Book Review: Jonathan Edwards and Justification, ed. Josh Moody

Jonathan Edwards and Justification” (Crossway, 2012) is a short but substantial book on the theology of Jonathan Edwards. Edited by Josh Moody, it is a compilation of 5 chapter-length articles by theologians familiar with Edwards.

Reader beware, this is not a book for the faint at heart. It is theologically substantial and heavy, especially given that Edwards’s own words and language is quoted and hard to grasp at first reading. Most certainly, this is a book for the pastor-theologian or seminarian who desires a quick and succinct examination of Edwards’s position on justification.

In particular, it exmines Edwards’s view on justification. To be sure, Moody and company aim to uncover how Reformed is Jonathan Edwards’s beliefs about about our position in Christ. This is especially an important book for our time, when this issue of justification by faith alone is undermined by the ever-increasing friendship of Roman Catholics and evangelicals. And our theological-ecclesial climate is further exasperated by the recent work of E.P. Sanders and the New Perspective on Paul. Henceforth, this book finds itself in the unique position of offering a well-reasoned defence of Edwards’s Reformed position on justification by faith alone.

I found Moody’s opening chapter most helpful and a quick primer for myself, as one who has dabbed little into the works of Edwards. I appreciated Moody’s examination of Edwards’s “order of salvation” and the relationship between justification and sanctification. I now know I need to spend more time reading Edwards, and this book is a good little catalyst for any student of theology–especially in the vein of Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards and Justification, edited by Josh Moody. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012. 160 pp. (Available in Paperback or Kindle

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