Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Book Review - Why God Created the World - A Jonathan Edwards Adaptation (12/8)

This is a question that every christian would have asked, ‘Why did God create the world?’ The young asks in curiosity and the old asks in bewilderment, their advances in years have seemingly not helped them much on this question!Why God Created the World

But, Jonathan Edwards has done A LOT of thinking in this question, and has even written a book on it! But, sometimes people have complained about how difficult it is to read Jonathan Edwards. So what can these people do? (Other than persevering on and reading it!) A good alternative is now available, Ben Stevens has paraphrased and modernised Jonathan Edwards’ ‘A Dissertation Concerning the End for Which the World Was Created’ into this easy to read work.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of abridgement or paraphrasing or anything of that sort. To me, if you really want to know what someone has written, you should be prepared to work hard at trying to understand what he’s actually saying! But alas, some works prove to be really tough, and only those who are already well-motivated to read that particular work/author would be prepared to work through it. Most would be turned off and would never again go back to such wonderful works. (John Owen would be one such example)

As I read this book, I was quite marvelled at how well and systematic and comprehensive Edwards was in thinking through this question. No doubt, being able to read this text at such a fast and easy pace made it easy for me to follow the argument that Edwards was making. (I doubt I would have been able to if I was reading the original work, you can try it yourself too! The 1st chapter of the original work is found at the appendix)

Ben is highly commended for the excellent job he has done especially with this very tough assignment. He is really able to allow Edwards to speak to us, in no way does he tries to interject his ideas into the readers but really allows the readers to come away with a deep appreciation of Edwards, and to spur readers to then dive into Edwards’ own writing.

I foresee this work will spur even more readers to be exposure to Edwards, and also encourage them to read Edwards’ in his original form. This book is really a good primer for anyone who wishes to have a feel of how Edwards is, and will act like a ‘hook’ to hook others to read Edwards even more after they’re done with this book and I look forward to future such adaptations!

Rating: 4.5/5

If you're interested, you can get it here, and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.