Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Chance" is a Myth: The Whole is of God, and In God!

A God-Entranced Vision of All Things: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards, edited by John Piper & Justin Taylor (Crossway Books, 2004)

From the Introduction:

God is the designer and definer of reality, and all of life must be lived to his glory. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31), working “heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). We are commanded by Christ to “love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart and with all [our] soul and with all [our] mind” (Matt. 22:37). If we do anything apart from faith in God, we have sinned (Rom. 14:23), and God is displeased (Heb. 11:6). “Chance” is a myth, “autonomy” is a lie, “neutrality” is impossible. Everything is created by God, everything is controlled by God, and everything’s proper purpose is to be for God and his glory. All things are “from him and through him and to him. . . . To him be glory forever” (Rom. 11:36 ; cf. 1 Cor. 8:6). Or as Edwards put it: “the whole is of God, and in God, and to God, and God is the beginning, middle and end in this affair.” This is the God-given, God-centered, God-intoxicated, God-entranced vision of all things.

[Edwards said of] the beauty of God and our enjoyment of Him:

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean. Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives; to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labour for, or set our hearts on, any thing else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness? (Sermon, "The Christian Pilgrim," Works of Jonathan Edwards [2 vols.] 2:224)

See also this book review by Reformation21, the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

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