was the Confessions and a bit of sketchy biographical information. This week I read "On the Happy Life" and his "Soliloquies," and a few books on his theology, and Augustine is opening up before me as I never expected him to nor realized he could. I have discovered someone who will, I think, be a lifelong friend. His development of the truth that, as Pascal said, "all men seek happiness, even those who hang themselves," and explaining how that happiness is satisfied, is wonderfully stabilizing.


Sean Michael Lucas said...

Hi, Dane: Actually, I think the Cambridge Companion to JE is the best one-stop shop for current scholarship on JE by the main, recent players. I'm using it for my Edwards class this coming fall. I hope you enjoy it! sml

Dane Ortlund said...

Exactly - for 'scholarship.' Why is it that when I read 'scholarship' about JE I am often left cold, but not when reading JE himself? I finished the book and have to say that, in this respect, it was what I expected, though helpful in many ways.